""The Secret of the Universe, Part 2: Rats"": Catwoman leaps across the night sky on her way to steal Catman's magic cloak, which originally belonged to a South Sea cat cult. Their Council of Three has offered her a million dollars for its
Appearing in "The Secret of the Universe, Part 2: Rats"
- The Council of Three
- Cat idol
- Catman's cloak
Synopsis for "The Secret of the Universe, Part 2: Rats"
Catwoman leaps across the night sky on her way to steal Catman's magic cloak, which originally belonged to a South Sea cat cult. Their Council of Three has offered her a million dollars for its safe return.
Inside Blake's hideout, the missing member of the Council is dressed in a replica of Catman's costume and tied to a chair. He tells Catman that the cloak has warped his mind, but Catman believes that with the sacred cat's luck on his side, his plan will succeed. Catman shows his victim the cat idol he stole from his island, and he says he's tired of living on the run. No one will question the details when they find a body dressed in Catman's suit with all his stolen goods. Especially when there'll be so little left of the body to identify.
Catwoman is spying on them through a window when she is attacked by one of Catman's panthers. She runs inside the building, chased by the panther. She claims she was getting tired of pussyfooting around anyway.
Batman, meanwhile, searches Gotham City for Ratcatcher. If Batman's guess is right and Ratcatcher intends to use the poison his rats stole against the people of Gotham, he'll need to access the water supply. He goes to check the string of pumping stations through Riverside, and he notes that Catman might also be hiding out in Riverside. He doesn't have as any other clues to Catman's location, however, so he can only keep his eyes peeled.
Ratcatcher tells his rats a story about "Universe 133." Some behaviorists built a nice big cage where with tunnels and gnawing blocks where food and drink were free and regular and of the highest standard. The rats inside were paired off and locked away to breed, but while food was unlimited, living space wasn't. As the population grew, the society broke down until, as the final and most hideous act of all, mothers ate their young. The hyperintelligent rats Ratcatcher has bred are angry and horrified. Ratcatcher compares Gotham to Universe 133, and he says they won't wait until Gotham to start eating its young. They'll hasten their demise.
He climbs into a tunnel with his rats. He leads them to where tens of thousands of rats lie dead, their bodies filled with poison that they will pass along to the citizens of Gotham once they are dropped into the water supply in an hour when the disease has started breeding. Two of the living rats exchange a look.
Catwoman bursts into the room where Catman is keeping his prisoner and attacks him. The two are about evenly matched until Catwoman pulls off his cloak. Catwoman then gains the upper hand, and she escapes with the cloak and the cat idol after cutting the robes tying Catman's prisoner to the chair.
Catman's panthers Khan and Hun chase her out of the building. She steals Catman's car and drives away, losing the panthers in the woods. She leaves behind a distraught Catman.
Catwoman doesn't manage to get too far before she gets into a car crash with the Batmobile. Batman races after her, recognizing the car as Catman's escape vehicle from the night before and thinking it's Catman behind the wheel. Catwoman abandons the car and reveals herself to Batman before jumping down a sewer tunnel--the same one Ratcatcher used earlier.
She is immediately surrounded by rats, and when Batman jumps down after her, she greets him with "My hero!" Ratcatcher stands over them as Catwoman tries to remember whether bats are lucky or not.
- The three-part Secret of the Universe storyline begins in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #43 and concludes in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #44.
Links and References
|The Secret of the Universe|
|Part I: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #43||Part II: Catwoman #26||Part III: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #44|