"Batman Universe, Part 1": Alfred reminds Bruce how he's missing dinner with his guests, but he tells him it's too late and to keep them busy. He asks him to tell him about the Riddler's latest riddle and Alfred informs him it's "When is the Riddler not the Riddler?" Both of them agree it is qui
Appearing in "Batman Universe, Part 1"
- Gotham City Police Department
- Interpol (Mentioned only)
- Jonah Hex (Mentioned only)
- Metropolis Special Crimes Unit (Mentioned only)
- Gotham City
- Saint Petersburg (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Batman Universe, Part 1"
Alfred reminds Bruce how he's missing dinner with his guests, but he tells him it's too late and to keep them busy. He asks him to tell him about the Riddler's latest riddle and Alfred informs him it's "When is the Riddler not the Riddler?" Both of them agree it is quite mediocre for him.
Stating he's going to solve the case by his own skill rather than technology, Batman zips past a building to a hotel and asks Alfred if anyone at a hotel where the alarms are going off has been injured by the Riddler. Receiving a negative reply, Bruce suspects Nygma may be tricking him and lands near another building after hearing screams, but finds multiple film stuntmen dressed as the Riddler.
Spotting the real Riddler amidst the decoys, Batman dodges his bullet while fighting them. As Batman chases after him, the Riddler turns to fire his gun but is knocked through a restaurant's window by him before he can fire. Batman demands he tell him about the person he's stealing the Fabergé egg, taken on loan from a Russian museum, for. Nygma however repeatedly keeps stating "When is the Riddler not the Riddler?"
Batman suddenly spots a trio of light beams and is attacked by an energy blast, knocking him out. After he wakes up, he learns that the real Riddler escaped with the egg and that the stuntmen were hired under a false assurance of performing a show by a couple of people claiming to be producers. Batman tells Commissioner Gordon that the Riddler was doing someone else's bidding and learns from him about the museum's curator revealing the name of the original owner of the egg as Jonah Hex.
Appearing in "Hush, Chapter Three: The Beast"
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Amanda Waller
- Alfred Pennyworth (Flashback and main story)
- Oracle (Behind the scenes)
- Thomas Elliot
- Martha Wayne (Flashback only)
- McQuaid (Single appearance)
- Thomas Wayne (Flashback only)
- Roger Elliot (Mentioned only)
- Marla Elliot (Mentioned only)
- Clarence (Single appearance) (The Elliot's chauffeur)
Synopsis for "Hush, Chapter Three: The Beast"
This story is reprinted from Batman #610.
Killer Croc has been taken to Arkham Asylum. Batman visits his electro-cell and tries to figure out who put Croc up to kidnapping the Lamont boy. Further, he needs to determine what happened to the ransom money. Croc is more beastly than ever and he refuses to say anything. He breaks free of the electro-cell and attacks Batman. He easily mangles Batman and the guards and makes his escape.
Amanda Waller of the Office of Meta-Human Affairs arrives and tells Batman that he has until midnight to find and stop Croc or else her people are moving in. Batman and Waller do not have a good working relationship with each other.
That evening, Dr. Thomas Elliot visits Wayne Manor. Bruce is out looking for Croc and instructs Alfred to tell Thomas that he isn't home. Alfred hasn't seen Thomas since he was a child, and recalls the night that Thomas' father died in an auto accident when he was very young.
Moments later, Batman scours the streets of Gotham in the Batmobile looking for signs of Croc when a shot is fired, and the Batmobile blows a wheel sending the car into a crash. The Batmobile's tires are specially treated and should not blow out under any circumstances. Batman manages to come out of the car unharmed and tells Oracle to keep tracking the signal device implamted on Croc's spine.
Meanwhile, Killer Croc traces the money trail back to Catwoman who is looking for clues in Poison Ivy's greenhouse apartment. He breaks through the greenhouse windows and attacks her. Batman arrives and tells Croc that they are being manipulated. Croc reveals that he wanted the ransom money to fix his current physical condition, but before Batman can get even further with him, Waller's people arrive in helicopters and spring electrical nets on top of Killer Croc. They swoop him up and take off with him. From across the street, the mysterious man watches everything that is happening.
Some nights later, Catwoman tells Batman that she has found Poison Ivy moved to Metropolis and she wants to track Ivy down to her safe-house there. Catwoman thanks Batman for saving her and she demonstrates her gratitude by kissing him. Feeling the solitude in his life, Batman kisses Catwoman back and they share a passionate moment.
Appearing in "Past and Present"
- C.C. Haly (Flashback only)
- Flying Graysons (As an illusion only)
Synopsis for "Past and Present"
This story is reprinted from Nightwing (Volume 3) #3.
Five years ago, Dick Grayson and his friends from Haly's Circus were playing around a bonfire when Mr. Haly appeared, and revealed that he had convinced their parents that they had chores to do, but was going to let them go out to a midnight movie in his truck instead. Raymond and Zane made a run for the front seats, with Raya behind them. Mr. Haly held Dick back for a moment to let him know that Raya could have beaten the boys to the truck, but was hanging back because she knew she'd be able to sit in the back with him. To this day, Dick remembers these kind words of encouragement.
Now, Dick is attending Haly's funeral, having witnessed his friend murdered by the assassin called Saiko. Before dying, Mr. Haly had left the circus to Dick, and revealed that the secret to the rumour that Richard Grayson is the deadliest killer in Gotham City lies in the heart of the circus.
At the funeral, Mr. Haly's drunken son Bryan becomes angry, incredulous that Dick would be given the circus over him. Afterwards, Dick and Raya go over what they know. Dick has no leads on assassination contracts in Atlantic City, but Raya suggests that the police should be investigating their old friend Zane. Apparently, since the death of Dick's parents, the circus went downhill, and Zane ended up falling in with a bad crowd. Now, he acts as a manager and liaison to hired killers in Chicago. Dick wonders how something like that could have happened, but Raya blames him, to an extent, noting that his insistence on looking forward rather than looking backward has allowed him to ignore the plights of his old friends.
As Nightwing, Dick heads to Chicago, having found plenty of information about Zane's dealings. Zane notices Nightwing in his office early on, and calls him out. Dick notices a number of posters on the wall hearkening back to Zane's days with the circus, and comments about them. Zane responds that he keeps them there to remind him of where he came from. Dick tries to get information out of him about who contracted Saiko, but Zane's response is violent.
Nightwing suddenly finds himself bombarded with images of his own failure. A vision of his parents accuses him of having allowed them to die. While he struggles with these images, it is all Dick can do to avoid being shot by Zane, who seems to be causing the hallucinations somehow. Dick tries to focus on an image that's real, one that actually happened. He focuses on an image of Raya standing over their friend Raymond's coffin.
The focus helps Dick lessen the hallucinations, and think about what Zane is doing to cause them. He realizes that they must be created somehow via radio frequency. To counter it, Dick uses his suit's comm transmitter to reverse the signal, sending it back to Zane's brain.
The feedback causes Zane significant pain, and Nightwing again demands to know who hired Saiko. Zane responds that he doesn't know who, otherwise he would have killed them already himself. Annoyed, Dick warns Zane to stay away from this case, or he might not be so lenient.
Later, Dick boards the circus train to Philadelphia and knocks on Raya's cabin door. He admits that she was right about his need to move forward. However, though she had thought that he hadn't attended Raymond's funeral, the truth was that he had been there, but when he saw her face, it reminded him of when he had to say goodbye to her after his own parents' death. He couldn't say goodbye to her again. Now, though, he is there with the Circus, and with her right now. He intends to stay with them until they find out who killed Mr. Haly. Smiling, Raya drags him into her cabin.
Elsewhere, Bryan Haly regrets getting Dick involved in the circus' problems. He is joined by Saiko, who vows that when the time is right, he will kill Dick Grayson.
Appearing in "Love Stinks!"
- Escaped convicts (Die)
- Farmhand (Dies)
- Hired killer (Dies)
- The Joker (Mentioned only)
- Nathan the Dachshund
- Poison Ivy (Mentioned only)
- Police Officer
- Superman (On a TV or computer screen)
- We B Tools employee (First appearance)
- Wonder Woman (On a TV or computer screen)
- New York
Synopsis for "Love Stinks!"
This story is reprinted from Harley Quinn (Volume 2) #3.
Harley Quinn rides the Scare-O-Rama ride at Coney Island, and finds it quite enjoyable until one of the monsters within turns out to be a real assassin, who attempts to fill her with buckshot. After realizing that it's Valentine's Day, she is extra insulted, grabs the shotgun, and turns it on her would-be-killer, in front of all the normal customers. As she walks home, she can't help but feel a bit jealous of all the couples enjoying dates together when she is alone. Her mood brightens a bit, though, when she spots Big Tony waiting on her doorstep with a bouquet of flowers.
While Tony gives the flowers to her, he admits that they were for Queenie, but when he saw her leaving with another man, he realized that he didn't have a chance, and he misplayed his hand. Harley suggests that she could be his date, but he doesn't want her pity, and advises her to wash up, go out, and break someone else's heart that night.
So, Harley takes a bath, and must admit to herself (and her stuffed beaver, Bernie) that she's lonely, and misses the Joker. Bernie suggests that she get out there and meet someone. Giving all of her attention to her beaver is going to make her seem antisocial. Wistfully, Harley responds that she wants to find someone who'll lover her unconditionally, for who she is. She stuffs Tony's bouquet into a watering can next to the potted plants that Poison Ivy left her, and notices that one of them has sprouted some berries. Giving them a sniff, she decides they smell good enough to eat, and throws caution to the wind - popping them into her mouth. They smell better than they taste.
A phone call brings the good news that she got the job as a therapist at the nursing home, and she is filled with excitement. Finally she'll be making some money, and she'll be able to keep the building she inherited. Gleefully, she decides to go out and celebrate by getting dolled up and going to singles a bar in Sheepshead Bay.
Only five minutes away from her apartment, Harley is spotted by a corrections officer carting a bus-load of criminals to the prison, and he immediately falls in love with her, slamming on the breaks so hard and suddenly that he crashes into a wall, and accidentally releases all of his prisoners. Concerned, Harley pops over to see if everyone made it out alright. Within moments, they are all in love with her - and given their impulse control issues, they chase her.
Seriously creeped out, she decides she needs a weapon, and rushes into a closed tool shop, breaking down the door. As soon as he lays eyes on her, the shop's owner falls in love with her too, prompting him to defend her against the onslaught of besotted criminals long enough for her to get her hands on the tools she hopes will protect her against their unwanted advances.
Brandishing a weed-wacker, she warns them that they can all leave, or she'll kill them all (her preferred of the two options). Naturally, violence ensues, and she begins cutting, hammering, nailing, and weed-wacking her way through her would-be lovers. When only one remains, she demands to know what the attraction to her is, and he explains that she smells amazing. His perversion is a turn-off though, and she clubs him to death with a monkey wrench.
Outside, a police officer waits outside, demanding Harley drop the wrench, but - again - upon getting within smelling distance, she kisses her. Confused, Harley pulls away, as the woman explains that while she isn't into women, she couldn't help it. Harley simply smells like the best doughnuts ever. Finally, Harley realizes that it must be the berries she ate that are affecting everyone.
She rushes home and flings the offending plant from her window, and into a nearby seal pool. Flopping backward onto her bed, she declares that she is done with romance. Just then, Tony lets himself in, and she begs him to stay out. He seems unaffected, and she realizes that the berries' effects must have worn off, brushing off his confusion.
Tony makes an embarrassing request: he needs his bouquet back. He decided that he needs to fight for Queenie. Harley is encouraging, returning the flowers, and placing the last remaining of Ivy's berries into his palm, promising that it will guarantee him an edge.
Harley turns her attention to all of her dogs, reminding herself that all the unconditional love she needs can be found with them. Valentine's Day, meanwhile, is - in her mind - the meanest holiday there is, and she's over it. Still, it seems to be doing Tony some good, as both Queenie and her date are infatuated with him now.
- 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
- Harley Quinn Recommended Reading