"Cat-Man: The Secret of the Universe Part Three": Cat-Man is furious. Catwoman got away with his cape and cowl, the source of his power, as well his car and the year's worth of loot he had stashed in the trunk. He punches his prisoner, a m
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #44 is an issue of the series Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 1995. It was published on September 19, 1995.
Appearing in "Cat-Man: The Secret of the Universe Part Three"
- Gotham City
- Batmobile (Mentioned only)
- Cat-Man's Jaguar (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "Cat-Man: The Secret of the Universe Part Three"
Cat-Man is furious. Catwoman got away with his cape and cowl, the source of his power, as well his car and the year's worth of loot he had stashed in the trunk. He punches his prisoner, a member of the Council of Three, across the face and damns the Council for hiring her. Cat-Man calls his panthers Khan and Hun to his side, and they run off in pursuit of Catwoman.
Ratcatcher currently has Catwoman and Batman surrounded by the army of super-intelligent rats he's bred. He tells them that Gotham City is going to die tonight, and there's nothing they can do to stop it. He sends his rat at them, and Batman orders Catwoman to shield her eyes as he throws a flash grenade.
Batman runs towards Ratcatcher, tackling him. He has to take out Ratcatcher to disperse his rat army and prevent him from using the poison he's stolen to wipe out the city.
Catwoman tries to leave, but rats gnaw the rope of her grappling gun, breaking it. She falls back to the ground as Batman breaks Ratcatcher's device and believes he has freed the rats from his control. Ratcatcher, however, calls out to them, and they rush at Batman on his command.
Cat-Man finds the remains of his Jaguar scattered across the road and figures out, based on that and other evidence, that Catwoman was in an accident with the Batmobile.
Sarah Essen and Mackenzie Bock wonder what Ratcatcher has planned with all the poison he stole. Essen is upset that she's cooped up waiting for Mayor Krol to call instead of out there helping, and she says she would give up being commissioner in a minute if she could.
Their conversation is interrupted when a phone operator transfers a call from the Council of Three member, still tied up in Cat-Man's lair. He reports that he is in a house on Riverside Drive, tied up, and that Cat-Man and Catwoman were both there but both have since fled. He then remembers the bomb that Cat-Man left behind and drops the phone to begin working at the ropes around his ankles, alarming Essen. She wants to go out herself, but when Bock reminds her that she's waiting for the mayor's phone call, she instead sends him and Kitch.
The rats bite off Batman's utility belt, and Catwoman comes to his aid, pulling the rats off him. Ratcatcher explains that his rats no longer depend solely on his commands but now also think for themselves. Humanity's days are numbered now that rats have developed self-consciousness. Batman throws percussion caps to stall the rats while Catwoman opens the sewer gate, unleashing a torrent of water that pushes them all down the tunnel.
The Council of Three members escaped the house just in time to avoid the bomb blast. Cat-Man sees the explosion from a distance and thinks "Excellent!" before jumping down into the sewer with his panthers to collect his costume.
Batman and Catwoman continue fighting off the rats as Cat-Man jumps down. Cat-Man distracts Catwoman while Batman runs down the tunnel after Ratcatcher. Catwoman uses the cat idol, wrapped in Cat-Man's costume, to knock him unconscious.
Ratcatcher begins the process of poisoning the water supply with dead rats. Batman throws a batarang, hitting his shoulder, but that's Batman's last trick and he's forced to seek refuge behind a side-door, one which belongs to the room where Ratcatcher bred the super-intelligent rats and taught them with audiovisual stimulation aids he left behind.
Batman sees his chance. He pulls apart the machines and electrocutes the rats. Ratcatcher orders the rats to send in reinforcements, but they desert him instead. Now capable of rational thought, they refuse to become martyrs.
Ratcatcher is undeterred. His rats are sentient enough to understand the secret of the universe--he who runs away lives to fight another day.
Batman pulls a ranting Ratcatcher down the tunnels, and they come across the unconscious body of Cat-Man. Batman slings Cat-Man over his shoulder.
Catwoman delivers the idol and the costume to the Council of Three, but when she demands her fee, they reveal their island is too poor for them to pay her. She threatens them with Khan and Hun, who now obey her and growl menacingly, and they give in because they have the idol and the cloth, that's what really matters.
Catwoman gave them fakes, however. If Thomas Blake thinks they're so lucky, she'll give them back to him--after letting him sweat it out in Blackgate for a year--because anyone who has pets like Khan and Hun can't be too bad.
At Wayne Manor, Alfred Pennyworth answers the doorbell to find Madolyn Corbett on the front step. Alfred tells her that Bruce isn't back yet, and she demands to know who he spent the whole night with. Alfred says he's Bruce's butler, not his chaperone, and sends her on her way. Madolyn storms down the front steps, thinking that Bruce is a "rat" because he was out all night with "another woman."
Bock and Kitch survey Cat-Man's exploded hideout and hope their caller got out alright. They find a man dressed in a Cat-Man costume and arrest him, thinking that he's the real Cat-Man. The Council of Three member says nothing in his defense.
- The three-part Secret of the Universe story began in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #43, continued in Catwoman #26, and concluded this issue.
- No trivia.
- Discuss Batman: Shadow of the Bat Vol 1 44 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Batman: Shadow of the Bat series
- Images from Batman: Shadow of the Bat Vol 1 44
|The Secret of the Universe|
|Part I: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #43||Part II: Catwoman #26||Part III: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #44|