"Their Dark Designs, Part 4": Gotham City Mercy Hospital
Synopsis for "Their Dark Designs, Part 4"
Gotham City Mercy Hospital
While discussing about the renovation plan Bruce Wayne started for the city, the doctors at Mercy Hospital have to handle a bleeding Oswald Cobblepot, coming into the place after being thrown out Batman's car. With his throat cut by Deathstroke, he needs to be helped, and quickly. Meanwhile, the Bat is on the hunt, trying to stop the killers he had to let go to save the Penguin's life. He first stops the Gunsmith, then he communicates to Lucius that Deathstroke's team plan is to overwhelm him to make him unable to act when it really will matter. He must change his approach to the problem: Bruce tasks Mr. Fox with finding Catwoman, as her comms went down and she admitted to know much more than what she said, and then decides to track down the Riddler, another of the conspirators behind the original plan of the Designer.
A Graveyard inside Gotham City
Catwoman was trying to find traces of the Joker when she was attacked by men under the Designer's command. She was helped by Harley Quinn, and now the two ladies are fighting to survive. Harley clarifies to Selina that the body she just found is a copycat of the Joker, belonging in truth to a former gang member who worked with her and Mr. J named Artie. She also tells Selina that the toxins the Designer is using have never been used by the Joker, therefore excluding him from an hypothetic alliance with the Designer. Catwoman then wants to know why Harley is there, and the girl answers she was following a trail of the Joker who, by Harley's opinion, is "cleaning house" and preparing something big for Batman: Artie's body should have been the first clue for the Dark Knight. Harley is searching Joker to kill him, a thing Selina approves.
Catwoman asks then support from Harley: she needs to get out of the place and meet Batman, as she must give him essential information. In that moment, Harley saves Selina from an arrow through the head, thrown by Merlyn who, together with Cheshire, approached the place with the clear mission of killing Catwoman. The two girls team up once again to fight the assassins, while a mysterious figure observes both of them.
Towards the Riddler's hiding spot
Batman is trying to track down Nygma, and finds Mr. Teeth on the same trail: he clearly was sent to put Eddie away before he could reveal any kind of information. After Batman knocks Mr. Teeth down, he starts to feel suspicious: no death trap was triggered, even if the whole floor is filled with C-4 charges. This is a message: the Riddler is not here, and wants Batman to investigate on the matter. Bruce quickly discovers that Eddie left his security feed open, and watches videos of an intruder who probably took the Riddler away: both Bruce and Lucius agree he must be the man behind the employment of Deathstroke and the other three killers.
Batman notices that Riddler deliberately left the video available but not the audio: he does not want Batman to know what he and the mysterious man talked about. Still, Nygma leaves Batman a code that gives him access to a tracker to Deathstroke's position: Batman tells Lucius to deploy the Batspawn on the location, trying to slow Slade down. Meanwhile, Selina and Harley also got to Eddie's lair, finding the Dark Knight instead. Selina and Bruce must have a word: Catwoman tells Batman she's sorry, then reveals him that in the past the most powerful criminals in Gotham made a deal with this man, the Designer, in a cospiration against him to create the perfect criminal operation.
The mysterious girl who was observing Selina and Harley communicates with the Joker on the phone, telling him the body was found but that Batman's attention is elsewhere. Joker tells her it's no big deal: he still has to contact some people before the whole game starts. He says this while standing next to the pictures and the identities of all the Batman Family members.
Appearing in "Their Dark Designs, Part 4"
- The Designer (On a TV or computer screen) (First appearance)
- The Joker
- Punchline (First appearance)
- The Penguin
- Riddler (On a TV or computer screen)
- Alfred Pennyworth (Mentioned only)
- Artie (Appears only as a corpse)
- Batgirl (In a photograph only)
- Nightwing (In a photograph only)
- Red Hood (In a photograph only)
- Robin (Damian Wayne) (In a photograph only)
- Robin (Tim Drake) (In a photograph only)
- The issue was reprinted on March 11, 2020.