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"Cataclysm, Part 1: Castles Built on Sand": Batman is running a search in the Batcave for a criminal named Billy Wildman. Suddenly the seismic sensors go berserk and all hell breaks loose. There is a massive earthquake that runs straigh

Quote1.png This may not be a great time to say it, kid -- but you're under arrest. Quote2.png
Harvey Bullock

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #73 is an issue of the series Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1) with a cover date of April, 1998.

Synopsis for "Cataclysm, Part 1: Castles Built on Sand"

Batman is running a search in the Batcave for a criminal named Billy Wildman. Suddenly the seismic sensors go berserk and all hell breaks loose. There is a massive earthquake that runs straight through Gotham City, destroying many buildings and tearing the foundations asunder. The disaster area is huge, and there are many violent deaths in the chaos and rubble. This disturbance also collapses Wayne Manor and Batman's cave on top of him while he is inside.

Wayne Manor collapses.

Alfred Pennyworth is caught in the wreckage. Batman runs for his life trying to find an escape from the natural death trap before he is crushed underneath the rocks, while nearly all of his equipment is destroyed. A rock hits him in the head and knocks him out while his body is carried away by an underground stream, ending with him precariously perched over a yawning chasm mere seconds away from falling to his doom.

Anarky has tracked down Billy Wildman and is preparing to make his move on him. Harvey Bullock is buying cigars when he sees the criminal, and steps in to arrest him. The earthquake hits them right then, and both men dive for cover as the area around them is destroyed. Amidst the chaos, Bullock still attempts to arrest Anarky as an escaped criminal. Anarky saves his life and then insists that he has to help the people in mortal danger around them... Bullock grudgingly agrees and the two of them immediately go to work rescuing survivors.

Oracle finds GCPD HQ in ruins.

Oracle is in Gotham Clock Tower when the quake strikes, and she is rattled but the building is secure because it was fortified by Wayne Enterprises. There is no power and all of her systems and electronics are down. She goes out into the street to see what she can do and finds the city that she grew up in turned to rubble. There is a heavy pain in her heart, and she hopes that none of her loved ones were killed. She immediately takes charge of the survivors around her and starts instructing them towards damage control... it was a great tragedy, but the citizens of Gotham need to be strong now more than ever before.

Appearing in "Cataclysm, Part 1: Castles Built on Sand"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Billy Wildman (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:






  • This issue establishes that all Wayne Enterprises properties are completely fortified against earthquakes. They are also completely wheelchair accessible.
  • It is later established that the earthquake in this issue is a 7.6 on the Richter magnitude scale.[1]
  • Billy Wildman is later revealed to have died in this issue although his death is not discernible.[2]
  • Alfred is singing The Anniversary Song when the earthquake struck Wayne Manor.
  • Harvey Bullock buys a couple of cigars of a famous brand of cigars called Double Corona in a store called Cigars 'R' Us. The name of the store is a pun of the American toy store Toys "R" Us.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

Batman Shadow of the Bat Vol 1 73.jpg
Batman: Cataclysm Crossover
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This issue is a part of the Cataclysm crossover that swept through all Batman Family Titles during 1998. Gotham City was almost completely destroyed by a massive earthquake. This story led into the events that would eventually create No Man's Land.