|First Published:||June 26, 2013|
|Previous Issue:||Catwoman #20|
|Next Issue:||Catwoman #22|
Since getting onto the bad side of the Penguin, Catwoman has been chased through Gotham City's Badlands neighbourhood by heavily armed thugs and remote controlled bombs. Unfortunately, this runs the risk of considerable collateral damage in the form of human life, and Catwoman is forced to shove a teenage girl out of the way of a massive explosion, just narrowly saving her life. To her surprise, this girl had risked her life for a jug of milk.
Soon, Catwoman meets with Rat-Tail in his hideout where he is preparing his gang for a war with the Penguin. She explains that if he gives in to Penguin's threats and demands now, he will be caught in the protection racket, and squeezed for all the money he's worth. However, if Rat-Tail and his people can take out all of the Penguin's war machines, he will lose the battle and the war. So, they need to make a stand. Fortunately, Rat-Tail trusts her, and shows her to the roof, where a sympathetic welders union has built them some catapults. As they come under attack by Volt, Catwoman christens the new weapons by lobbing one of Rat-Tail's home-made bottle-bombs at him - with great success. However, unknown to Catwoman, Volt's body falls into a pool of water into which a live electrical wire had fallen, and receives a massive jolt of electricity. Instead of dying, he emerges from the water even more powerful than before.
Spotting an unmanned helicopter nearby, Catwoman decides to get closer, and creates a zip-line across with her bola. With the aid of some welding gloves, she and Rat-Tail zip across the gap between buildings, and fall hard onto the opposite roof. Using her whip, Catwoman tethers the chopper to a chimney, and begins tugging until the vehicle smashes hard into the roof, destroying it and costing the Penguin a million.
Later, the Penguin's employees - beautiful women, one and all - begin to badmouth him in the locker-room, unaware that his right-hand girl Lark is listening in. Angrily, she warns that if they cannot be loyal to the man who pays them well, then they are fired, slapping one of them across the face.
Elsewhere, at the city Morgue, Lt. Harvey Bullock and Mayor Hady argue over the viability of police intervention in the gang war going on in the Badlands. The Mayor insists that it would be wasteful to put men on the ground, and offers only sharpshooters and aerial surveillance. Bullock, on the other hand, thinks this plan is essentially giving the Penguin licence to bomb the badlands. Grumpily, the two men turn to the Coroner, who grumbles that despite a lack of useful evidence, he can tell that the Rat-Tails appear to be winning.
This is not good news to the Penguin, who can't imagine why he is losing. Lark suggests that they made a mistake in thinking that the Rat-Tails wouldn't know their own turf well enough to use it to their advantage. She proposes that they take the war to neutral ground. Angrily, the Penguin slaps her across the face, prompting her previous victim to smirk. Cobblepot turns instead to Rolando Gimrack, Esquire, who failed to bring Operation Black Ice to an agreeable conclusion. He had been ordered to weaken the guts of the Badlands with the Black Ice drug, but the drug killed the kids instead of making them addicted for life. Finally, he turns to Lark again, and orders her to try to get a name for Catwoman out of their prisoner, Gwen Altamont. In the meantime, he wonders how they might weaken Catwoman by killing those she cares about. Unfortunately, she seems to care about nothing and no one - not even Gwen, who betrayed her. Nervously, Otto admits that he believes Catwoman might care about Rat-Tail himself.
Meanwhile, Catwoman and Rat-Tail are still holding their own, and Catwoman spots the girl, Tess, delivering milk to families with babies. Rat-Tail confides that the girl is Joe Pazzo's daughter, who turned out to be a good girl, despite her father's having worked for the Penguin.
They are startled by a tremor in the ground, which is soon followed by a direct attack from a chopper driven by the Penguin. Over a loudspeaker, the Penguin warns that if she extends her affections to anyone, she has his word that he will kill them. At that moment, he launches a bomb that opens a hole up underneath Rat-Tail, and the young man falls into it, requiring Selina to lunge for him, in hopes of saving him. Unfortunately, though she thinks she's got him, she only manages to accidentally rescue a stray cat. Meanwhile, a piece of rubble smashes the jug of milk, depriving Tess and the children of the thing she had fought so hard to get.
- Otto Kruft
- Lady Bird
- Harvey Bullock
- Sebastian Hady
- Coroner Bill
- The Penguin
- Gwen Altamont
- Rolando Gimrack, Esquire
- Joe Pazzo's Daughter
- Catwoman's Whip