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Batman (Volume 2) Issue 23.2

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"Solitaire"
Batman Vol 2-23.2 Cover-1
General Information
Series: Batman
Issue Number: 23.2
First Published: September 11, 2013
Previous Issue: The Joker #1
Next Issue: The Penguin #1


SynopsisEdit

"Solitaire"Edit

Having escaped Arkham Asylum, The Riddler steps out into Gotham City, and prepares to break into Wayne Tower.

Outside, he has arranged a flash-mob protest to gather, protesting a misconduct scandal on the Wayne Charitable board. As strides through the crowd, he surreptitiously places an incendiary device on the backside of one of the barricades keeping them back. He walks right in the front door, displaying his ID card. The card was specially designed to circumvent the Waynetech security, and insert its own code into the system. In order for that code to be activated, he needs to swipe it at the exact moment of the pre-established system-reset, which occurs every eighteen minutes. With seeming effortlessness, he does so.

As the incendiary device activates, signalling the crowd to break through the barriers, the Riddler uses the distraction to get a device past the metal-detector without anyone noticing it.

As Nygma begins completing his disguise, George Lesley of Wayne Security begins to realize that something is not right. Three banks of express elevators have all shut down at the same instance, in direct contravention of Bruce Wayne's instructions in their design. Likewise, security coms suffered a blackout, while there was a crash in the lobby's facial recognition alert system. Wayne Tower is under attack, and after reviewing the lobby's cameras, they realize that their attacker is the Riddler. At that same moment, every video screen in the security office begins alternately showing riddles and the Crime Syndicate's message of doom.

The Riddler is stopped in the hallway by a security officer, and in response to his shout, the Riddler provides this riddle: "Advancing every other moment, in between reverse. Leave me to my own device, I get direct and worse." The guard ignores him at his peril, as when he attempts to fire his weapon, his body is hit by a massive shock of electricity - which happens to be the answer to the riddle. Stepping over his corpse, The Riddler enjoys a cup of yogurt, and regards the crowd outside with disdain.

As security communications begin to break down further, Lesley chases after Nygma, knowing where he's going.

Approaching a conference room door, the Riddler places a plastic explosive into his yogurt cup, and putts it against the door with his cane. With the door blown down, Riddler steps into the room and demands that Caroline Slater, Junior VP of Finance identify herself. Spotting her, he yanks her by the hand to the executive elevator, activated by hand-print recognition, and forces her to open it.

To his surprise, a woman punches him in the face, promising to demonstrate the fruits of her 17 years of self-defence classes. He responds by giving her a powerful shock that knocks her to the floor, and prevents her from getting up again. Resuming his plans, he checks his watch, and enters the elevator. As he ascends, he is forced to use meditation exercises to keep his rage under control. He hadn't always required them, but things changed.

After returning to his old office, Nygma is interrupted by Lesley, who had once been an Arkham Guard. He had won Nygma's disdain when he had deprived the inmate of a deck of cards five years ago. The Riddler's greeting is this: "I'm sorry that I woke today, because I've lost my right. I'll sit here in the corner now, and mumble at my plight. Exasperated, Lesley responds that it was a mistake to come back to Wayne Enterprises. It will only get him back where he started, and the company will be no worse off within two days. Lesley lunges at him, but is unprepared for the Riddler's counter-attack. Nygma launches a small explosive device at Lesley's gun arm, and it blows the arm right off.

Smirking, the Riddler explains that the answer to his riddle is "George Lesley". He's certainly lost his right, now. He admits, as the other man slumps to the floor, that Wayne Tower was a challenge for him, but he really came for George. He had dared to touch Nygma when he took the cards away; that small comfort. Now, he had lost the arm he had used to do so. Leaving Lesley to mumble about his plight, the Riddler heads for the roof.

By now, the security systems from the tenth floor up have shut down, and anything within them will be his for the taking. That's not his intention, though. He has heard that the Batman is dead. He doesn't believe it, though. Retrieving a deck of cards from his pocket, Edward Nygma sits down, and begins a game of solitaire, waiting for the only opponent worthy of his best efforts to come and find him. Until then, all of this has just been killing time.

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"Solitaire"Edit

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