"Birdcage": Following an unusually aggressive spree of robberies, the Penguin suddenly attacks the Gotham Zoo with a small gang of gunmen and several hundred trained birds, soon claiming a number of civilian hostages. While police cordon off the zoo, Batman enters alone, quickly finding and defe
- Come in! Come in! I've been expecting you. I imagine all the birds have been scaring everyone away, but I knew you'd come...
- — Penguin
Synopsis for "Birdcage"
Following an unusually aggressive spree of robberies, the Penguin suddenly attacks the Gotham Zoo with a small gang of gunmen and several hundred trained birds, soon claiming a number of civilian hostages. While police cordon off the zoo, Batman enters alone, quickly finding and defeating several of the gunmen. The birds prove somewhat less hostile but much more coordinated, singlemindedly herding him toward the zoo's main aerie.
Inside the aerie, Batman is confronted by several more gunmen and the Penguin himself. Smugly, the Penguin explains that all his robberies had been to fund an international smuggling network and purchase mind-control technology from the Mad Hatter. Having programmed the birds with this technology, he means to send them all away from their human keepers - whom he likens to his own persecutors and jailers - and back to their natural habitats.
Unimpressed with Penguin's misanthropy, Batman demands the hostages be released. Amused, the Penguin explains there are no hostages; his men had merely play-acted as such, to keep the police at bay and put Batman at his mercy. Immediately rallying, Batman beats the rest of Penguin's men, only to be swarmed by the birds, which have been programmed to recognize and attack his costume on command.
Finding himself hopelessly outnumbered, Batman jumps into one of the aerie exhibits and coats himself in mud, obscuring his costume enough to confuse the birds' programming. With the birds scattered, Batman easily defeats and apprehends the Penguin. Subsequently, many of the birds are recaptured and deprogrammed - but the Penguin contents himself with the fact that many more have already escaped, enjoying a freedom he himself will never know.
Appearing in "Birdcage"
- Lazlo brothers
- Gotham City Police Department
- Mad Hatter (Mentioned only) (Behind the scenes)
- Summer Gleeson
- The story repeatedly misidentifies Stonegate Penitentiary as "Seagate" (best known as the prison where Marvel hero Luke Cage received his powers).
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: His Greatest Adventures.
- Among Penguin's attack birds are a pair of bald eagles named "Shoe" and "Perfesser" - a naming scheme carried over from Detective Comics Annual #1.
- DC Animated Universe Recommended Reading
- Adventures in the DC Universe (Volume 1)
- The Batgirl Adventures #1
- Batman Adventures (Volume 1)
- Batman Adventures (Volume 2)
- The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years (Volume 1)
- The Batman Adventures: Mad Love
- The Batman and Robin Adventures (Volume 1)
- Batman and Superman Adventures: World's Finest
- Batman Beyond (Volume 1)
- Batman Beyond (Volume 2)
- Batman Beyond (Volume 4)
- Batman Beyond Unlimited (Volume 1)
- Batman Beyond Universe (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Adventures (Volume 1)
- Batman: Harley and Ivy (Volume 1)
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm - The Animated Movie #1
- Gotham Girls (Volume 1)
- Justice League Adventures (Volume 1)
- Justice League Unlimited (Volume 1)
- Superman Adventures (Volume 1)
- Superman & Batman Magazine (Volume 1)