"The Underworld": Having gone somewhat legitimate as the head of the Calabrese Crime Family, Selina Kyle is bored with the prospect of getting her money legally through the Egyptian Nightclub, which she now owns. As tacky as the place is, it does afford
- I would have thought you, of all people, would understand the importance of keeping these gangs under tight control. I'm going to make this work, Batman.
Synopsis for "The Underworld"
Having gone somewhat legitimate as the head of the Calabrese Crime Family, Selina Kyle is bored with the prospect of getting her money legally through the Egyptian Nightclub, which she now owns. As tacky as the place is, it does afford her the life of luxury she craves. Unfortunately, she is prevented from enjoying that luxury by a Ghost Dragon assassin, signalling their rejection of her invitation to join her network. She kicks him through the window of her penthouse to be dealt with by her security, recalling that being on top in Gotham's crime world means sleeping with two eyes open.
Elsewhere, in the apartment of Luke Fox, his roommate Rory heads to the bathroom after some bad Mexican food, and finds a ghost sitting on his toilet. His scream alerts Luke to his distress and muses that his food recommendation had been a joke, promising that the hallucination was just a bad dream caused by the bad food. However, he is completely aware that ever since Jim Corrigan enchanted his Batwing Suit, weird things have been happening.
Batman, meanwhile, is following up a lead at the Port of Gotham with Longshore Louis, who is supposed to have a hand in the human-trafficking business, and might have a lead on any escaped Arkham Asylum inmates hoping to make a run for it. He is interrupted in his interrogation, though, by Killer Croc, who vouches that Louis is telling the truth when he says the port is dead of late - because he now controls it. He admits that while he has lost everything else, he still has this, and he knows Batman still has bigger fish to fry than he. Batman concedes that he is right, and warns him against letting anyone escape via the docks before leaving. However, moments later, Catwoman accosts Croc to offer him a proposition for some revenge.
The missing Arkham inmates, are in fact holed up in the Tartarus Greek Restaurant, having been led there by The Scarecrow, who believes that Gotham's poor situation of late makes it ripe to be plucked by a group as powerful as they. Much as they don't trust one another, the assembled must admit that they might be better off together right now. The only one particularly opposed is Bane, who admits that he only stayed in the smelly restaurant this long to mask the smell of the gas main he broke with the intention of burning them all alive. As a last ditch plea for his life, Crane promises that he can make Bane's Venom more effective, and Bane decides to let him live long enough to pay for his services with the new formula. Unnoticed, one of Catwoman's cats captures the exchange on camera via its collar.
At a restaurant near the GCPD Headquarters, Harvey Bullock muses that it would take the sad state of affairs Gotham has got itself into to see Maggie Sawyer spending her free time with him. Neither of them are particularly happy that the city has become a prison and their department an evil empire, run by Jason Bard. Their coffee turns sour in their mouths when Bard walks in, explaining that he's been looking for them, because they're the last two honest cops in the city. He believes that even without Batman, he can save the city - but they ignore him, heading for the door. Bard's cane slips on the floor and he stumbles. He begs for a helping hand, and Bullock snidely reminds that he had given Jason a helping hand when he first arrived in Gotham - he just hadn't deserved it.
While the others sleep, Bane uses a butchered pick carcass as a punching bag, where he is interrupted by Poison Ivy, who proposes that he allow her to create a new Venom formula for him, and promise to take him with her when he leaves. She is, after all, a much better chemist than Crane. With amusement, Catwoman watches from afar.
Seeing a malformed Bat-Signal shining in the sky, Batman follows its light to Selina Kyle, whom he warns not to call him in that fashion. She senses his displeasure with her decision to head the family, reminding that it is important to keep the gangs under tight control. She assures him that she will make it all work, and it doesn't have to change a thing between them. That's why she's going to give him a present - the information she's gained about the escaped Arkhamites.
In the meantime, Julia Pennyworth's eavesdropping is cut short by a call from Batwing, who begs for as much information she can find on how to deal with a haunting.
Appearing in "The Underworld"
- Longshore Louis
- Jason Bard
- Gotham City
- Egyptian Nightclub
- Port of Gotham
- Tartarus Greek Restaurant
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 3.