"When Animals Attack": Five years ago, Catwoman had taken advantage of Carmine Falcone's vulnerable position in Gotham City's crime world, and broke into his penthouse. When he confronted her, she raked her razor-like claws across
Synopsis for "When Animals Attack"
Five years ago, Catwoman had taken advantage of Carmine Falcone's vulnerable position in Gotham City's crime world, and broke into his penthouse. When he confronted her, she raked her razor-like claws across his face, commenting that it would be something to remember her by. She warned that he was no longer the authority in Gotham, and walked out with an expensive statuette, unchallenged. Feebly, the Roman had warned that he would not forget the slight.
He has not forgotten what she did to him, but the more important lesson he learned from her attack was not about her, but about Gotham itself. Costumed freaks like her are merely symptomatic of a greater problem with the city that occurs when it is left unchecked. Among those freaks are Professor Pyg and his gang, who are making their way past Falcone's security. Catwoman responds that Gotham is protected by the Batman. Angrily, Falcone knocks the chair she's been strapped to onto its side, and shouts that Batman protects nothing but the freak-parade status quo. Batman is weak - weaker than he was told. This last remark catches Catwoman's attention, but Falcone's tirade is interrupted by Pyg's arrival.
Meanwhile, at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne urges Alfred Pennyworth to speak to his daughter Julia, an S.R.R. agent whom Batman encountered in Hong Kong, and who was injured badly soon after. She is not eager to remain in the manor convalescing, whether Alfred says she must remain rested or not - but Bruce is quite insistent.
Stepping out into the hallway, Bruce spots Jason Todd, whom he'd called earlier to speak with him about Barbara Gordon. She has become so enraged by her father's imprisonment that she seems intent on going to dangerous lengths to prove his innocence. Bruce hopes that Jason - who knows a thing or two about overcoming rage - can make sure she doesn't do anything stupid while she is in South America. Jason agrees, albeit reluctantly. As he leaves, Alfred rushes out of Julia's room to warn that he saw a disturbing report on the television.
Vicki Vale, meanwhile, is facing resistance at a police cordon, and is forced to rely on Lt. Jason Bard's attraction to her for access. She has heard that Professor Pyg is holding Carmine Falcone hostage, and is demanding medical equipment and chemicals with which to turn Falcone into some kind of man-animal hybrid. Without overtly confirming it, Jason signals that this is the case. Vicki has also heard that Pyg has an unidentified female hostage, and the GCPD is making a tactical entry on Commissioner Forbes' orders.
Arthur Brown, the Cluemaster, receives word that his daughter has been shot down, in accordance with his command. However, he knows that his men have failed him, given that the Gotham Gazette has already reported on the murder, and Stephanie Brown is not listed among the dead or injured. That's on top of the fact that Stephanie has obviously been blogging about him, trying to expose him as a criminal with an agenda that she intends to spoil. She has been working out of the Gotham County Library, and unbeknownst to the staff, living in the library's air ducts.
Professor Pyg wants revenge against Falcone for the destruction of his lab, and he intends to get it via some invasive surgery. Afterward, he intends to donate his skills to Catwoman, by making her into an appropriately feline hybrid. Before he can make the first cut on either hostage, Batman crashes through the skylight. In the confusion, both Falcone and Catwoman manage to break free of their bonds. While Batman corners Pyg, Catwoman prepares to kill Falcone, and Batman is forced to turn his back on Pyg to stop her.
Meanwhile, Lt. Bard receives orders from Forbes to spare no resource in killing the Batman, and that should be their only priority. Bard has to suppress his rage, taking his time before he makes the call, giving Batman just enough time to escape before the kill squad moves in to find only Falcone standing there. Angrily, Falcone complains that they were too slow to nab the Bat, and the Catwoman escaped with him.
Soon, Batman drops her on a rooftop, warning her not to get mixed up in the multitude of problems he has to deal with already. He warns her against underestimating Falcone, and she retorts that she knows exactly what Falcone is capable of, and he is overestimating the crime boss. She explains that Falcone let slip the fact that he was told of what would happen to Batman over the last while. He came to Gotham because he was tipped off about the events, and came to take advantage of the situation. Someone else is controlling things from behind the scenes.
Appearing in "When Animals Attack"
- Gotham City Police Department
- Vicki Vale
- Batgirl (Mentioned only)
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 1.