"Their Dark Designs, Part 2": The Riddler's lair


Quote1.png I hate this costumed crap Quote2.png
Commissioner Bullock

Batman (Volume 3) #87 is an issue of the series Batman (Volume 3) with a cover date of March, 2020. It was published on January 22, 2020.

Appearing in "Their Dark Designs, Part 2"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Nightclimber
  • Bat-Shot (First appearance)

Synopsis for "Their Dark Designs, Part 2"

The Riddler's lair

Edward is not sleeping anymore, and he's taking mind-enhancing amphetamines. He's also surveilling every corner of Gotham City through cameras and microphones, because he's afraid. Nygma contacts the Penguin, sharing with him his apprehension: the five most expensive contract killers in the world came to Gotham City tonight. That's step one of the plan of the Designer, Cobblepot must remember that. The Penguin does, and suggests to the Riddler to take one of his dozens aliases, get out of Gotham and start to live a normal life. But the Riddler answers him he cannot do that: he already tried to abandon crime, but he's not strong enough. In the end, they both agree about one thing: the Designer is coming for them, but they will not give up without a fight.

One Police Plaza. Old Gotham

Batman and Selina talk about the mysterious man who tried to substitute the blueprints for Wayne's renovation of Gotham: the fact it happened while the five killers came to the city must not be a coincidence. Bruce, hearing Selina's voice, thinks she's hiding something, as she sounds nervous, but Catwoman tells him it's because of what she just witnessed: a man dying from inside-out due to toxins. Batman then moves to the roofs, where he meets with the new Commissioner of Gotham, Harvey Bullock, who tells him they are transporting the five hitmen to the Black Block. Once he heard what he wanted to hear, Batman disappears.

New GCPD Headquarters. The Black Block

Wayne Enterprises decided to build a new, charge-free building to act as the GCPD's HQ just to create a structure with nine holding cells for the most dangerous criminals in Gotham. People like the Joker, Bane or even Ra's al Ghul. People who cannot be trusted to Arkham again. Bruce and Lucius projected those cages to hold the members of the Batman Family themselves. And now, all five killers occupy five of those cells. Batman enters the section to talk with Slade: of course, Deathstroke won't give him any kind of information about who employed him and why he accepted the offer. He just tells him he loves Gotham: it's never an easy job, always a challenge when he comes here. As they talk, Bruce realizes a thing: the police would not check on Cheshire until a toxicologist comes and takes away all her poison. Bullock confirms Batman hypothesis, so the Dark Knight asks for Cheshire's cell to be opened: it's not the killer inside, but a body-double made of clay. Jade Nguyen is still out, potentially killing the targets the five hitmen were employed to kill.

To track down the assassin, Bruce contacts Lucius who already tracked Jade's trajectory after she escaped from the Nightclimber. Lucius also calculated that, given the zone Cheshire is operating into, he is himself the target of the assassination. As Batman reaches Midtown, the Dark Knight and his new assistant decide to take a chance and use another new device Lucius created: the Bat-Shot. This device literally shoots Batman out of his plane, transforming into a sliding structure that makes Batman slide down the buildings of the Gotham skyline. While Batman is on the sliding platform, Cheshire attacks him, inserting her poisoned nails in his neck. She does not know that Batman already eliminated all the poisons in her nails when she put them in the fibers of his suit. Batman crashes Cheshire on the front of a truck, putting her out, but not before the killer tells him she was yet another diversive to distract him.

Back to the Black Block, it seems Slade and his employee found a way to cut down all power from the building, freeing the four killers from their cells. As Slade knocks down Bullock, telling him he'll live as he's part of another phase of the operation, Deathstroke declares the first phase complete. On to the second. But there's someone who does not agree with the mercenary: it's Oswald Cobblepot. The Penguin does not like that someone stole his plans to strike on the Batman, but this gives him an advantage: he knows what they are going to do before they do it. Armed to the teeth, the Penguin is ready to wreak some havoc.



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