Read beyond this point at your own risk!
Appearing in "Concrete Jungle"
- Cicero Jenks
- Batmobile (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "Concrete Jungle"
Batman is tasked with safely delivering from a hideout a lawyer named Cicero Jenks, who represented mobsters but turned out to be lacking any license to practice law, thus allowing him to spill his clients' secrets. Gordon tells him to bring their informant to the central precinct, but warns him that every gangster will be after Jenks and they've got moles in the police force.
Bruce contacts Dick to help him and abducts Jenks after fooling the cops, placing him in a kevlar bag that is bulletproof and flame-resistant. The thugs listening in to the cops' radio chatter learn Batman has acquired Jenks and attack the Batmobile, but the blast shields allow it to survive. Harley Quinn however suddenly drops a wrecking ball on the Batmobile, but learns Batman escaped along with Jenks while rigging it to blow.
Fending off more thugs, Bruce again comes across Harley but is stunned after being tricked and hit with a boxing glove attached to a spring hidden in her mallet. Harley however falls through a hole cut across the floor by Bruce before she can kill Jenks, and he safely delivers the bag to Sergeant Foley. Foley turns out to be a crooked cop on the mob's payroll but is subdued along with other moles by Nightwing, who was hiding in the bag to fool the mob's underlings.
Gordon finds Jenks hidden in a garbage dumpster and the latter testifies to the authorities against the mob, while Foley is imprisoned.
Appearing in "Puppets"
- Batman (Mentioned only)
- John Grayson (Mentioned only)
- Mary Grayson (Mentioned only)
- Tony Zucco (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Puppets"
Nightwing arrives outside Gotham and jumps upon a train to rescue the son of his parents' murderer Tony Zucco, Brian Lester, but states he is unsure what will happen once he sees him and doesn't trust him since he's a Zucco. Brian was kidnapped by the Ventriloquist after Tony started demanding repayment of money owed to him.
Brian requests Ventriloquist's gang to let him go but they only plan to kill him once they reach Bludhaven. After fighting through some thugs, Nightwing reaches Brian's cabin but is held at gunpoint by Ventriloquist who states that he won't be able to reach Tony in time to clear the debt nor Batman is there to help him.
Nightwing in anger disarms the Ventriloquist and knocks him out along with his gang, rescuing Brian who is disappointed at almost being killed because of his father. Brian states he doesn't want to be like his dad and Nightwing realizes he has no ill-will against him as he's honest. He responds that he's still learning to escape Batman's shadow when asked how he did it, and states Brian will figure out how to escape from Tony's shadow too.
Appearing in "The Court of Owls, Part Four: Face the Court"
- Alan Wayne (Appears only as a corpse)
- Alfred Pennyworth (Behind the scenes)
- Joe Chill (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "The Court of Owls, Part Four: Face the Court"
This story is reprinted from Batman (Volume 2) #4.
After setting off a trip-wire in one of the Court of Owls' hideaways within his family's buildings, Batman is faced with the aftermath of the explosion, dodging debris. After having discovered several of these hideouts dating as far back as the 19th century, he tripped a wire. Focused, he fires his grapple through a weak wall and escapes out into the night. In the Batcave, Dick Grayson marvels at the fact that his mentor appears to be resting. That is, until Alfred admits that he has been drugging his charge in order to force him to stop working. When Bruce wakes, Dick finds him analyzing a set of bones belonging to Alan Wayne. Dick has spoken with the Commissioner about the case, and both of them have noticed that Batman is strangely skeptical of the Court of Owls' existence, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Dick confides that he thinks Bruce is overworking himself, Commissioner Gordon had even said that he thinks Batman is underestimating his enemy. This assassin called the Talon fell from a building and killed his ride to the morgue, and these bases that were discovered seem authentic. Dick warns that Bruce should be more apprehensive about where the case is going. Bruce responds that he is merely being objective, and returns to his analysis.
As Dick turns to leave, Bruce calls out that he knows there is no Court of Owls because he looked into it himself, as a boy. He admits that after the murder of his parents, he could not accept that it had been random; that some thug like Joe Chill could have simply killed them over pearls and pocket change.
He had asked his father about the Court of Owls in the past, but he had brushed it off. There had been a sign, though; an owls nest in the attic of the manor. After the Waynes' deaths, Bruce had destroyed the nest and killed the owls, vowing to expose the Court of Owls.
In his investigation, the clues piled up, and he decided to turn his attention to Gotham City's elite. He compiled a list of those he suspected, and found that they were all members of a club that met at a place called Harbour House which had an owl crest on it. He had broken into the abandoned club and found a secret room, but inside it was something scarier than what he had expected: nothing. Unfortunately, the trap door had closed behind him, and he was trapped in that room for a week before Alfred found him, comatose.
Bruce explains that the lesson he learned was never to let his emotions guide him in a case. He had needed there to be a Court of Owls, and that need had nearly got him killed. Dick responds that while Gotham has belonged to Bruce and the Waynes for generations, the city is much older than that. In its four hundred years, perhaps Gotham had been controlled by something else; something much darker than a Batman.
Batman heads to the sewers where his great grandfather Alan had been found dead. Like the man he found along with a warning against his life, he had discovered tiny puncture marks in Alan Wayne's bones - indicative of the throwing knives apparently used by the Talon. In addition, though, there had been a residue on his relative's bones of a metamorphic rock like marble - which is unusual given that the sewers are made of granite.
Suddenly, the Talon appears, and attacks Batman, reciting the rhyme of the Court of Owls. The impact of the Talon's tackle sends Batman deep below the city, and he wakes in a labyrinth. Three masked figures appear on a screen above him, and welcome him.
Appearing in "Elegy, Part Three: Affettuoso"
- Kane Family
- Kyle Abbott
- Maggie Sawyer
- Bruno Mannheim (Mentioned only)
- Commissioner Gordon (Cameo)
- Dick Grayson (Mentioned only)
- Mayor Hady (Mentioned only)
- Whisper A'Daire (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Elegy, Part Three: Affettuoso"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #856.
In a bizarre twist of fate, the creatures creeping out of the darkness are not affiliated with the Religion of Crime. At least, not anymore. The leader of the pack, a Wolf-man named Abbot used to be the body guard for the Religion's former head Whisper A'Daire. But when Kate Kane's prophesized death failed to materialize, Abbot had a falling out with the Order. Needless to say, the Religion continued without him, but now he and his fellow "true believer" hybrid people have arrived on the scene to rescue Kate from Alice and her cohorts, delivering Kate and her father from danger and ensuring their safety.
The next morning, Kate is back up and ready to go. Her body armor absorbed the gunshots and the opioid poisoning from Alice has cleared out of her system. Though a fever burns through her body, Kate is looking for a little payback. But there are other things in life besides payback. And in a surprising move, Kate decides to comply with her father's wishes and attend the GCPD Charity Ball. Making her way into the hotel ball room, Kate has every eye on her in her stylish black tie tuxedo. As she later explains, she isn't trying to draw attention to herself nor her sexuality, she just is making sure that it doesn't get hidden.
Just as soon as Kate had said hello, it was time for her father to say goodbye. A last minute urgent phone call has him reporting to duty on the base for some kind of emergency.
And in no time at all, Kate is alone. Not literally of course, it's a crowd of people. Well to-do people. But figuratively, she is alone. Her step-mother is obviously made uncomfortable when confronted with Kate's lifestyle choice. And Bette, young Bette, has just enrolled in Gotham University. She's a world away from where Kate is. But that's when Kate sees her.
No, not Renée - someone else. Another woman dressed in an eye-grabbing formal tuxedo. And it just so happens to be Captain Maggie Sawyer of GCPD Major Crimes. The newly single Sawyer asks Kate for a dance and Kate accepts. Naturally, the two women hit it off wonderfully but the dance is sadly short-lived as soon Kate's other-life comes calling. It's Abbot (accompanied by his two companions). There in person (and in human form of course). And he has some startling news.
Alice isn't out to simply murder Kate Kane. She's out to accomplish what no one before her ever could. She wants to wipe Gotham City off the map! Of course to do that she and her followers would need some pretty major firepower. The best place to secure something like that being a military institution. Like lightning, horrifying possibilities seem to click into place in Kate's mind. Reaching for a cellphone, she dials her father's number. Waiting with baited breath for him to pick up.
But when the ringing stops, it's not the familiar voice of her father Kate hears. Instead it's Alice, who sounds confident she has the upper hand now that the Colonel has become her hostage.
Appearing in "Better than Batman, Part Four"
- Nightwing (Flashback and main story)
- The Parliament of Owls
- Kobra Cult
- Alfred Pennyworth (Mentioned only)
- Batgirl (Mentioned only)
- Gardener (Mentioned only)
- Knute Ruud (Mentioned only)
- Mary Grayson (Mentioned only)
- Earth (Flashback and main story)
- Greece (Flashback and main story)
- Raptor Air
- United States of America
- God Garden (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Better than Batman, Part Four"
This story is reprinted from Nightwing (Volume 4) #4.
- "Puppets" is dedicated in the memory of Tom Lyle.
- 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