Writer: Paul Tobin, Ricardo Sabchez
Artist: Tradd Moore, Sergio Sandoval
Release date: 5/1/2013
Summary by Anthony Feinman
the Batcave, Batman disguises himself as a typical detective. He
arrives at a crime scene and crosses the police line to investigate a
kidnapping/disappearance. In this particular case, a mother and child in
stroller have been taken. In their place, a carved wooden replica has
appeared. More cases start appearing around Gotham of other people being
kidnapped and replaced by wooden replicas. The only viable clue that
Batman can ascertain is that fact that each incident can be seen from
the last incident.
On patrol, Batman spies a van unloading a
wooden statue of a woman. He attacks the unloaders and interrogates one
of them. He learns that the unloaders know nothing about the kidnappings
as they are only paid to place the statues around town. They are paid
via money drop so their buyer is known to them.
At a party Bruce
Wayne is throwing, he is approached by two woman who start a
conversation with him about art. One of the females makes a statement
about art having inner meaning which causes Bruce to disappear and leave
his guests without a moments warning.
Batman arrives at the
Carver Gallery and happens upon Benjamin Carver surrounded by his own
wooden carvings. Benjamin pulls a gun on Batman. He explains his reason
for the abductions is the death of his own wife and daughter. Since the
city turned them in wood via their coffins, he plans to do the same for
the citizens of Gotham. Batman is able to take Benjamin down and has
Commissioner Gordon look for the hostages next to Benjamin's family's
Commissioner Gordon is
investigating a homicide where the victim was torn apart via claws and
bite marks. He brings Batman in on the investigation. Commissioner
Gordon think that the attacker could be Killer Croc. Batman finds a
tooth and believes that it came from an animal. He tests the DNA and
rules out Killer Croc even though the results are inconclusive. The DNA
has traces of black bear, vulture, alligator and varies other species.
Batman leaves the scene to visit Dr Roads.
Batman enters into Dr.
Roads apartment via his bedroom window thus waking up the doctor. Dr
Roads wakes up confused that someone is after him. Is it the Joker?
Batman confirms that no one is after him. He has just come to
investigate a burglary Dr Roads reported a few weeks ago. Dr Roads takes
Batman to the crime scene to investigate. Down in a vault, Dr Roads has
a collection of crypto-taxidermy animals from fictitious origins. The
pride of Dr Roads collection, the Barghest, was the piece that was
stolen. Batman asks him where he originally obtained the piece. Dr Roads
tells him that he had it specially made by Joel Garfield. Batman leaves
Dr Roads to do more investigating.
At the home of Joel Garfield,
a potential buyer comes knocking at his door. Garfield reluctantly lets
the man in to look over his various pieces he has for sale. The buyer
looks over the pieces but wants a piece much like the one he sold to Dr
Roads. Garfield gets mad at the buyer and kicks him at of his home. As
the buyer walks away, he radio's Alfred back at the Batcave. The buyer
is Batman in disguise.
A couple take a stroll in the middle of
the night and are attacked by a massive beast. Batman intervenes and
incapacitates the beast and drives it away but not before it injures the
male human of the couple. Batman tells Alfred to track the beast via a
tracker that he placed on it during their battle.
to the Batcave and both he and Alfred watch for the signal. However, the
signal is eventually lost. Batman believes that the signal is lost due
to the creature entering the sewer. Alfred is able to help him narrow it
to a local high school that has a large storm drain running underneath
the building. Alfred locates a special item for him to take to help
subdue the beast.
At Harding High School, Batman enters through
the storm drain that leads into the school. As he enters through a hole
in the wall, he discovers a massive amount of dead animals strung upside
with their blood being drained. He moves on and locates a room with a
large table and an ancient Babylonian text referencing a pit. Could it
be the Lazarus Pit? As Batman examines a jar, Garfield enters the road
and commands Batman to put the jar down. Batman asks what's in the jar
to which Garfield replies nothing more than taxidermy supplies. Batman
deliberately drops the jar to reveal a snake with wings and a bird's
beak. Batman tells Garfield that playing around with the Lazarus pit is
dangerous. Garfield explains that he was unsuccessful with the Lazarus
pit but was able to make his own concoction that works better. Batman
then confronts the beast that he encountered previously. They battle
until Batman releases the weapon that Alfred supplied him with subduing
the creature. Garfield tries to comport his creation but is attacked by
the beast. It escapes again causing Batman to again chase after it
leading him to another beast. The other beast turns out to be the one
that Batman had fought with previously. One is male while the other
female. They are both mates. Batman brings them both back to the Batcave
and keeps them alive having not made a decision on whether or not to
put them down or let them live.