"The Hanged Man"Edit
Leviathan is on the march. By placing operatives as supply teachers in destitute neighbourhoods, cops in the GCPD, and social workers and judges in the civil service, they have the means to steal children, using the machinery of Gotham to grind up the citizens, leaving Leviathan to devour the city from within.
Meanwhile, at a bar called Three Eyed Jack's, former Grimm Brother Syndicate member Fry is meeting up with an old contact: the fast-talking Gotham criminal known as "Matches" Malone. Malone boasts to Fry about his contacts, but then admits that he wants a meet with Leviathan. Fry can supply him, through his friends in the Grimm Brothers Syndicate. Halfway through the meeting, Malone decides to help the chanteuse, Lumina Lux, deal with some goons. Malone introduces his crew, purportedly the scariest gang of malcontents this side of Blackgate Prison, which causes the goons to back off. Matches proceeds to hit on the singer, who mentions her next job singing at the Grimm Brothers' wake, but is interrupted by none other than the Batman, who threatens his personal safety.
Next day, at the Batcave, Batman is reviewing notes on the deaths of the Grimm Brothers, who he suspects were murdered so that Leviathan could take over their operation. He commends Nightwing on his turn as Batman the night before. As they talk, they are interrupted by Damian, still stewing that he had to fake his death to avoid Leviathan's bounty on his head, and Alfred, who confirms that Bat-Cow has an artificially-induced hormone, which, if it had gone to make burgers for the new Dark Tower burger chain, would have dosed customers with the primer chemical for Leviathan's mind-control drug, which seems to be based on the work of Professor Pyg. Batman brings up a mind-map of every case and adventure of the last few years, which forms a web with Leviathan at the centre. Something big is coming, and Damian notes that alone, Batman will be vulnerable.
That night, at Three Eyed Jack's, Matches Malone is having a word with the cabbie-slash-super-assassin known as Goatboy. Goatboy explains that he killed Robin for the money, but Leviathan demands loyalty from its servants, and twice weekly they sacrifice a goat to Kali at meetings. Matches Malone asks after the singer, then leaves, changing into Batman in a prepared cab. However, he gets a phone call from Lumina Lux on Matches Malone's cellphone, saying the wake has taken a turn for the weird and asking for his help. Batman decides to gatecrash the wake as Matches.
At the Batcave, Damian has been building something. When Alfred comes in to see what, he is subdued by knockout gas. Damian takes this as his chance to debut his new costumed identity...
Matches Malone arrives at the wake, only to be ambushed by the goons from the bar, who put a plastic bag on his head to suffocate him. Goatboy steps out of the shadows, revealing that part of his initiation into the League of Assassins is to choose three people to be killed by Leviathan as "goats", on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fry was the first. Matches Malone will be the second.
Outside the building, meanwhile, a guard is incapacitated. And another. And another. By the time they release the hounds, they have been breached by Gotham's newest protector... the Dark Squire... Redbird!
"The Hanged Man"Edit
- James Gordon
- Matches Malone
- Fry (Dies in this issue)
- Bully (First Appearance)
- Lumina Lux (First Appearance)
- Damian Wayne/Redbird
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Coming Soon