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"Trail of the Gun, Part 1": Catwoman wakes up surrounded by corpses, and unable to get the image of a gun from her head. She had watched each and every one of the men around her die after being riddled with bullets from all directions. Shaken, she makes her way back
- I like weapons that only the skilled can control... Guns are for jerks and cowards.
- -- Catwoman
Appearing in "Trail of the Gun, Part 1"
- Chase Marino
- Rob Leaver
- Sam Royce
- Tyler Royce
- Zipperface Malloy
- Brickhead Pete
Synopsis for "Trail of the Gun, Part 1"
Catwoman wakes up surrounded by corpses, and unable to get the image of a gun from her head. She had watched each and every one of the men around her die after being riddled with bullets from all directions. Shaken, she makes her way back to her apartment, where a news report claims that she possesses a a so-called "Smart Gun" - a weapon with the ability to fire heat-seeking smart bullets that the manufacturers claim never miss. The anchor declares her Gotham's most dangerous woman, and a debate on the availability of guns to the public drives her to further torment. The anchor explains that Catwoman's glove was found on the scene with residue made from firing a gun. She looks at her hand, and sees that her glove is missing. Could she have killed someone?
After seeing an encouraging interview in which billionaire Bruce Wayne urges the media to let the police do their job instead of lynching Catwoman, Selina sneaks into a news studio in disguise, asking an anchor to meet her at the Gotham Aquarium. There, she reveals that she is Catwoman, and offers an interview.
Long before she was considered a public enemy, she had been checking with every fence in the city for an item that was rumoured to be so valuable that every thief in town wanted hands on it. Unfortunately, nobody knew what the item truly was. All Selina knew was that she wanted it very, very badly. She had even heard tell that the legendary thief Pike Peavy was after it, a rivalry she would have relished.
She went to a bar called Real McCoy's working the room, and trying to get a lead from a hophead. He pointed her in the direction of a break in at a toy store, but she was unconvinced. She really had her eye on a man named Zipperface Malloy - if only she had known that the hophead was right. Malloy wouldn't talk to her - which meant he had already signed onto Pike Peavy's team as a security alarm cracker. So, she turned her attention to Brickhead Pete - well known for having the loosest lips east of Arkham Asylum. Through talking to him, she discovered that the item was on display under glass somewhere, which she thought meant that it was in some rich freak's private collection.
While she was talking to Brickhead, somebody stole her whip, and angrily, she gave chase. Eventually she caught up, stealing the gun from out of his hand, and demanding to know what he thought he was doing. He explained that he wanted to be on her crew for the job she was planning. Unfortunately for him, she worked alone. Besides, she would have preferred to work with someone who was skilled with a weapon, rather than depending on the gun.
The boy explained that he grew up learning that having a gun was the only way to feel powerful. They are an equalizer. When he came from nothing, and got a gun, he suddenly had power. Being powerless was something Selina could relate to, so she heard him out. He claimed that the heist is not actually about jewels, but rather a weapon; a new kind of gun with which one could hold the whole city hostage. Catwoman doubted this, and decided to return to McCoy's.
At the bar, Catwoman caught a news report showing a man who fired an automatic weapon into the air, and she watched as the bullets from that gun whizzed around, killing all of those surrounding him, regardless of which direction they were fired. Seeing this, she realized that the young man was right.
Catwoman and the boy, Chase Marino, attended a meeting with Sam Royce and his son Tyler, the latter of which was now in control of his father's legacy as a gun manufacturer. Sam was no longer in favour of guns, and spoke openly of his disapproval at his son's continued interests in the business. Tyler offered two million to find the smart gun and bring it to him. He promised to turn the gun to the police after reverse engineering it.
Afterwards, Catwoman and Chase visited a pawnbroker's where they discover that the odds against her team beating out Pike Peavy's crew were very high. With that in mind, she bet a wad of cash on herself, expecting big returns.
She and Chase then split up. He went to track the private collectors, to find out where the gun was, and she gauged their competition on the street. She sensed something strange about Chase, in that he had been so gung-ho about guns when she met him, but had staunchly refused to play with the guns at the Royce's.
Unfortunately, she ran into Batman on the street, and he urged her to work with him to keep the smart gun off the street. He asked that if she found it, she would hand it over to him, and not allow anyone to reverse-engineer it. Catwoman resisted, but when he offered that he would leave her alone if she had a look at something he wanted to show her, she agreed.
They worked together to take down some gun runners. Catwoman was impressed by how smoothly they worked together, and found it quite enjoyable until he showed her what he had mentioned before. He took a crate of guns, smashing it on the ground. He pointed to the guns inside, and asked her how many of those guns would go on to kill someone. How many would kill kids? Annoyed, Selina shouted that these questions were not her problem. All she cared about was the score. Besides, several people had saved their own lives with a gun. Batman listed off a number of statistics showing that gun restrictions save lives, but Catwoman refused to hear any more of it. Covering her ears to block out Batman's persistent arguments, Selina had a brief remembrance of hiding under her bed from her abusive stepfather. She needed that gun. Fed up, Batman warned her not to waste her skills on thievery, and left her alone.
However, Batman had begun his own search for the gun, questioning the families of the boys who were killed by the smart gun, as shown on the televised news report. One boy's mother indicated that her son had been writing emails to a gun collector, passing the copies to him. Batman wondered why she wouldn't get rid of the guns in her house, if she knew they would one day get someone killed. The woman began crying, recalling that someone had been killed. Her abusive husband had got drunk and killed one of their sons with a broken bottle. When he came for her, she shot him in the head. The judge had ruled that it was self-defence. After seeing her son die, she had finally got rid of her last gun, throwing it in the trash. She begs Batman to take the rest of them off the street.
Ironically, a young boy finds the gun she threw out in a trash can, and revels in the power he feels because of it.
- This book was first published on August 4, 2004.
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