"A Rising Star of ": The power is out across Gotham City, but the lights from the old Melodian theatre are drawing crowds of people seeking light, shelter, and food. Unfortunately for them, the Melodian's current engagement is the sultry seductress Shauna, and
- I don't believe you. Everyone wants to be famous.
Synopsis for A Rising Star of Red!
The power is out across Gotham City, but the lights from the old Melodian theatre are drawing crowds of people seeking light, shelter, and food. Unfortunately for them, the Melodian's current engagement is the sultry seductress Shauna, and her partner, the Fantastic and Frisky Ferdie. Unfortunate, because Shauna is insane, and as she prepares to give the poor, safety-seeking Gothamites the show of their lives, she gives an interview to a reporter called Featherstone, whom she has already murdered.
Meanwhile, the crowd from outside is wary, but relieved to discover a spread of food available to them.
Shauna explains that she was born to a concert pianist and a ballerina, but she was also a fraternal twin. The tale she tells of her childhood is rife with lies and denials, but the truth was this: Her brother had been well-liked and good looking, while she was plain. While her brother had got roles in the entertainment industry as a child star, Shauna was passed over, despite her mother's lobbying on her behalf. The children at her school would make fun of her. She had always had a dark, violent response.
Eventually, her brother had won himself a record contract, and she was intensely jealous. One day, they had been playing together on the swings, and she sabotaged the chains holding him up such that when he got too high, too fast, it snapped, and he was killed when his neck cracked against the cement. His name had been Ferdie - like the doll in her act.
Word spreads among Gotham's gangs of what's going on at the Melodian, while those already inside prepare to take their seats for the show, speculating on what they might see.
After Ferdie's death, Shauna's parents spoiled her, but she took advantage of it. When she attended a schoolmate's birthday party, poisoned the punchbowl and murdered the clown Rainbow Rodney, stealing his ventriloquist dummy, and rechristening it in her brother's name.
When Shauna was arrested for her crimes recently, she killed the officers taking her in, and began planning her stage comeback.
Now, the show is about to start, and the curtain rises on Shauna and Ferdie. Ferdie's lines are crass, and it makes the assembled audience uncomfortable, but they are afraid to leave. Meanwhile, a gang of thugs finds the doors to the Melodian barred, and decides to break in by shoving a 'truck through them. The noise alerts Shauna, who calls a stop to her show to investigate. As the thugs begin pouring in and threatening the already uncomfortable audience, Shauna and Ferdie appear, and begin killing.
In the confusion, one of the thugs finds his way into Ferdie's dressing room, and is disturbed to find a box full of scandalous love letters addressed to Batgirl. Ferdie catches him in the act of snooping, and tears him to pieces.
With the thugs all taken care of, Ferdie returns to find that Shauna has killed her audience as well, by having poisoned the food they had gratefully eaten, earlier. In truth, she had only wanted an audience to practice her act on, and this one is more polite when it's too dead to be rude.
Appearing in A Rising Star of Red!
- Ferdie Belzer (Dies in flashback)
- Crime Alley Cretins
- Max (Dies)
- Zed (Dies)
- Denise (Dies)
- Denny (Dies)
- Rita (Dies)
- Ms. Featherstone (Appears only as a corpse)
- Terrence (Dies)
- Arthur (Dies)
- Sandy (Dies)
- Tracy (Dies)
- Jasper (Dies)
- Rainbow Rodney (Dies in flashback)
- Gotham City
- The Melodian
- Cover gallery for the Batman: The Dark Knight series
- Images from Batman: The Dark Knight Vol 2 23.1: The Ventriloquist