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"Prey, Part One": While pursuing leads on Manny "the Fish" Cardona's drug ring, Batman finds himself clashing with several police officers, particularly a vigilante-hating zealot named [[Maxwell Cort (New Earth)|Max C


Quote1 The Batman himself -- his psyche -- is almost an obsession with me. Quote2
-- Hugo Strange



Appearing in "Prey, Part One"

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Synopsis for "Prey, Part One"

While pursuing leads on Manny "the Fish" Cardona's drug ring, Batman finds himself clashing with several police officers, particularly a vigilante-hating zealot named Max Cort. Cort's contempt for Batman finds little sympathy with Captain Gordon, but - much to Gordon's dismay - resonates with significant portions of Gotham at large, including Mayor Wilson Klass.

Soon, Gordon is forced into a televised roundtable with Klass and renowned psychologist Hugo Strange to discuss Batman's growing prominence. To Gordon's disgust, Strange psychoanalyzes Batman to be a mentally-disturbed egomaniac, motivated by nothing but past trauma and a lust for power; even as he tries to rebut Strange, however, Gordon is forced to admit that Batman is technically a criminal. Seizing on this, Klass concludes the roundtable by announcing a new anti-vigilante taskforce, with Gordon as commander.

The roundtable proves troubling for one particular viewer: Bruce Wayne, who tries to distract himself by redoubling work on a new crimefighting vehicle. Meanwhile, Gordon reluctantly gathers personnel for the taskforce, beginning with Cort - thought too unintelligent to be a serious threat - as second-in-command. Shortly after, Gordon finds the mayor's office demanding all existing data on Batman (including potential candidates) per orders from Strange, whom Klass has appointed an independent consultant.

As night falls, an overeager Cort gathers his own draftees for the taskforce - ten in all - and tests their worth with a raid on Cardona's main warehouse. Unfortunately, several of the officers prove corrupt enough to forewarn the gang, who thoroughly arm themselves; the situation is further complicated by Batman, who begins his own raid on the gang while Cort is occupied with beating the treacherous officers. On entering the warehouse, Cort and his remaining men find Batman alone, and immediately attack.

Finding Cort impossible to reason with, an already-exhausted Batman is forced to fight his way through the officers, and only barely escapes. Meanwhile, in the privacy of his own penthouse, Strange tries to simulate Batman's psyche by donning a homemade Batsuit. Soon, he grows enthralled by the idea of being Batman, of being free to sow violence and terror in total anonymity - ironically ignoring the city's other costumed outlaw, even as she begins a new heist.



Notes

  • This issue is reprinted in the Batman: Prey collected edition.

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