"Batman Universe, Part 10": Vandal Savage tells Batman he really meant about letting him choose how he will die as a last wish, but the latter tries to warn him about how unstable the power source inside the Fabergé egg is. Savage however doesn't care and tells him as well as Nightwing to choose
Appearing in "Batman Universe, Part 10"
- Vandal Savage
- Black Order
- Green Lantern Corps
Synopsis for "Batman Universe, Part 10"
Vandal Savage tells Batman he really meant about letting him choose how he will die as a last wish, but the latter tries to warn him about how unstable the power source inside the Fabergé egg is. Savage however doesn't care and tells him as well as Nightwing to choose their method of death. Batman however states he is not scared of him, confounding him as to why he's stating the obvious. As Bruce recites the Green Lantern oath, the power source inside the egg escapes and is revealed to a White Lantern Ring, which chooses him as its possessor.
Batman subdues Savage and the Black Order ninjas, telling Nightwing he guessed the power source inside the egg was related to the Green Lanterns after it displayed strange behavior when it was in Hal Jordan's presence. He theorized earlier that it's either an earlier version of the Green Lantern Ring or an unstable one or both, but it turned out to be different than what he expected. As Nightwing tries to take the ring off, Bruce stops him stating it might attack him as it seems to automatically defend itself and its wearer.
Dick points out to Bruce that the Green Lantern Corps has arrived which might cause the ring to attack. As the Lanterns demand he surrender and take off the ring, Batman responds he is unable to. The threats of the Green Lanterns causes the White Lantern Ring to attack them, leading them to take Batman under arrest and use their energy projection to lift the submarine. The ring however destroys the Green Lantern sphere and Batman finds himself transported to an unknown place.
Appearing in "Hush, Chapter Twelve: The End"
- Harold Allnut (Deceased)(Flashback and main story)
- Martha Wayne (Flashback only)
- Thomas Wayne (Flashback only)
- Penguin (Flashback only)
- Joe Chill (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Hush, Chapter Twelve: The End"
This story is reprinted from Batman #619.
Batman cradles the dead body of Harold, his former aide. Hush is standing over them, his guns still smoldering. Batman still has no idea who Hush truly is. He launches into him with a flurry of blows, but Hush keeps a safe distance from him. Hush finally reveals himself to be Tommy Elliot. Batman had believed that the Joker had previously killed Tommy, but that turned out to merely be Clayface in disguise. As Hush, Tommy wants revenge on the Wayne family. Dr. Thomas Wayne had saved the life of his mother after a staged car accident. Elliot wanted his parents to die so that he could collect the inheritance. Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent arrive to give Batman back-up. Harvey shoots Hush two times in the chest, and Hush falls backwards into the bay. Gordon is forced to arrest Dent.
Over the next two weeks, Batman systematically figures out Elliot's plan from the beginning. As he explains to Superman, Elliot had been planning the attacks for over a year, and had the chips Harold placed in the Batcomputer leave subliminal messages showing Thomas Elliot's image, which is why Batman thought of him after the Batline was cut. Superman has already done several sweeps of the river, but never found Elliot's body. Knowing that his enemy was Elliot, Batman deduces that he placed some sort of tracker on his head during the surgery, and asks Superman to burn it out with his heat vision. Reluctantly, Superman complies.
Although Elliot seems to be gone, Batman still has to figure out who the true mastermind of this entire affair is. Who told Elliot that Batman was secretly Bruce Wayne? The trail leads Batman to Arkham Asylum. He finds that it has been the Riddler pulling the strings the whole time. The Riddler had been dying of terminal cancer and had used one of the Lazarus Pits to save his life. In his temporary insanity caused by the pit, Riddler realized that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Healed from the illness, he decided that he wanted to make it big in Gotham. He was tired of being just another crook with a gimmick. So he hooked up with Thomas Elliot (whom he met while researching his illness) and the two decided to play the ultimate riddle against Batman using all of Gotham's super-villains as pawns. Riddler also tells Batman that he created the character Hush; Elliot's identity under the bandages. Batman, however, pulls a trump card on the Riddler: his obsession with riddles will prevent him from revealing Batman's identity, and Batman warns him that if he tries something like this again, he'll turn him over to Ra's al Ghul. Batman also asks the location of Jason's body, but the Riddler doesn't really know it, which angers the dark knight, causing him to punch Riddler and knocking him out.
After conferring with the Riddler, Batman buries Harold on a hill near Wayne Manor, having forgiven his betrayal, where he meets up with Catwoman. Catwoman tries to comfort Batman, but he has still too many doubts about his trust in other people. She approaches him, expecting to kiss him and mutters the word "hush", which makes Batman lose control and faith in her. Batman thinks that she might have been part of it all and he grabs her arms with excessive strength. Catwoman steps back and realizes that their relationship is over and before leaving him alone, she tells him that someday he must learn to trust people for who they are. Batman thinks of her last message, but in the end he stays near Harold's tombstone.
Appearing in "Inside Out"
- Detective Brooke
- Lucius Fox
- Lady Shiva (Mentioned only)
- Logan Strayhorn (Flashback only)
- Miles Strayhorn (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Inside Out"
This story is reprinted from Nightwing (Volume 3) #12.
Nightwing was across the river when the Gotham City Police Department was called to a sewer tunnel where eight members of the Republic of Tomorrow were murdered. Now, all he can do is watch from the outside - though he shouldn't, given that the investigating officer is Detective Travis Nie, who has been convinced for some time that it was Nightwing who beat the Strayhorn Brothers to death with his escrima sticks.
At the scene, Nightwing takes Nie aside and warns that it was Paragon - the leader of the Republic of Tomorrow - who killed his own men, along with the Strayhorns. Nie surprises him by admitting that it was Paragon himself who tipped them off to the scene. They know it was him. This is at first confusing for Nightwing, until he realizes that the crime scene was just bait for him.
Paragon appears, and separates Nightwing from the police by causing a cave-in. Angrily, Nie does his best to get out of the tunnel and to the other side, because he'll be damned if anyone else gets this collar.
Facing down Paragon, Nightwing admits that he finally recognized the Strayhorn brothers. They were driving a car that he rescued from an explosion several months ago. His having saved their lives set in motion the whole set of events. The Strayhorns had been members of the Republic of Tomorrow - an organization dedicated to taking down those who take the law into their own hands like Nightwing.
Then, to be saved by one such person; the Strayhorns could no longer justify being part of that group, and had their tattoos removed. So, Paragon, who had been in the car with them, killed them with one of Nightwing's lost escrima sticks, and burned off their tattoos, to make it look like they were killed because of their association with the Republic. The whole thing acted as a rallying cry for the remains of the group. Unmasking himself, Paragon explains that in order to take down a false idol, he had become one himself.
Dodging Paragon's blades, Nightwing thrusts them both into the water of the sewer, and they are both washed out into the bay. As they recover their footing, they find Nie and his men surrounding them. Quickly, Nightwing knocks Paragon unconscious and then drops his weapons. Surprisingly, Nie lets him escape.
Later, Dick recovers from his injuries and his cold at home, taking a business call from Lucius Fox. Taking a risk, Dick suggests that he might try investing his entire trust fund into Amusement Mile as a show of his dedication to the rejuvenation project, after Sonia Branch had told him he was too big a risk to partner with. The bank intends to match his investment.
Later, Dick surprises Sonia Branch outside her own apartment, and reveals his plan to convince her board by investing all of his money. She warns him not to do it, because in truth, she had lied about their refusal. She had lied because she actually did feel guilt about the sins of her father Tony Zucco - the man who was responsible for Dick's parents' deaths. Working with him closely would be a reminded of the life she had tried to distance herself from.
Uncomfortably, Dick explains that her board has already approved the deal, and that they are stuck in a partnership. Resigned, she kisses him on the cheek, and agrees to make the most of it.
Appearing in "A Candy Full of Spiders"
- Whittaker Mob
- Gretel (First appearance)
Synopsis for "A Candy Full of Spiders"
This story is reprinted from Batgirl (Volume 4) #5.
Despite their having gone underground for years, Batgirl finds herself required to thwart the Whittaker Mob while they overtly rob people crossing the bridge into the city. All the while, they repeat the number "338" over and over, to the point that they demand only three dollars and thirty-eight cents of their victims. But, the danger is real, as they plan to kill anybody who can't pay.
Batgirl leaps down and intervenes, but while she fights with the younger Whittakers, their father shoots all of his sons dead unexpectedly. Batgirl watches, bewildered, as Mr. Whittaker wanders toward the edge of the bridge and prepares to throw himself off, as if in a trance. Batgirl has only a moment to wrap her Batrope around him before he falls to his death. Unfortunately, she can barely manage to hold his weight as he dangles over the Gotham River.
The problem is compounded by the appearance of a strange woman; the apparent puppet-master in the Whittaker mob's behaviour. The woman lands a heavy punch on Batgirl's jaw, introducing herself as Gretel, and hinting heavily that she feels no pain. The force of the hit causes Batgirl to lose her grip on the rope, but she is surprised to see the couple who were initially the Whittakers' victims rush to grab the rope and keep the man aloft.
Batgirl struggles to fight Gretel, given that her assailant can't feel any of her counters. Suddenly, however, Gretel is overcome by a euphoric air, and simply leaves. Batgirl is forced to choose between following the strange woman or helping the couple whose grip on Mr. Whittaker is slipping. Naturally, she helps the couple pull Whittaker up onto the bridge. The ordeal has left Batgirl shaken, having watched three men shot right before her eyes, and she wanders away awkwardly. She struggles to understand what could make a father kill his sons.
Earlier that day, Barbara had received a visit from her estranged mother. Rather than invite her in, Barbara takes her out to a coffee shop for a muffin - stress makes her want to fill up on carbohydrates. Her mother mistakenly refers to the cause of Barbara's paralysis as an accident, and Barbara feels no less bitter as a result. They talk briefly about her father, but Barbara refrains from mentioning how hurt he was when her mother left.
Barbara's mother announces that she is moving back to Gotham City, and while she knows her daughter can't forgive her, she hopes that they can be friends. Barbara abruptly excuses herself, cruelly responded that she could have used a mother recently, and demanding that she call before visiting next time. Barbara takes no joy in watching her mother's face crumple.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon places a call to Detective Mel McKenna, informing her that he thinks she's ready to return to work after the ordeal which forced her to take bereavement leave. Gordon assigns McKenna the Gretel case, warning that Batgirl is involved. Unbeknownst to the commissioner, McKenna has developed a vindictive obsession with Batgirl.
After her encounter with Gretel, Barbara returns home and watches a newscast in which hundreds of protesters are crowding around a downtown Gotham area in anticipation of Bruce Wayne's press conference to explain his plans for an urban renewal project. Barbara's eye is caught by the image of the address at which Bruce's press-conference will be held: 338 Green Lake Drive. Realizing that it can't be a coincidence, Barbara prepares to come to Bruce's rescue.
Meanwhile, Bruce is on his way to the conference when suddenly, his driver falls into the same trance that Mr. Whittaker did, crashing the car at a construction site. Again, Gretel is behind it, and she has the driver go after Bruce with a crowbar. Fortunately, Batgirl arrives before Bruce has to blow his cover, and though the driver seems to feel no pain either, she manages to incapacitate him through effective use of pressure points.
Unfortunately, Gretel's contingency plan is Bruce Wayne himself, and now Batgirl must defend herself against one of the world's foremost martial artists.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Nightwing Recommended Reading
- Batgirl Recommended Reading