"Happiness is a Cold Gun": Street crime in Gotham City is down thanks to the efforts of Batman and Catbird - which leaves little for the Gotham City Peace Department to do, besides deal with the unusual
- Batman wanted to change us. That's not love. Try to remember who you are.
- -- Catwoman
Appearing in "Happiness is a Cold Gun"
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "Happiness is a Cold Gun"
Street crime in Gotham City is down thanks to the efforts of Batman and Catbird - which leaves little for the Gotham City Peace Department to do, besides deal with the unusual rash of suicides that have been occurring of late. Offering her help, Catbird learns that Detective Carlos Alvarez has helped to set up a hotline and walk-in clinic to help any of those who are feeling suicidal. Alvarez suggests that if she has someone in mind who can help get people to talk, he would appreciate it. Before making her way to the clinic, she arranges dinner with Batman for that evening, given that they now have the free time to do night-time things.
As her civilian identity of Selina Kyle, Catbird stops by the Gotham Peace Department to help troubled Gothamites deal with their suicidal thoughts in a positive way. One of the patients she sees comments that despite all the positive aspects of his life, he has come to stop trusting his happiness. Another patient had worked on the hardcore crime beat as a reporter, but the lack of violent crime had left her with nothing to write about. She considered suicide in order to give herself a sad story to tell. Another person calls her, and talks of a friend who feels disconnected from the world, feeling like he's the last sad person on the planet. Though he claims it is a friend, he is talking about himself, and he is surely going to do something drastic. Selina suggests that some people are happier when they have nothing to lose, which makes them push away good things. Misinterpreting her, the man believes that he should get rid of everything, so he has nothing left to lose, and hangs up on her.
A few days later, it became clear that Batman was beginning to question his reality as well, and Catbird and Bluebelle were forced to ally to fight him and have him put into a rehabilitation center. Despite that, she worries that it wasn't the right thing to do. Bluebelle insists that they did, and suggests that the doctors will be able to fix him.
That night, Selina feels relieved to be free of Batman, whose gloominess was bringing her down. She discovers a wet cat-suit lying on her kitchen floor, and noticing that it smells like a sewer, she throws it into the trash, hoping never to see it again. Before crawling into bed, she notices a small statuette on her bedside table that she somehow forgot that she'd palmed from the Peace Department, and wonders how she missed it, promising herself to put it back later, as she is not a thief.
In her sleep, Selina dreams of ravens, chasing her through a cornfield. The ravens become crows, which become scarecrows, which become bats. Something is not right. She recalls that the patients she'd seen had stopped trusting their own thoughts, now she was doing the same. She is attacked suddenly by herself, dressed in the cat-suit she'd thrown out earlier, demanding to know why she is ruining her life. Catbird responds that this doppelganger's life wasn't good to begin with. She'd chased money; stealing, friendless. That behaviour had kept the Batman away from them. The Catwoman responds that Batman had wanted to change her - and that's not real love. She pins Catbird to the ground, warning that she must remember who she is.
Catwoman reminds of their abandonment issues. She and a friend would play something called the "family game" in which they'd peer through windows at the things they couldn't have, breaking into the empty houses and experiencing what family might be like - stealing it from the people whose lives these experiences really belonged to. One night, over Christmas, a family had come home in the middle of the game, and compassionately offered to share their gifts with them. Rather than accept their generosity, Selina had run.
Angrily, Catbird fights Catwoman's influence, until the woman disappears in her hands. Selina wakes from her dream in her kitchen, having torn the room to pieces in her sleep, and dragged the cat-suit out of her trash can. With the sun's rays more unwelcome than usual, she dons her uniform, and begins her patrol, feeling more suspicious of the city's hope than before. She is suddenly attacked by a man in a metal suit claiming that she has forgotten who she is. He introduces himself as Steeljacket, explaining that she was once a thief, and she's forgotten who she is. She used to beat him to heists he'd planned.
Angrily, Catbird responds that she is a good person and a crime fighter. She places him under arrest, to be taken to the readjustment center. He warns that there is no adjustment center - there is only Arkham Asylum - and she had taken Batman there. Enraged by his lies, she tears open his mask and places a Batarang's edge to his throat, threatening to slit it open. Fortunately, though, she pauses, and wonder's why she's doing it. Steeljacket challenges her to look into the real Gotham, beyond the false paradise; the Gothtopia.
- This book was first published on January 29, 2014.
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