"Swamp Sinister": This story is reprinted from Batman #235.
Appearing in "Swamp Sinister"
- Striss (Only appearance; dies)
- Polard (Appears only as a corpse)
- Solomon T. London (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Swamp Sinister"
This story is reprinted from Batman #235.
A heavy and large package arrives for Bruce Wayne at the Wayne Foundation Penthouse. Alfred and Bruce manage to open the box and they realize that it is a coffin with a dead body inside. Bruce quickly changes into Batman and prepares to leave with the corpse to the GCPD Headquarters and start an investigation, when suddenly Ra's al Ghul appears and informs Batman that he sent the package because he needs Batman's help.
Ra's tells Batman that Striss, one of the scientist working for him, had developed a formula to alter chemical elements' properties without his permission and that during a confrontation between them, Ra's was knocked by Striss' assistant, Polard. Ra's was thought to be dead, but with help from his other scientists, Ra's recovered and started looking for Striss. After an extensive search, all his men could find was the dead body of Polard, the man who attacked Ra's. When they examined the body, they found traces of the formula developed by Striss and also discovered that when humans were exposed to the formula, it turned into a deadly plague, which is what killed Polard. After telling the story to Batman, Ra's asks the Dark Knight to find and stop Striss from spreading the plague and also save Ra's daughter, Talia, as she had already begun a manhunt for the scientist, unaware of the dangers.
Batman starts his investigation in the house of a notorious chemist, who could provide Striss with the chemical elements he needed to test his formula. When Batman arrives at the place, he realizes that it is too late, as both Striss' men as well as Talia's henchmen have arrived before him and someone had kidnapped the chemist. Batman takes down the thugs guarding the house and when he enters the place, he interrogates the housekeeper, who informs Batman that the thugs have taken Mr. London to a "small stream".
Batman deduces that the housemaid refers to the Louisiana swamps and he prepares a flight on Ra's private jet to Louisiana. Batman descends on the marked location and starts following the traces left by Striss' formula until he finds an odd abandoned cabin in the middle of the swamp. When Batman enters the place, he finds a concealed elevator inside and he prepares to descend, unaware of the activities taking place below, where Talia had already caught up with Striss and Mr. London, and she was ready to eliminate the scientist for the murder of her father. Batman arrives in time to stop Talia from killing Striss, but when he is explaining them about the deadly plague contained in the formula, Striss attacks them and Batman is forced to defend Talia from Striss, who grabs a machine gun and tries to shoot at them. Batman manages to hold Striss' aim away from them, but one of the bullets hits the vial with the formula, spilling the chemical over the desk. Batman punches Striss and the man falls on top of the formula, which starts affecting him immediately. Batman takes Talia and Mr. London out of the room and he seals it completely in order to avoid the plague from spreading away.
Finally, Batman, Talia and Mr. London reach the surface of the swamp, where Ra's is waiting for them and Talia is overjoyed to learn that her father is still alive. Ra's has taken a team of doctors to make sure they are not infected and they prepare to leave the place. Before leaving the swamp, Talia shows her gratitude to Batman by kissing him, but Batman is still shocked at Talia's willingness to kill, which makes him unsure about her last kiss.
Appearing in "Vengeance for a Dead Man!"
- Flinky Davenport
- Mason Sterling (Appears only as a corpse)
- Mr. Keener (Sterling's partner)
Synopsis for "Vengeance for a Dead Man!"
This story is reprinted from Batman #240.Batman is summoned to the Gotham Morgue, where Commissioner Gordon shows him the corpse of a man whose brain was removed. Gordon and his team are baffled at the mystery and he asks Batman to investigate the case. For this reason, Batman pays a visit to an old criminal that he knows might have information about this odd crime. Unfortunately, Batman is attacked by the man and his criminal peers as he is trying to interrogate them. The thugs manage to get the upper hand in the fight and Batman is saved by the timely arrival of Talia, who shoots the criminals to prevent them from hurting Batman.
After a brief introduction, Batman and Talia realize that they are both trying to solve the same case and thus, they decide to work together. Talia informs Batman that the man who was murdered was a former business partner of her father and that she needs to find his killer. Following the few clues they have, Batman and Talia arrive to a private building and they break inside. When they reach the main room, they witness a man confessing the crime to another man and Batman jumps at them before he starts interrogating the criminal. When the man refuses to answer, Talia acts and she informs Batman that she has carried a vial of truth serum with her, which would make him confess. However, as soon as Talia injects the serum, the man falls unconscious and Talia realizes that she had injected an amnesic serum. With his memory gone, the criminal is no longer useful to them and Talia apologizes for her mistake.
Afterwards, Talia asks Batman to drop her on her father's Yatch at the Gotham River and after Batman takes Talia to the place, they part ways. As Talia walks into the yatch, she is greeted by Dr. Moon, who informs her that her father has summoned her and they descend to a submarine underneath the yatch. In the meantime, Batman, who had placed a tracker on Talia, contacts Alfred and tells him to bring the Bat-Copter to his location. When Alfred arrives, Batman notices that the signal has started to move away from the yatch into the ocean and he deduces that a subway was attached to the yatch underwater and that Talia has moved away. Alfred notices that Batman has become suspicious of Talia and the Caped Crusader replies that he can't believe that such a cunning woman as her could make a big mistake as mixing serums.
Following the signal on the Bat-Copter, Batman and Alfred are taken to open waters and when the signal finally stops moving, Batman descends to the water to find the submarine. Batman swims underwater and finds a massive hideout inside a rock. On his way to the secret place, Batman is attacked by one of the guards of the place, but he makes short work of the man. Batman finally finds a secret door with the symbol of the Demon engraved on it and as he enters the place, he realizes that the whole facility is heavily guarded.
Meanwhile, Ra's al Ghul is working with Dr. Moon and Talia on his private laboratory and they are trying to get classified information from someone. Batman interrupts their interrogation and he is horrified to learn that Ra's and his men are responsible for taking the brain of the murdered man and placing it on a machine that allows the brain to communicate. Ra's tries to convince Batman that he is only trying to extend life beyond mortal bounds, but Batman doesn't buy the tale and he finally realizes that Ra's al Ghul is a dangerous criminal. Dr. Moon tries to warn Ra's men about Batman, but he is knocked down easily. Batman turns his wrath against Ra's and he asks Talia to surrender, as he admits that he wouldn't like to hurt her. Talia is glad to know that Batman might love her and the moment of hesitation is seized by Ra's, who activates an sliding panel made of some strong plastic that divides the room in half, separating Batman from them. As Ra's makes his escape, the brain tries to help Batman and he tells him to press the red button on the main board to remove the panel. However, when Batman activates the button, the machine in which the brain is held starts burning. The brain explains that it couldn't bear an existence like that and he chose to destroy his existence forever.
After witnessing the death of a man, or what little remained of him, Batman becomes determined with vengeance against Ra's al Ghul.
Appearing in "The Secret of the Waiting Graves"
- Juan Muerto (Only appearance; dies)
- Dolores Muerto (Only appearance; dies)
- Manuel (Single appearance)
- Pedro Valdes (a government agent) (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Secret of the Waiting Graves"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #395.
A party has been organized in a graveyard of Central Mexico. The organizers are the Muertos, a wealthy and eccentric couple who have invited people from other countries as well. During the party, some of the guests are taken on a ride on hot air balloons, but the balloon in which Pedro Valdes has taken off is suddenly attacked by trained falcons, causing him to drop to a certain death. Batman appears from the shadows and manages to save Valdes by directing his fall to a river beneath. As soon as Valdes recovers, he recognizes Batman, but before he realizes, Batman is gone.
Moments later, Bruce Wayne arrives at the party, as he had been invited as well, and he is introduced to Juan and Dolores Muerto. Bruce notices there is something odd about the couple, but he is distracted by the arrival of Valdes, who has recovered after the apparent accident. At that precise moment, someone shoots at Valdes from the wilderness around them and Bruce realizes that someone is definitely trying to murder Valdes. Changing again to Batman, he goes to the place where the bullet came from and finds a group of hired killers hiding behind some rocks. Batman gets the upper hand in the fight, forcing the thugs to call their wolves. Batman is then forced to retreat by jumping off a cliff and hanging from a very well concealed Batrope.
Waiting a few moments until his attackers are gone, Batman starts hearing some voices that belong to the Muertos and Valdes. Batman finally deduces that the Muertos are behind the murder attempts of Valdes and he starts following them as the Muertos take Valdes to a nearby abandoned monastery.
Once inside the building, the Muertos show Valdes a large orchard of Sybil flowers, which are said to grant immortality at the cost of one's sanity. Valdes then reveals himself as a government agent out to capture the Muertos, but the mysterious couple use the strange flowers against Valdes to knock him unconscious. At that moment, Batman breaks inside the place and confronts the Muertos, who also use the flowers to dose Batman and force him to have nightmarish visions. Before they leave, Batman learns that the Muertos plan to spread these flowers across the world, creating madness and chaos on their way.
The Muertos leave the monastery, with Batman and Valdes tied and helpless, and once outside, they prepare their trained falcons to attack and kill their victims. Batman tries to fight off the hallucinations and using Valdes' badge, he breaks the ropes binding him. Batman frees himself in time to defend himself from the trained falcons and takes Valdes away from the strange flowers. Once outisde, Batman uses a torch left behind by the Muertos to burn all the flowers in the monastery. The Muertos notice the fire from far away and they realize that the source of their immortality is being destroyed. The couple try to reach the monastery before the plants are all burned, but with the source of their power burning, they begin to age at an increased speed and before they could reach the place, they become living corpses and collapse in the graves designated for each other. Finally, Batman approaches the tombstone of the Muertos and includes the year of their deaths, almost 130 years from their birth years.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
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