"Dragnet": Bruce while pretending to mingle with his fellow Gothamite billionaires at a country club, hears them talking about their involvement in drug and human trafficking. He then makes an excuse about going to the bathroom where he puts on his batsuit, before assaulting them and having them
Appearing in "Dragnet"
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Hiram Bosch (Flashback and main story)
- The Joker (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "Dragnet"
Bruce while pretending to mingle with his fellow Gothamite billionaires at a country club, hears them talking about their involvement in drug and human trafficking. He then makes an excuse about going to the bathroom where he puts on his batsuit, before assaulting them and having them arrested. The three billionaires are jailed in Blackgate Prison.
One of the businessmen, Hiram Bosch, decides to call Bruce for help after not receiving help from his lawyer. Hiram requests him to retrieve his money and fake passports from an offshore yacht and he agrees, only to later turn it all in along with his yacht's guards to the police. To avoid suspicion, he pretends to get turned in himself by Batman while retrieving them too.
Hiram promises he has a way out, having come in contact with the Joker who later on assaults the jail and breaks all the businessmen out. Gordon while despondent over their escape, states they have an informant who turns out to be Bruce. At Joker's hideout, Bruce is allowed to make a call and pretends to tell Alfred to sell his properties while the latter gets a fix on his location.
As Joker threatens the billionaires to cough up more money, the Batmobile launches a concussion grenade into the hideout and Alfred tips off the police about its location. Joker runs away when the cops arrive, but informs Bruce that the billionaires had laundered money through Wayne Enterprises. Gordon has Bruce freed after the others are jailed and he decides to check out the proxy investors of his company.
Appearing in "A Flip of the Coin"
- Two-Face (Flashback and main story)
- Anna (Flashback and main story) (Only appearance; dies)
- Batman (Flashback and main story) (Shadow only)
Synopsis for "A Flip of the Coin"
Harvey is tired of compulsively making his decisions using his coin, but this time it's the most important decision of his life. He reminisces that he flipped it earlier when he robbed a bank, after which he was caught by Batman. He also flipped it when he met the Arkham Asylum guard Anna and both quickly developed a mutual attraction, which eventually led to a romance.
He planned to escape with Anna and thinks about moving to Mexico, get his face reconstructed, get professional help and start a family while leaving his criminal past behind. When Anna comes to help him escape, he initially doesn't to decide whether to escape with her using the coin, but eventually gives in. After making a flip, he murders her and escapes from the asylum, but is eventually confronted by Batman.
Appearing in "The Court of Owls, Part Three: The Thirteenth Hour"
- The Court of Owls
- Whisper Gang (First appearance)
- Luka Volk (Single appearance)
- Gotham City Police Department (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "The Court of Owls, Part Three: The Thirteenth Hour"
This story is reprinted from Batman (Volume 2) #3.
In 1922, the police encounter a raving Alan Wayne, who seems to believe that someone is after him. While the officers debate on what to do with him that will spare him the most possible embarrassment, he disappears down a manhole.
Now, Batman interrogates Ukrainian mobster Luka Volk about the man in a dark costume who attacked him earlier. Batman has already deduced that the assassin used the rail tunnels that connect to Old Wayne Tower in order to gain entry. And so, one of these rail gangs like Luka's "Whisper Gang" must have allowed him passage and extracted a toll of some kind. There are five gangs for each of the five rail lines in Gotham City, and Batman has already investigated the other four.
Luka sics several of his thugs - men who have had metal masks soldered around their face, and have been trained in various weapons overseas - on Batman. Knowing about their masks, Batman disables all of them by activating a magnet which magnetizes an oncoming train, attracting all of the thugs faces to the side of the rail car as it speeds away with them stuck to it. Despite his defeat, Luca still professes to know nothing about the "Owl Man". Unfortunately, Batman's in-cowl lie detector shows that he is telling the truth. Frustrated, Batman tells Luka to get his gang out of his tunnels.
In the Batcave, Bruce runs an analysis on the recording of the attack for voice recognition. Despite a clear recording of the assassin's voice, there are no matches. Alfred Pennyworth warns that even bats need some sunlight once in a while in order to fly straight.
Bruce ignores him, noting that the assassin had stated that he loves killing Waynes. Alfred responds that no Wayne in the last 50 years has died suspiciously. Bruce indicates that in addition to that, the assassin seems to want him to believe that he is the Talon - an agent of an organization called the Court of Owls, which is supposed to be a folktale.
Reluctantly, Alfred divulges that near the time of his death, Alan Wayne had become obsessed with owls. He had become paranoid that owls were conspiring against him to the point that they were hiding in the walls of his mansion. He had drowned after falling into a manhole, and no foul play was suspected.
Bruce visits Lincoln March in the hospital, and asks about the something bad that he had warned him about before the attack. Lincoln explains that he had been getting warnings and threats to drop his bid for mayor. Two weeks ago, he woke up to find an owl in his apartment, perched in his closet atop a little pile of bones. Bruce doubts the existence of the Court of Owls, thinking that he'd have learned they were real by now. Lincoln responds that perhaps it wasn't until Bruce started making proposals to reshape Gotham that the Court of Owls decided to make itself known to him. Lincoln warns that if Bruce concerns himself with small dangers, he'll miss the bigger ones. In response, Bruce announces that he will have his own security people watch over Lincoln while he's gone. Marsh wonders who will protect Bruce in the meantime.
Bruce recalls that his great-grandfather Alan Wayne was a superstitious man, and had the thirteenth floor removed from Old Wayne Tower. However, according to superstition, there had to be a space - a half floor - built to hold the bad luck of the thirteenth floor. Likewise, owls are a rare species of bird that doesn't build their own nests. Instead, they simply steal other birds' nests once they've been abandoned. Bruce suspects that this Talon assassin has been using the space between the twelfth and fourteenth floors in Old Wayne Tower as a hideaway.
Bruce's suspicions prove correct. He discovers a room full of weapons and training apparatus. He finds a suit like that the Talon wore, and a photograph from 1891 showing a group of people all wearing owl masks. Instinctively, Bruce asks Alfred for the addresses of every building built by the Alan Wayne Trust for Assisting Young Architects. He suspects that each of them has a missing thirteenth floor, and that each of them houses a hideout for the Court of Owls.
Batman investigates each building and discovers a hideout in each one. The most recently built of these was five years ago, and it appears to be the home of this Talon. Bruce orders Alfred to open his great-grandfather's crypt. Alan Wayne was right. The Owls' nests were in the Waynes' homes.
Moments later, the building explodes with Bruce inside, as the Talon watches.
Appearing in "Elegy, Part Two: Misterioso"
Synopsis for "Elegy, Part Two: Misterioso"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #855.
The small glass pellet breaks upon impact and the noxious pepper gas begins spilling out, constricting Alice's airways. Kate seizes the opportunity to escape from the coven, Alice in tow, and take her away to a nearby castle, hidden up in one of the tallest spires for interrogation. If someone is going to know why the Religion of Crime is so obsessed with her, it has to be its newest leader. But shortly after neutralizing the pepper gas spray so that Alice can speak, the words that come tumbling out of her mouth quickly give Kate little doubt that she may in fact be loonier than the rest of them. Bedecked in a form fitting knit blue and white dress, the ghostly white woman named Alice appears to truly believe herself to be none other than Alice Pleasance Liddell from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
Loony though she may be, Alice is still a very cunning adversary. She knows that despite Kate's threats otherwise, she won't drop her off the rooftop. She won't kill. She's one of them. And despite a very thorough disarming immediately after the two landed on the spire, Alice had one final trick up her sleeve - a razor blade which she has hidden inside her mouth. Spitting up the blade, Alice uses it to slash Kate's face and it's only a short time later that Kate comes to the realization that the blade was poisoned. As the poison takes hold she struggles for purchase on the ground that is now shifting beneath her feet, trying desperately to get to the edge so that she can escape. The only thing that saves Kate from a be-heading is the fact that her long auburn mane is actually part of her disguise to cover the shorter red hair beneath. The wig detaches and Kate is able to dive off the ledge looking for safety.
As she glides from the rooftop into the nighttime air she plunges further into the darkness of her own soul. Crash landing into a nearby park, a virtual menagerie of nightmares swirls around her. She's thrust back into the dark and violent world of the battle zone from time long since past. The centerpiece of which is of course her mother. The kidnapping. A burlap sack concealing a face with a single bullet hole at the top. Blood oozing out, down past the dog tags still around her neck. And in her fevered delusional state she looks up and sees the faceless image of her salvation - Renee Montoya.
But it isn't Renee. It's the Colonel, who just so happened to be monitoring Kate's vitals at the time of the attack. Like dogs hunting prey by the scent of it's blood, the Order arrives at Kate at nearly the same time as the Colonel precipitating a massive firefight between the two parties. When the bullets finish flying, Kate lay in the middle of the two - poisoned and now shot twice during the exchange. As the Order closes in to claim their quarry an ominous growling begins to emanate out of the surrounding darkness. Three monstrous beast men begin to emerge from the shadows.
Appearing in "Better than Batman, Part Three"
- Nightwing (Flashback and main story)
- Batman (Mentioned only)
- Doctor Leviticus
- The Joker (Mentioned only)
- Knute Ruud (Flashback and main story)
- Madame Mystique (Mentioned only)
- Prankster (Mentioned only)
- Puzzler (Mentioned only)
- Spyral (Mentioned only)
- Riddler (Mentioned only)
- Robin (Mentioned only)
- Tony Zucco (Mentioned only)
- Japan (Mentioned only)
- Ruud Er Galehuset
- Raptor Air
- United States of America
- The Book of Wisdom (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Better than Batman, Part Three"
This story is reprinted from Nightwing (Volume 4) #3.
- 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