"Cat's Paw": Batman meets with Harper Row - who insists that he call her "Bluebird" - outside of her building in the Narrows, which he assures her is one of the safest in the city. Inside it waits [[Stephanie Brown (P
- I want training. Proper training. Tim's great at the tech stuff, but so am I. I want to know how to karate chop someone in the neck so their eyeballs pop out. I want to know the cool stuff.
- — Bluebird
Appearing in "Cat's Paw"
Synopsis for "Cat's Paw"
Batman meets with Harper Row - who insists that he call her "Bluebird" - outside of her building in the Narrows, which he assures her is one of the safest in the city. Inside it waits Stephanie Brown, and he wants Harper to protect her. Seeking leverage, Harper wonders if he'll give her the training she wants if she does this for him. He responds simply that he'll think about it.
Stephanie is already getting to know Harper's younger brother Cullen when Harper returns. She warns that despite what Stephanie may think, she's not the only one who's been through tough times in Gotham City - and if she understands that, she should help by telling what she knows. Stephanie responds that she isn't eager to cooperate with friends of the Batman. She blames him for the state of the city.
Six hours ago, Stephanie had found herself held captive by Selina Kyle at The Egyptian, her off-the-books casino. Despite all the high-rollers who pass through her doors, Stephanie was then the most valuable person inside it. The bounty on Steph's head had been raised to $200 million, and Selina expected it to double by the end of the next day. Obviously, Steph knew something she shouldn't have. As head of the united crime families, Selina couldn't afford uncertainty - so she needed Steph to tell her everything, or die.
Elsewhere, Harper was celebrating her brother's freedom from nano-control by taking him to a collectibles store he likes. While there, Harper is surprised to be interrupted by Red Robin - out of costume. He warned that they needed to talk, and followed her to her apartment. There, he informed her of the blog Spoiler Alert, run by Stephanie Brown, who had been on the run for months. At that moment, she was being kept in one of the most secure places in the city - but the Bat-family had no access to the Egyptian, nor did they know its location. They did know, however, that Selina Kyle was using a WayneTech body scanner programmed to match all of them. Harper, being new, is not on the list. So, he needs her to go in and activate a device that will alert Batman to the location, and then they can retrieve Stephanie together. Stephanie noted that Batman must not have trusted her yet, if he'd sent Tim to brief her. Tim couldn't give her a straight answer, and took his leave, warning that she was not to wear a costume on this mission.
Later that night, Selina wondered what kind of game Stephanie had been playing. Her methods suggested that she didn't want her father to get caught - she wanted to make him proud. Her every move had played with her father's allies or his enemies, using clues and hints. She could have simply gone to the cops or the FBI - or to the one person she should have gone to: Batman. Selina wonders why she didn't. When Selina received word that someone had snuck into the casino using an outdated password, she knew that Batman was on his way. Desperately, Steph begged her not to let her fall into Batman's hands. Grimly, Selina warned that for all her successes, Stephanie had involved herself in something big and if she continued to protect her father, she would die in the end.
Soon, Bluebird and Batman were on the casino floor, fighting their way to the safe room where Steph was being held. After causing havoc, Selina finally stepped out and invited them in to see her captive. She left the choice of whether to go back on the streets and die or to go with Batman and talk up to Stephanie, who, without any choice, warned Batman that she wouldn't talk. He responded that he would at least get her a safe bed to sleep in and a warm meal - the rest would come in time. As he took her, Selina called after him that all he'd ever have to do for her attention is knock at the window.
Now, Harper senses that Stephanie is shaken up, and begs her to open up with the truth. Stephanie responds that Selina Kyle had been right. Her actions - becoming Spoiler - they had been to prove to her father that she was able to play on his level. Harper muses that Catwoman is rather perceptive, and the two bond briefly over their admiration of her. Harper insists that they can trust each other, and Stephanie can trust Batman to do the right thing. Stephanie responds that she can't trust him because the man she saw giving orders to her father was the man who funds Batman: Bruce Wayne.
- The events of this issue happen concurrently with those of Batman (Volume 2) #28.
- No trivia.
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