"The Issue and End": Having taken a member of the Falcone Family as a hostage in exchange for a parlay with Aiden Mason, Selina Kyle is disappointed to hear that she has been sent some of [[Carmine Falcone (Prime E
Synopsis for "The Issue and End"
Having taken a member of the Falcone Family as a hostage in exchange for a parlay with Aiden Mason, Selina Kyle is disappointed to hear that she has been sent some of The Roman's nephews to deal with instead. She warns that she intends to kill the lieutenant she has hostage at midnight if Mason doesn't show. Black Mask will have to explain to the Falcone's why he would risk lives before bringing himself to speak with her. Ward shows them out. Selina is well aware that it was Black Mask who tried to have her shot the other day, and he thinks he can bring down the Calabreses. He believes he knows more than Selina does, though - and he's wrong.
Upon returning home, Selina breaks her cousin Antonia's heart by warning her to leave, and go into hiding. Antonia does not wish to abandon her family, but Selina doesn't wish to lose any more of hers, and so Antonia's exit is an order, and not a request. Selina admits that she wishes she didn't have to make this decision, but for her own peace of mind, she must. As Antonia leaves in frustration, Ward chooses not to question Selina's choice, and asks how he can help.
Selina decides that the Falcone lieutenant should be moved to The Egyptian, double security with trustworthy men, and then send the Penitente Cartel to the Falcones. The Rileys and Maronis will go after the Hasigawas, while smaller families will limit bloodshed where possible at neighbourhood boundaries. She intends to deal with the Sons of Forster Lane herself, in the meantime. She knows already that Lewis, a lieutenant with Forster Lane is in the pocket of Catwoman. She interrupts a meeting between them and warns Eiko to get scarce, because war is coming, opting to walk Lewis back home.
He leads her back to The Penguin, who has been expecting her visit since she sent Killer Croc to get him out of the prison riot at Blackgate Penitentiary. The Sons of Forster Lane were a relatively new player in Gotham, and Selina had figured out early on that they belonged to the Penguin. After all, Emperor penguin is the scientific name for the emperor penguin. She comments that he hasn't picked a side yet, and he admits that he is only playing the game, so far. He is unimpressed, though, with Black Mask's playing style - and in truth, he'd prefer to deal with her. She warns him not to get in her way, if they're going to be dealing, and he assures her that he has larger plans. Selina suggests that she will work with him if he puts all of his soldiers at her disposal, and lets Lewis report to her. In exchange for betraying Black Mask, he will be allowed to split territory with a more worthy ally. With his agreement, she gives Lewis the night off.
Afterwards, Eiko meets with Selina on a nearby roof and admits that she hadn't known Lewis worked for the Penguin. Selina responds that she's been around enough to know, and admits that she misses being Catwoman. That said, she needs to take the mantle back if she intends to survive Black Mask's attack on her. She needs to be her whole self. Eiko, though, must stand down. If anyone finds out about their relationship, she will be killed or made into some kind of bait. It's not worth the risk. For the time being, Eiko should go back to her father and play at being enemies with her in order to survive.
Soon, Selina's leniency in not killing the Falcone lieutenant builds support with them, annoying Black Mask, who knows she's trying to draw him out. Sighing, Mason insists that he will take care of her. Eiko's father therefore suggests that she and he will take care of the local disturbances. Out of her father's earshot, Black Mask approaches Eiko and warns that he sees her ambition, and warns her to hold her loyalty through the battle.
On the docks, Detectives Keyes and Alvarez are overseeing an attempt to break up the gang war when it occurs to them that even more of the GCPD than they thought are in somebody's pocket - and Keyes thinks it's about time they smoke those officers out. While watching them from a rooftop, Selina overhears Keyes and Alvarez talking about taking Antonia into protective custody, and how they can't get a hold of Aiden Mason for questioning. Selina realizes from this that she needs to beat them back home without being seen, as Antonia is in danger.
Selina finds that Mason is already there, having got the drop on Antonia, assuring her that all he needs is leverage - it's nothing personal. Selina leaps at him, and in the confusion, Antonia takes a bullet in the leg, but Selina gets Mason at gunpoint. Angrily, she warns him to leave Gotham and never come back - or she'll ensure that he dies. Smirking, he agrees, but promises that whenever she comes looking for answers, he'll be waiting. After all, he still claims to be her brother. As she tries to staunch Antonia's bleeding, Selina reminds that she'd sent her away because the family needs a leader when she's gone - and that leader should be her. It is Antonia who loves the family the most; who has given up the most.
Fortunately, Ward arrives and sees to Antonia, noting that he had an easier time of getting there thanks to something happening in Forster Lane to calm the fighting. Selina admits that she got some help from a friend, and has to go out on her own again. As she privately looks in on her safe, full of items from her past - her catsuit, her spoils - Selina admits that she'll have to tell Ward and Antonia everything she knows. She'll have to tell them about the Penguin and about Catwoman. Black Mask had held a secret against the Calabreses once before, and he won't be allowed to do it again.
Returning to his apartment with Keyes, Alvarez discovers that the Catwoman broke in during his absence, and left him a note. It assures him that he's on the right track with his investigations, and she intends to show him who it's safe to trust in the fallout of it all.
Robbed of his victory, Black Mask looks out his window to see Catwoman standing on a building on the horizon. She notices him noticing her, and ignores him, turning her attention instead to Batman, who also noticed her. He smiles at her, acknowledging that he is glad to see her back, and then she is off in the night.
Appearing in "The Issue and End"
- Calabrese Family
- Catwoman (Eiko Hasigawa)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Sons of Forster Lane
- The Penguin
- Killer Croc's helping the Penguin escape from Blackgate at Selina's command was depicted in Batman Eternal #50.
- Catwoman Recommended Reading