"Bad Actors": Batman is chasing after Dillon yates, a movie star wanted for murder, and stops his car using the Batmobile's power winch. As Yates claims innocence, Batman tells him to explain it to the judge. Later on the roof of GCPD Headquarters, Batman expresses doubts about Yates being invol
Appearing in "Bad Actors"
- Dillon Yates
- Gotham City
- Los Angeles (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Bad Actors"
Batman is chasing after Dillon yates, a movie star wanted for murder, and stops his car using the Batmobile's power winch. As Yates claims innocence, Batman tells him to explain it to the judge. Later on the roof of GCPD Headquarters, Batman expresses doubts about Yates being involved in the murder of a film studio head, explaining that the gun used in the crime had no prints and he was recorded being at two places at the same time.
Since the studio head owned the Gotham Grand movie palace now scheduled for demolition and over which passion had run high previously before, Batman decides to investigate. After he leaves, Gordon notices a rookie cop was watching the two and states he's one of the few who have ever seen Batman suddenly leave while he is talking with his back turned. As Gordon leaves, it turns out the rookie is in fact Clayface in disguise.
At Hotel Aventine, the scene of the murder, Batman collects samples and finds out that the murderer's true identity. While investigating the Gotham Grand, he comes across Basil Karlo and reveals he knew he was behind the murder since Gotham Grand was where his first film premiered, but doesn't understand why he implicated Yates. Clayface states that Yates deserved it for treating his friend very badly and also treats his female co-stars the same way.
Clayface reveals he had rigged the theatre with explosives and Batman figures out that many things kept there are flammable after Karlo triggers the bomb. Batman asks him why he is committing suicide while trying to kill him, but Karlo states he is beyond caring due to his condition. After destroying a wall to escape, Batman tries to persuade Clayface to escape but he rejects it and Batman is knocked out of theatre due to the roof collapsing.
Batman investigates the destroyed theatre after the fire has been doused, discovering what he believes to Clayface's corpse that had been baked solid. Investigating further however, he learns that its just his outer layer and he had escaped through a hatch. Batman however believes that Karlo still wants to do some good after remembering he said that he was taking off two monsters from the streets, regardless of how perverted his morality is.
Appearing in "Unstoppable"
- Batcycle (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "Unstoppable"
Batwoman rushes to the site where the satellite Lord Death Man was imprisoned in crashed, and learns from the news that Wayne Enterprises had won a contract to dispose of him in space earlier without any trial. She questions Batman about it and gets told by him that he couldn't trust anyone to keep an eye on him since he's immortal. She warns him that he'll take his revenge on Wayne Enterprises, with Batman stating that Death Man's coming for him and he'll reach his location in five minutes. Kate tells him to not bother as she'll get to him earlier.
Meanwhile, Lord Death Man breaks out of his satellite in front of the Wayne Tower and promises to pay back Wayne Enterprises for sending him into space after locking him up in it. The police warn him to surrender, but he angrily charges at them while stating that their weapons can't harm him. Batwoman soon arrives and hits him with her Batcycle and tells him that she could have helped him receive a fair trial. He refuses to believe her, stating that every member of the Bat-Family lies, but she states he hasn't ever met her before and proceeds to blow the Batcycle near him after jumping away.
Death Man tells her that her fight is futile and to go away if she doesn't want to be hurt, but proceeds to hit him with all her weapons. When he realizes she has no weapons left, she reminds him that she knows how to fight with her fists. As she attacks him, he states that she can't kill him and Kate replies that she isn't trying to, she only wants to give him a fair trial after subduing him. Death Man states that she'll die if she keeps fighting him and knocks her to the ground, before questioning her for protecting Bruce Wayne. She states that Wayne Enterprises will answer for any wrongdoing and reveals she got him right where she wanted as they fought, before pushing him off the ledge and throwing him into wet concrete.
Death Man promises he'll take revenge against Batwoman for what she did and the police officers later separate him from the dry concrete bed, while making sure he himself remains encased in concrete. Detective Renee Montoya is unable to believe she's really in there, but Batwoman informs her that he can survive anything. Montoya states that Batman would never stay and watch the police officers take a criminal in, to which Kate states that she isn't like him. Unlike Batman, she is someone who stays around to ensure people are completely safe and is someone who Gothamites can count on to be there to help them instead of fearing her.
Appearing in "The Court of Owls: Knife Trick"
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Damian Wayne
- Harvey Bullock
- Jim Gordon
- Dick Grayson (disguised as the Joker)
- Tim Drake
- Vicki Vale (First appearance)
- Arkham Inmates
- Ventriloquist (First appearance)
- Clayface (First appearance)
- Circus of Strange
- El Flamingo (First appearance)
- The Riddler (First appearance)
- Two-Face (First appearance)
- James Gordon, Jr. (First appearance)
- Black Mask
- Scarecrow (First appearance)
- Sumo (First appearance)
- Mister Freeze (First appearance)
- Victor Zsasz (First appearance)
- Killer Croc (First appearance)
- The Court of Owls (Behind the scenes)
- Lincoln March (First appearance)
- Harper Row (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Pandora (Cameo)
- Dan Matthews (Mentioned only)
- Leslie Thompkins (Mentioned only)
- Sam Strigs (Dies)
Synopsis for "The Court of Owls: Knife Trick"
This story is reprinted from Batman (Volume 2) #1.
Batman finds himself surrounded in Arkham Asylum by a number of the villains he has since put away there. With superior fighting skills, he manages to hold his own until he winds up launched through an upper window. In the alley below, he prepares to go back inside, but the Joker sneaks up on him. They appear to have made some kind of alliance, and when they get back into the fray, they fight as a team in perfect conjunction to take down all of the escaped inmates.
Later, Batman reconnoitres with Commissioner Gordon on the roof of the Gotham City Police Headquarters. Batman explains that this wasn't a breakout. He had been investigating a weak link at Arkham - a guard named Dan Matthews - who opened the cell doors on Batman when he was coming for him. Gordon deduces that Batman had a man on the inside, and seems suspicious of security video showing Batman and the Joker fighting together, but his friend reassures him briefly, before disappearing into the night.
In the Batcave, the Joker appears behind Bruce, joking that the latter actually practices brooding. Bruce responds that he is actually testing a new computerized contact lens, which can provide him with remote access to the cave's supercomputers. The Joker reveals himself to be Dick Grayson in disguise. Dick had been the inside informant at Arkham, disguised as the Joker.
They ascend to the manor, where they encounter Bruce's other sons - adopted and biological - Tim Drake and Damian Wayne. Bruce is hosting a gala, where he plans to reveal some big ideas for Gotham City's future.
At the gala, Bruce announces plans to invest in Gotham's infrastructure, including an improved public transit system and restoring some of the city's derelict architecture. After his well-received speech, Bruce encounters Vicki Vale of the Gotham Gazette, who introduces him to mayoral candidate Lincoln March.
Bruce tries to convince March to invest in - or at least support - his plans for the future of Gotham, and March seems genuinely interested. They attempt to set up a date to further discuss their agreements, but Bruce happens to notice that Commissioner Gordon has received a work call. He uses his new contact lenses to lip-read Gordon's side of the conversation, and overhears information about a fatal stabbing downtown. Casually, Bruce makes his excuses, and heads out as Batman.
He comes upon a crime scene being overseen by Detective Harvey Bullock. Inside the rundown apartment, they find the body of a middle-aged John Doe pinned to the wall in his underwear amid a number of paintings and a mess of painting supplies. The body has been fixed to the wall by several antique throwing knives of professional grade. Each knife has the symbol of an owl emblazoned on the handle. Additionally, they discover some tissue under the victim's fingernails, which Batman sends for scanning with a mini-computer in his gauntlet.
Batman happens to catch a whiff of Linseed Oil - a common paint thinner. The smell is stronger than it would be through normal use in an artist's studio, though. Taking Bullock's lit cigar, Batman ignites the oil on the wall, revealing a hidden message in the flames. The message reads: "Bruce Wayne will DIE tomorrow."
Together, Batman and Bullock come to the conclusion that the victim anticipated his own murder, and further that whoever would find him would find him on this particular day, along with the message. Bullock predicts that whoever is targeting Wayne must be close to him in order to bypass his high level of security.
Batman gets a call from Alfred, and is surprised to discover that the results of the DNA sample he collected are a perfect match with Dick Grayson.
Appearing in "Harley Lives"
- Secret Society of Super-Villains
- The Riddler (Flashback only)
- Nick Quinzel (Flashback only)
- Sharon Quinzel (Flashback only)
- Barry Quinzel (Flashback only)
- Jenny Quinzel (Flashback only)
- Nicky Quinzel (Flashback only)
- Justice League Watchtower (In ruins)
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "Harley Lives"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics (Volume 2) #23.2: Harley Quinn.
Finally, Harley Quinn is relieved to be free of the constraints of the Suicide Squad, but less so to find herself recruited into the Secret Society, who seem to be inclined to more meetings and plans than the squad ever had. As a fan of chaos, plans and meetings do not meet her standards, so she returns to Gotham City, where she knows chaos will not be a long wait away. Without a mission, though, there isn't much left for her to do but try to sort out who she really is.
Her family had not supported her journey toward earning her masters and then doctorate in criminal psychology, taunting her efforts to get out of the life that they were mired in. The chaos and insanity of that family life had pushed her toward order; toward study and categorization. At the time, though, she hadn't realized that insanity is just a matter of perspective.
She had her pick of jobs out of school, choosing the most prestigious hospital in Gotham - but it hadn't been enough for her. In the end, she transferred to a more exciting and challenging position at Arkham Asylum. As soon as she began, she felt it was her calling to be there. She felt that she was the best doctor to grace the asylum's halls, and knew she could be the one to get through to its inmates. Unfortunately, she realized she would never really get through to them unless she could surpass the doctor-patient barrier between them. So, she put on a disguise, and became a patient, giving up her addiction to order in the process.
One day, while in her disguise, she had approached the Joker. He had said nothing, but turned and glared at her before planting a kiss on her lips. When her superiors discovered what she had done, they berated her for breaking every rule they had using her dangerous method. This triggered a realization for her that order was restrictive. Before long, she and the Joker had escaped together.
Even still, Harley doesn't know whether the Joker thought she was an inmate posing as a therapist, or a therapist posing as an inmate. In any case, he obviously didn't care, and he helped her flush away the control and regimented way of life she had been living in a chemical bath. From that point on, she could play for fun, play crazy, and play dumb. A series of purely wanton crime later, and she had developed the uniform that she desired, something of a collage or mosaic. While part of her would always still be Harleen Quinzel, she would forever after be made up of many more parts.
Unfortunately, now, Harleen is starting to squeeze out of her box, and is trying to psychoanalyze Harley, who is content to remain lacking in reason. Even so, Harleen isn't without her uses. She helped to plan a particularly ingenious caper: introducing an insidious software into a widespread, mass-produced handheld gaming system - a software that causes the device to explode when updated. From a vantage point high above Gotham, Harleen makes the call that sees the devices update, and watches as the city lights up with deadly explosions. Any regret or guilt she might feel is filed away into a box, along with her former personality.
She is surprised by a visit from Deadshot, who reminds her that the Joker will not be impressed by her actions - he never did care about her. He explains that the Suicide Squad needs them back, and - to an extent - he thinks they need the Squad, too. Its members are all like bullets, and without a target, they are aimless. Smirking, Harley responds, "So... shoot me."
Appearing in "Better than Batman, Part One"
- Parliament of Owls
- Kobra Cult
- Kali-Yuga (Mentioned only)
- Batman Incorporated (Mentioned only)
- Charon (Mentioned only)
- Doctor Leviticus (First appearance)
- Flying Graysons (Mentioned only)
- Spinebender (Mentioned only)
- Titans (Mentioned only)
- River Styx (Mentioned only)
- Cimitrul Central
- United Arab Emirates
- Dubai (Mentioned only)
- United States of America
Synopsis for "Better than Batman, Part One"
This story is reprinted from Nightwing (Volume 4) #1.
- 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