"Targeting the Shield": Officers Gilroy and Wallace come upon the Batman standing over the dead bodies of their fellow officers Pope and Stevenson, and, having already developed a grudge against the vigilante, they open fire on him. Fortunately, Batman evades their gunfi
- We've got a cop killer on our hands, gentlemen. And I've a nasty suspicion he's just getting started.
Synopsis for "Targeting the Shield"
Officers Gilroy and Wallace come upon the Batman standing over the dead bodies of their fellow officers Pope and Stevenson, and, having already developed a grudge against the vigilante, they open fire on him. Fortunately, Batman evades their gunfire, and he watches from the rooftops as Commissioner Gordon explains that Batman might actually have saved the pair of them from meeting the same fate as the two dead policemen. He determines that Gotham has a cop-killer in its midst, and that they are lucky to have the Batman watching their backs.
In truth, there have been half a dozen such killings in as many days, and to the annoyance of Bruce Wayne, that is not the only thing he's got to deal with. E.D. Caldwell, CEO of Caldwell Tech has provided him with an offer for Wayne Enterprises, and he doesn't seem inclined to take no for an answer. Despite having come to meet Mr. Caldwell, Bruce insists that it was merely a courtesy to answer a polite "no thank-you" for the offer. As he watches Bruce leave, Caldwell grumbles that the man seems intent on making his life difficult.
Bruce's reasoning for turning down the partnership is clear: Caldwell manufactures weapons. He wants Wayne Enterprises for the sole purpose of gutting its R&D department in search of ways to create the perfect war. Alfred reminds Bruce that much of Caldwell's profits are donated to charities and organizations. He suggests that perhaps, Bruce dislikes Caldwell because he feels that the position of billionaire philanthropist in Gotham City is filled. Bruce glares at him, and Alfred admits that he didn't take well to Caldwell either. With that, Bruce leaves, to seek out the cop-killer.
Elsewhere, a masked assassin called Scorn, who had spent time behind bars unjustly, takes revenge on the GCPD, killing Officers Bradley and Parker. Officers Strode and Melendez were nearby, trying to protect their comrades, but it did them little good. Unfortunately, Batman arrives 20 seconds too late to prevent Melendez from getting shot. Strode tells Batman everything she can remember about who attacked them, but he stays behind to ask after Melendez' condition. Surprisingly, he is alive, thanks to new equipment donated by Caldwell Tech.
Grumpily, Batman moves on, contacting Gordon along the way. He warns the GCPD to stay away from his location, because he is on top of the issue. Gordon warns that one of his officers described the killer in the previous shooting as looking just like the Batman. This comes as strange news to Batman, as despite Officer Wallace's dislike of him, it is unlikely that he would confuse the killer he just saw with him. Cornering the shooter, Batman notes that it is unlikely that this was the same shooter, and must be in league with others.
Unfortunately, against his warnings, Officer Strode sneaks up behind the shooter, and pulls her gun. Calmly, Batman tries to persuade her not to take revenge for the deaths of her fellow officers, warning that this is not the same shooter who killed the other cops over the last week. As if to confirm that statement, an aircraft begins raining a hail of bullets down on them all, and it is all Batman can do to get Strode out of the line of fire. They watch as a figure drops a ladder from the aircraft to pick up the shooter they had been chasing. Meanwhile, Scorn's employer condemns the failure, and expresses wrath, the emotion that is his namesake, as he crushes Scorn's skull mask in his hand, and ends their partnership by dropping him out of the air-craft to his death.
Appearing in "Targeting the Shield"
- Gotham City Police Department
- Mr. Waters
- Mrs. Waters
Synopsis for "My Better Half"
After an unsettling experience where he transformed into the Man-Bat without the aid of his serum, Kirk Langstrom dumped out the remains of his formula, hoping that it would do some good. However, now that he is without his life's work, he feels an increasing disinterest with his life. His job lacks excitement, and his wife, Francine has barely been able to look him in the eye since she took the serum herself.
To occupy himself, Kirk studies the way in which his body was physically affected by his psychological addiction to the serum. Unfortunately, his struggles to deal with the remains of the serum in his system, Kirk's coworkers begin to become suspicious. This is compounded by a visit to the lab from Lt. Harvey Bullock, who asks him to come to the station to answer questions about some bodies he's found.
Bullock explains that there have been eight murders - the apparent work of some kind of creature that appears to be a giant bat. The Batman confirmed as much. Given Langstrom's prior involvement with giant bats, and his hand in creating the serum in the first place, Bullock demands a solid alibi. He gives Kirk a moment to think on it, but returns soon with news that Francine has given an alibi for him. She presents evidence showing that neither of them was unaccounted for during the times of the murders.
However, Kirk knew they had not done any of those things, and that night, he snuck out as himself, to peek at Francine's files. As it turned out, her experiments had deviated from his. While he had used a certain species as only a control group, she had based her entire formula on the Lasionycteris Desmodontidae; a rare South American bat with a highly aggressive disposition - which also happens to be vampiric.
Appearing in "My Better Half"
- Kirk Langstrom
- Batman (Hologram)
- Both stories in this issue are reprinted in Detective Comics: The Wrath.
- The species "Lasionycteris Desmodontidae" does not exist in reality, but its name is formed of a combination of a genus of silver-haired vesper bats (Lasionycteris) and the archaic genus used to refer to vampire bats, which have now become known as the sub-genus Desmodontinae, under the American leaf-nosed bat family.