"Ms. Direction": Catwoman is trapped in a flooding tunnel. She remembers how she got there:
- We have received reliable information that the criminal known as Catwoman intends to steal the discs.
Appearing in "Ms. Direction"
- Catwoman (Flashback and main story)
- Hardcases, Inc. (First appearance)
- Vincent Nastacio
- Natasha White
- Billy Wu
- Rosalie Hernandez
- Eddie Conway
Synopsis for "Ms. Direction"
Catwoman is trapped in a flooding tunnel. She remembers how she got there:
She was contacted by Oracle and summoned back to Gotham City. She managed to get inside the city where Batman told her that he needed a thief to steal some discs in Manhattan. He persuaded Catwoman to take the job by kissing her. Catwoman agreed and took the tunnel Batman said was the only safe way in and out of Gotham, but when she got there, she was faced three armed men with orders to shoot anyone in the tunnel. One of them blew the tunnel by firing at a crate of explosives, and the river above them started flooding the tunnel with Catwoman and the armed men inside.
Catwoman and two of the men, Al and Lewis, reach the end of the tunnel where the exit is sealed by a floodgate. Catwoman tries to open it, but it's rusted shut. She needs the henchmen's help to finally open the gate. Catwoman and the two men are violently ejected from the tunnel due to the water pressure.
Once they've landed outside, Catwoman tells Al and Lewis that she's going to need a crew for a job and if they turn her down, she'll hurt them. They agree when suddenly the third man comes out of the tunnel as well. Catwoman tells Al and Lewis to bring Mookie with them.
Catwoman and her crew travel to Manhattan where they stay in an upper-class hotel. Unfortunately Selina is known as both Selina Kyle, dead mayoral candidate, and Catwoman, Selina Kyle's murderer, in New York, so they must disguise themselves. Mookie is dressed up as the Countess Angora while Selina becomes Miss Venite, her traveling companion and secretary, and Al and Lewis serve as their bodyguards.
Inside their rooms, Selina tells her henchmen that she's going to take and make plans, so she is not to be disturbed. She studies the information packet Batman gave her. The discs she is going to steal were meant for Bruce Wayne, but after he was embarrassed in Washington, D.C., he took off to Europe and no one can find him to pick the discs up.
The discs are protected by a new security group called Hardcases Inc. The good news is that Batman includes a full rundown of the group. The bad news is that this will be harder than Selina thought. The organization comprises of ex-U.S. Armed Forces with low-level metahuman abilities. There are five members, each with a unique power and trained in different areas.
The next day, Selina goes to the Jordan Building where she is confronted by Natasha White and Vincent Nastacio of the Hardcases. She introduces herself as Ileana Goodbody from Wayne Enterprises, but Nastacio called Wayne Enterprises and they don't have any record of her. She claims she's a new hire and asks to see the discs. Natascio tells her that only Bruce Wayne is allowed to see the discs.
Selina claims she was merely testing them because Wayne Enterprises has reliable information that Catwoman might try to steal the discs. She leaves, and Nastacio admires her moxie. He knows she's Catwoman, and while he doesn't understand why she warned them about her upcoming attack, he puts the building on full alert.
That night, Catwoman lies in wait as White, Hernandez, and Conway of the Hardcases position themselves on the roofs of nearby buildings while Nastacio mans the computers and Wu guards the vault. The Hardcases are forced to abandon their posts, however, when Al fires a missile launcher aimed at them.
Lewis pilots a chopper over the Jordan Building and drops a number of street gang members down, who then attack the stunned Hardcases. Hernandez shoots the chopper, forcing Lewis to land, and the Hardcases take down the street gangs, though they are careful not to kill them and involve the authorities after some undisclosed trouble in Valparaiso.
The silhouette of Catwoman appears lit from behind, and Hernandez goes to attack her, only to be pulled down by Conway. That isn't Catwoman, it's Mookie disguised as Catwoman, and he is heavily armed with explosives. The explosives go off, knocking out White, Hernandez, and Conway.
The real Catwoman reaches the vault where the discs are held and knocks out Wu. She takes the disc and moves out, revealing via her narration that she never left the building after meeting Nastacio earlier. She climbed to the top of the elevator, changed into her costume, and waited.
Nastacio watches her through the security cameras and says, "Good. You went for it. Be nice to collect you, but I have to see to my own people first." He goes to help his crew on the rooftop. The Hardcases get the street gangs under control under the New York City Police Department arrive and take them away. Catwoman, Al, Lewis, and Mookie are nowhere to be found.
Back in their headquarters, Nastacio explains that he switched the discs in the vault for fake ones, so when he saw Catwoman taking the ones in the vault, he knew his plan worked.
Except it didn't. Wu picks up the "real" disc, and when he uses his metahuman ability to learn an object's history just by touching it, he learns that these are the fakes. Once Nastacio ducked out to help his crew, she doubled back and switched out the fakes she had stolen for the real ones. Catwoman outguessed him.
Nastacio stares forward darkly. "We're going to find her, and the discs, and then nail her hide to the wall," he says.
- No trivia.
- Catwoman Recommended Reading
Links and References
|No Man's Land Crossover|
This issue is a part of the Batman: No Man's Land crossover that swept through all Batman Family Titles during 1999. Gotham City was declared by the President to be no longer a part of the United States after the combined disasters of Contagion, Legacy and Cataclysm.