"The Unburied Past": As Commissioner Jack Forbes leaves the precinct at the end of his shift, he calls up a taxi to take him to a dinner appointment. The driver, however, is Bixby Rhodes, and he traps Jack in his seat, explaining that
- Let them go. Even if Fang gets out of jail, it will be known that he was never in charge. He was never the victor of the Hong Kong gang war, only a flunkie of Falcone's who bought his way to power. Dishonor will follow. Fang will lose the respect of his underlings. His reputation will be ruined. And after that, there is no way he will hold his criminal empire. He's done.
Synopsis for "The Unburied Past"
As Commissioner Jack Forbes leaves the precinct at the end of his shift, he calls up a taxi to take him to a dinner appointment. The driver, however, is Bixby Rhodes, and he traps Jack in his seat, explaining that as powerful as Forbes is as police commissioner, The Roman is more powerful. Upon the car's coming to a stop, Jack nervously steps out to find Carmine Falcone waiting with a warning that he was troubled by freaks again - but it wasn't Batman who disrupted his operations last night. It was Catwoman.
Falcone warns Forbes to make Catwoman a top priority, in the hopes that he and the GCPD have better luck catching the thief than the vigilante. Jack reminds that the Batman has been laying low, thanks to the GCPD's pursuit, but the Roman is unconvinced. If Batman isn't making trouble for him in Gotham, then Batman isn't in Gotham.
Batman is, in fact, in Hong Kong, meeting with the Batman of Japan, who has come to help seek out information on what Carmine Falcone was doing after he left Gotham City. Jiro explains that Falcone was recently in a gang war with the mobster Shen Fang, whose men attacked them both upon their encroaching upon his territory. From afar, they are watched by a woman, who wishes Batman would stay out of her way.
To speak further, Jiro takes Batman to the Wayne Industries building in Hong Kong, which serves as the home of the city's Batman Incorporated office. There, they rendezvous with Canary and Master Hong - an elderly man who can read tea leaves. The old man warns that Batman must not stay longer than necessary. A danger that has not even revealed itself as yet is growing there in his absence.
Jiro then explains that he has become quite familiar with the issues going on in Hong Kong's gangland, because he was trying to get it under control. The five year long conflict grew until it reached even Japan and the Yakuza, whom Falcone hired to fight the Shen Fang's Triads. The whole thing ended suddenly when Falcone - who had been winning - decided to simply leave, in return for Gotham. This allowed Shen Fang to take control of Falcone's base of operations. Batman assumes that they will find Shen Fang there, and prepares a plan to infiltrate. Later that night, they break in, only to be stopped at the doors to Shen Fang's room by the woman who had been watching them.
She explains that Shen Fang belongs to her, and that she intends to make him pay for his crimes, and cripple organized crime in Hong Kong in doing so. She warns that though their purposes are aligned, she cannot allow him to waltz in and ruin everything she worked so hard for. Suddenly, Shen Fang appears behind her and thrusts a sword through her back. Angrily, Batman warns that though he had only come to get answers to his questions, his plan has changed, and it involves a lot of pain. After taking a beating, Fang admits that he didn't win the gang war. He paid Falcone off with a percentage of all Hong Kong operations, while Falcone returned to Gotham to take a more lucrative opportunity. This still leaves the question of what that opportunity was. Jiro reminds that there are other questions to answer, like who the woman bleeding on the floor is, and what they should do with her.
In Gotham, meanwhile, Selina breaks into another Falcone operation and threatens one of his accountants in exchange for the combination to the safe, telling the weakling to tell his boss that Selina sends her regards. When she opens the safe, though, she finds only cops waiting inside. After knocking her to the ground, Falcone appears, warning them to let her be for now. He comments that her greed always outweighed her smarts, making her all too predictable. Gesturing to the scars she left on his face, he complains that he had to live with them for the last five years. She, at least, will not have to live with the scars he's about to give her.
On his way back to the United States, Batman calls in to Alfred Pennyworth to warn that they will have a guest staying with them when he arrives. The woman is a Special Ops agent, and his attempts to ID her required deep digging. He has since discovered that she is with the SRR, and her name is Julia Pennyworth.
Appearing in "The Unburied Past"
- Batman Incorporated
- Catwoman (Flashback and main story)
- Julia Pennyworth (First full appearance)
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Falcone Gang (Flashback and main story)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Commissioner Forbes
- Shen Fang
- Ghost Dragons
- United States of America
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 1.
- The Batman Incorporated office contains a giant dynastic Chinese coin - a reference to the Giant Penny in the Batcave. A Dinosaur resembling Godzilla is also present.