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Batman investigates the murders of several cops, believed to be racially-motivated homicides. The GCPD put No Man's Land-veteran Karl Esterhaus on the case, although he is accused of brutalizing minority gangs. [[Crispus Allen (New E

Quote1.png I'm not talking about protecting or take-downs. I'm talking about what they see when you and your bat-squad hit the streets. Or when the Justice League makes the six o'clock news. They may see heroes, humans and aliens... but they don't see themselves. They don't see their people defending the streets, the country, or the planet. So many don't believe they're a part of the solution -- especially the kids. They don't realize we can make a difference, too. Quote2.png
Orpheus src

Orpheus Rising is a Batman storyline written by Alex Simmons with illustrations by Dwayne Turner. It was published in the Batman: Orpheus Rising mini-series. The story deals with introducing a new super-hero named Orpheus to Gotham City.


Batman investigates the murders of several cops, believed to be racially-motivated homicides. The GCPD put No Man's Land-veteran Karl Esterhaus on the case, although he is accused of brutalizing minority gangs. Crispus Allen, Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya burst in on a new vigilante named Orpheus while staking out the Russians.[1] Orpheus escapes the shoot-out and Batman begins hunting him. Batman talks strategy with Commissioner Akins, and warns new crimelord Rasputin not to cross the line. Orpheus visits The Hill to confront a gang called the Deacons, and threaten their leader Sly Tolliver for harming women and children. Batman interrupts Orpheus and chases him until they come across another cop shooting.[2] They cooperate on the crime scene, but Batman tells Orpheus the city does not need more amateur crime-fighters. Orpheus shows off his high-tech equipment, and insists that black children need better super-hero role models. It's revealed that the cop veterans were all No Man's Land veterans. The police crack down and the city explodes into riots over racial profiling. Orpheus tries to balance his personal life as an entertainment producer, and collects information by posing as reporter Basil Brass. Batman and Orpheus meet again when Esterhaus' best friend is the next victim.[3] Batman fights Orpheus and kicks his ass, although Orpheus insists he is willing to die for the cause. They discover the murder weapon is part of a GCPD weapons cache lost in the earthquake. Orpheus reflects on his origins, and remembers why he decided to fight crime. His career as a touring professional dancer showed him brutality and injustice that needed to be fought across the world. Batman talks to Nightwing about the image he projects, and decides to accept Orpheus as an important part of the war on crime. Batman and Orpheus finally team up to investigate the weapons cache. They're ambushed by Rasputin and Tolliver, then a bomb goes off in the ensuing fire-fight.[4] Orpheus drags Batman out of the wreckage. They drive into the riot as it turns into a full-blown gang-war. Both of them realize their must be a mastermind, and Esterhaus is the only person capable. Batman brings Batgirl, Black Canary and Robin to help deal with the street violence while Orpheus goes after Esterhaus. He confronts the ring of corrupt cops, and learns that they were killing officers to justify a militant crack-down. They try to shoot Orpheus, but he takes them down and broadcasts their confession on the radio. Esterhaus is arrested by Akins. Batman officially welcomes Orpheus to Gotham with his approval. In the aftermath, Orpheus reconnects with an ex-girlfriend and talks about appreciating nice days when they can.[5]



  • This storyline has not been reprinted in a collected edition.


  • This storyline set Orpheus up for many future appearances. However, he was seldom used. His next major appearance is an instrumental role in the War Games crossover. Then he was killed by Black Mask. Because we can't have nice things.[6]

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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Batman Family Storyline
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This event or storyline is specifically related to Batman, or to members of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Batman Storylines category.