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"Cataclysm, Part Three: Lifelines": There is a massive earthquake that hits Gotham City. The people working for Wayne Enterprises feel the ground shaking, but while buildings are destroyed around them theirs stand well. [[Lucius Fox (New Earth)

Quote1.png If I may have your attention, please? I'm Barbara Gordon, daughter of police commissioner James Gordon, and my stepmother is lieutenant Sarah Essen Gordon. I realize every one of you also has a parent, child or spouse... and I can't stop you from trying to make your way through the chaos to your loved ones' sides. I will point out, however, that leaving here would constitute dereliction of duty -- and, as my father would put it, a sheer waste of manpower. The most sensible, if not emotional, course of action demands the coordination of our efforts right here, starting right now... ensuring the highest overall survival rate, given our admittedly limited powers and resources. If we help whomever we can from here... then the welfare of our loved ones will be entrusted to fate and the efforts of strangers. But my final point is this... it was fate that created this situation, and we're all in it together. The moment the earthquake struck... is the moment we all ceased being strangers. Quote2.png
Barbara Gordon

Batman #553 is an issue of the series Batman (Volume 1) with a cover date of April, 1998.

Synopsis for "Cataclysm, Part Three: Lifelines"

There is a massive earthquake that hits Gotham City.[1] The people working for Wayne Enterprises feel the ground shaking, but while buildings are destroyed around them theirs stand well. Lucius Fox explains that all Wayne properties are built to withstand earthquakes of 8.5 on the Richter magnitude scale or worse. Thankfully his family is safe because he purchased his home from Wayne real estate.

There is tremendous disaster. The tallest skyscrapers crumble and fall into each other, leading to hundreds of deaths. Ruptured gas mains explode and there are massive fires. Gotham City Police Headquarters is hit and Commissioner Gordon is trapped in the wreckage. Barbara Gordon rolls into Police Headquarters and gets everyone's attention by firing a pistol into the air. She immediately takes control of the situation despite having no actual authority over them and starts organizing the police officers in the rescue efforts. It might seem like the end of the world, but all of them are in this together. Her motivational speech gets everybody working, saving lives and putting out fires. Harvey Bullock calmly walks in the front door with a metal pipe rammed halfway through his arm and quietly performs first-aid on himself by pulling it out with his teeth, then goes out to look for the Commissioner. Bullock rescues Gordon from underneath the fallen roof and reunites him with his daughter.

Wayne Manor has been completely destroyed... this was the only Wayne property that could not be quake-proofed because of the extensive cavern network underneath it. Batman pulls himself out of the ground, and rescues Alfred Pennyworth from the rubble. He determines that with the Batmobile broken, the only way to get into the city will be using his scuba gear through the underground streams, although he doesn't know how far they go. He gets into the extremely dangerous waters, and starts swimming down... then suddenly the aftershock hits.

Appearing in "Cataclysm, Part Three: Lifelines"

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Links and References

Batman Shadow of the Bat Vol 1 73.jpg
Batman: Cataclysm Crossover
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This issue is a part of the Cataclysm crossover that swept through all Batman Family Titles during 1998. Gotham City was almost completely destroyed by a massive earthquake. This story led into the events that would eventually create No Man's Land.