"The Kane Affair": On an island in the South Atlantic, an old man babbles about a master plan and a snake that will eat the world.
- I'm doing what any grieving widow would do on the day she buried her husband. I'm going to flirt with Death until his bony little heart breaks in two.
Synopsis for "The Kane Affair"
On an island in the South Atlantic, an old man babbles about a master plan and a snake that will eat the world.
Batwoman's current case--investigating the murder of three marines in Gotham City by a criminal known as Johnny Valentine at the behest of a group of Argentine criminals--has led her on a chase to Kane's Kolossal Karnival. The clue Valentine left at the scene was an ouroboros pendant, and Colonel Kane notes the symmetry. The Kane family has a lot of history in this place...
Once upon a time, the fiery twenty-something iconoclast heartbreaker Kathy Webb met the rich forty-something Nathan Kane, and they fell in love. He bought her the funfair that became Kane's Kolossal Karnival as a present. Eventually they married, but the Kane family was cursed, so the story goes, and she was left a widow, with all the accouterments of their life together and nothing but solitude ahead of her.
Then she was approached by Agent-33, on behalf of an organization called Spyral. They wanted her to work for them on the mystery of the Batman's secret identity. Searching for adrenaline, for meaning, for belonging, Kathy Kane accepted.
In Argentina in the present, meanwhile, Batman and El Gaucho have been kidnapped by the villains El Sombrero and Scorpiana. Sombrero has three blind street children trapped in a rapidly-filling vat of water, and he will kill all three unless the heroes fight to the death. To sweeten the pot, he informs them that El Gaucho, before his costumed career, was the man who initially recruited Kathy for Spyral, leading to her death.
Kathy studied Batman, and then trained to create a Batwoman persona, to make him want to include her in his life, if only to prove he was better at it than she was. She managed to get in, but he was careful about his secret identity, she alienated Robin, and in fact Batman managed to work her real name out first. Infuriated, she planned to scrap the mission and just marry Batman, but when she tracked down Agent-Zero, he ordered her to break it off, revealing his secret: he was the Nazi master spy Doctor Dedalus, and also her estranged father. She would break it off with Batman or tell him her deep dark secret.
This meeting over with, she broke up with Batman, leaving a shadow in the heart of the Bat-Family.
Batwoman was later killed by men working for the Sensei, Batman always believed. However, he is apparently so enraged that he is ready to engage with Gaucho. Sombrero and Scorpiana watch with glee, knowing that already, an international incident in the South Atlantic is about to draw three countries into a war. Sombrero gloats about "a death-trap as big as the world".
In Gotham, a clue in braille in the bodies of the three Marines has thrown up a word--"Oroboro", which is a codename for a doomsday weapon with links to Nazi superhuman research, hidden scientists, classified documents, and a British spy known as the Hood. Batwoman, meanwhile has chased Johnny Valentine through the Ghost Train, to come face-to-face with his back-up--a woman dressed as Kathy Kane's Batwoman. Batwoman defeats her, and vows to re-open the case of Kathy Kane's death.
In Argentina, Batman manages to shock the monitor on the Gaucho's vitals, short-circuiting the death-trap containing the kids. He also tells the villains that he is coming for them. Scorpiana makes her getaway, and Sombrero asks her to give his regards to the "Maestro".
On an island in the South Atlantic, an old man babbles about a master plan and a snake that will eat the world. At his gesture of command, it begins snowing...
Appearing in "The Kane Affair"
- Alfred Pennyworth (Flashback only)
- Batwoman (Kate Kane)
- Batwoman (Kathy Webb-Kane) (Dies in flashback)
- Colonel Kane
- El Gaucho/Agent-33 (Flashback and main story)
- Batwoman (impostor)
- Jimmy the Jackdaw (Flashback only)
- Johnny Valentine (First appearance)
- Agent-Zero (Flashback and main story)
- Ace the Bat-Hound (Flashback only)
- Aldrin Stoja (celebrity)
- Bat-Girl (Flashback only)
- Lew Moxon (Mentioned only)
- Robin (Dick Grayson) (Flashback only)
- The Hood (In a photograph only)
- Based on a comment in Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, the imposter Batwoman is a gold-medal Olympic Games gymnast named Una Clairemont.
- The flashback scenes of a younger Batman with Robin, Batwoman, and Bat-Girl are taken from Detective Comics #233 and Batman #153, with a few changes made by Morrison.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Incorporated.
- El Sombrero's base is tricked out with "Damrung" security cameras. Based on this and Human Flame's phone in Final Crisis #1, is it possible that Damrung is some kind of villain-only tech corporation?
- 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)