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"Lioness": Catwoman watches as the head of a dog-fighting ring attempts to make a play against the pirate and poacher known as Tiger Shark by having an endangered snow leopard cub that Tiger Shark had intended to use for its fur torn to sh


Quote1 The Beacon is a monstrosity! It's Bruce Wayne's metal middle finger, thrust up to the heavens at the Gate family who built this city... Quote2
-- The Architect



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Synopsis for "Lioness"

Catwoman watches as the head of a dog-fighting ring attempts to make a play against the pirate and poacher known as Tiger Shark by having an endangered snow leopard cub that Tiger Shark had intended to use for its fur torn to shreds by his dogs. Before she can step in to save the leopard, Tiger Shark and his men burst in and kill his enemies. Seeing the dirt on the snow leopard's fur, he simply shoots it. Angrily, Catwoman sweeps the wounded cub up in her arms and warns that next time she sees Tiger Shark, she'll make a jacket out of his skin.

Across town, the Architect is angered to learn that Hush has murdered the architect Andrew Trondsen, when he had wanted to do that himself. He has little time to argue, though, as Batman brings a pipe down on his head, intending to remove Zachary Gate from his metal suit.

Sadly, Catwoman mourns the fact that she couldn't do anything to save the snow leopard cub that she had tried to rescue from Tiger Shark. She is interrupted by a girl, who explains that she was sent by Selina's father to lead her back to Blackgate Penitentiary for a meeting.

Meanwhile, in the Gotham City Underground, Killer Croc reasserts his control over the region, devoting himself to the protection of his followers.

Back on the Beacon Tower site, Batman explains that Zachary Gate's obsession with parading around his family name reveals his weakness, and makes him vulnerable to manipulations by Hush. From the Batcave, Julia Pennyworth makes a troubling discovery.

"You still go by "Kyle," but the truth is, you're a Calabrese, Selina. Your family name comes with power and a legacy. You can enforce the natural order."

Catwoman is disgusted to have had to crawl up through the sewer to get to Blackgate, and angrily warns her father that he should never send children to get to her. He remarks that the girl is nine - the same age Selina was when he abandoned her. Despite having adopted the name of Selina Kyle in her early life as an orphan, her real father is Rex "The Lion" Calabrese - the mob boss who had ruled Gotham City before The Roman drove him into hiding. He begs her to hear him out as he explains that Gotham's families are at chaotic war with one another. They need a unifying force to draw them together. Only one person can do that: her.

Rex admits that seeing his daughter pull away from personal relationships has let him see how he was a fool to get so tangled up with people. His relationships made him weak. She is strong, and she is still a Calabrese, no matter what surname she goes by. She can enforce the natural order.

Batman demands to know where Hush is, but Julia interrupts his interrogation to warn that the device Gate set up on the tower is causing tremendous seismic activity beneath the city. Zachary Gate had used his ancestors' plans to harness the fault lines below Gotham and turn turbines with their seismic tension. Grinning, he explains that while Batman may have saved the Beacon, the rest of the energy will go into the rest of the city.

In the Gotham Underground, Catwoman and Jade are in danger of being crushed by the earthquake, but Selina does manage to keep the girl alive. Above ground, Hush is disturbed to see that the Beacon remains standing, but thinks it a fitting metaphor for how the Wayne Family stands aloof and unmoved while the rest of the city's chaos thrives in its shadow.

Selina takes Jade to Dr. Leslie Thompkins' clinic, asking her to care for the girl as she had once cared for her.

Horrified by the destruction of the earthquakes, Mayor Hady worries at just how much more chaos Gotham can take. He receives a visit from Commissioner Bard, who explains that the city is dealing with a wave of violence rivalling the Zero Year, and he believes that all of the attacks of the last several months are linked. The crime war in Gotham's streets, the haunting of Arkham Asylum, the infection in the Narrows, and the attack on Beacon Tower are part of an invasion - an act of war by a hostile power. Bard urges Hady to reach out to the military and the governor; to place Gotham City under martial law.



Notes

  • This book was first published on September 10, 2014.
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