"Race of Thieves, Part 1: Crime Pays": Catwoman is tired of seeing her life ruined by her role as Catwoman. In order to remove the temptation to return to her old ways, she burns her catsuit, and tries to move on.
- They won. I lost. I hate losing!
- -- Catwoman
Appearing in "Race of Thieves, Part 1: Crime Pays"
- Gotham City Police Department
- Hunt Stone
- Penguin (Mentioned only)
- Gotham City
- Mirror World
- Explosive Cat Charm Bracelet
Synopsis for "Race of Thieves, Part 1: Crime Pays"
Catwoman is tired of seeing her life ruined by her role as Catwoman. In order to remove the temptation to return to her old ways, she burns her catsuit, and tries to move on.
Given that she will no longer be leaping across rooftops, she will have to maintain her figure by working up a sweat in the gym. While working on her left jab at the punching bag, she catches the scent of a familiar cologne, and wonders if someone she knows might be nearby. She switches to the speed-bag on the advice of her coach, and her aggression knocks the bag from its hook, and it soars across the room into the waiting hands of Trip Winter. She has fond memories of their time together - though the gig he got her went south.
Later, she visits the animal shelter and is so taken by the collection of cats she sees there that she adopts several. As she empties out her purse, she discovers an invitation that she suspects was slipped into the bag by Trip at the Gym. The invitation is in the form of a puzzle-box. Soon, she solves it, and cracks it open. Inside, she finds a USB stick and a bag full of teeth. Realizing that it must be some kind of caper, she resists the temptation and instead heads to her job at the GCPD's crime hotline.
At GCPD Headquarters, Selina has already made friends with many of her coworkers, but when she gets a call from someone who is threatening suicide because she betrayed a friend, Selina can't help but feel that she knows who is on the other end of the line. Unfortunately, she can't talk the woman out of her depression, and hears the sound of a gun going off. Realizing suddenly that the woman on the other end of the line is surely her friend Gwen - and she is the one who was betrayed - Selina drops everything and rushes to ensure that Gwen didn't really do the unspeakable.
Fortunately, she arrives at Gwen's to find her friend alive - but she's shot up her own apartment. Later, Gwen explains that even though she had been tortured by the Penguin into betraying Selina, she couldn't face her friend. She knew Selina would never be able to trust her again. Compassionately, Selina responds that people can change. She did, and she has since learned that Gwen is one of the only friends she's got.
Gwen spots the puzzle-box in Selina's bag, and wonders about it. Selina tries to discourage her from letting her curiosity get the better of them both, but eventually, Gwen wins her over into at least looking at what's on the USB drive. After decrypting the data, they discover a video file featuring Roulette, claiming to be the greatest thief in the world, and challenging all other thieves to prove her wrong in a race of thieves. She reveals that the teeth belong to children - and those children are hostages. If the greatest thieves in the world are not enticed by the money, they may at least be compelled by the threat to the children.
Eagerly, Gwen explains that she can create 3D models of the teeth and use them to cross-reference with dental records to identify the hostages. Selina sees how excited Gwen is, and wonders if going through with the race will give Gwen something to live for.
With a cat-suit that Gwendolyn saved for her, Catwoman heads to the Foundling Hospital that night and snatches the dental records of the children housed there. While there, she encounters Milo - the boy she'd saved from one of the Joker's death traps. She notices that one of his teeth is missing, and he explains that a nice lady came and took it from him. He - at least - is fine.
From there, Selina visits her friend Alice Tesla's workshop, where she explains that none of the children whose teeth were taken are actually missing. Alice reveals that the party site is on Gotham Beach, and suggests that Catwoman use her invisible tripwires to lay markers around in unlikely spots, and use an explosive charm bracelet to cause chaos.
Thus prepared, Selina attends the party, the masquerade theme concealing her identity. Surreptitiously, she lays tripwires near the edge of the party at the water's edge before taking a look at her competition. Among them are a woman who appears to have some kind of powers and her companion. She easily recognizes two under-cover cops in Detectives Carlos Alvarez and Tammy Keyes. She watches them make an early exit as they recognize the members of the Rogues and realize that this event is international, and Interpol's involvement will be necessary. She also recognizes Thaddeus Volt, who in turn recognizes her as the woman he fought during the gang-war in the Badlands.
Finally, Roulette arrives - with Trip Winter on her arm - and calls for attention. She introduces Hunt Stone, the man who will be putting up the prize money, in exchange for the life of his child. gesturing to a video monitor, she explains that they will be tested on the three Ds of crime: dexterity, deception, and disguise. She reveals that a heist at the Monte Carlo Casino, an arbitage coup that wiped out a bitcoin stash, and the theft of the Queen's crown jewels are all the first steps in her global crime race.
The thieves spring into action, attacking each other, and in the melee, Catwoman finds herself lost in the Mirror World.
- This book was first published on April 23, 2014.
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