"Batman: Hong Kong": In Gotham City, a computer hacker happens on a live web-feed of what looks like a genuine snuff film. An Asian man is suspended upside down and helpless to prevent a King Cobra from slithering down his body and biting his neck. The hacker takes the video to the [[Gotha
Appearing in "Batman: Hong Kong"
- Lo Pao
- Tiger One-Eye
Synopsis for "Batman: Hong Kong"
In Gotham City, a computer hacker happens on a live web-feed of what looks like a genuine snuff film. An Asian man is suspended upside down and helpless to prevent a King Cobra from slithering down his body and biting his neck. The hacker takes the video to the GCPD, but Commissioner Gordon says there is not sufficient evidence of a crime: until a body turns up, they cannot be sure it wasn't an elaborate hoax. The disgruntled hacker leaves, but Gordon privately passes the evidence to Batman for further investigation.
In Hong Kong, street tough Benny Lo is horrified to receive another video, showing the murder (by the same method) of his partner and best friend, Johnny Chang. He goes to his uncle, Police Chief Chow Yee, and his former boss, triad kingpin Tiger "One-Eye", but both refuse to help him (Yee because Benny and his partner were criminals, Tiger because Benny and his partner turned their backs on his organization). Furious, Benny returns to his girlfriend, Angela, swearing to hunt down Johnny's killer by any means necessary.
Back in Gotham, the hacker is trying to authenticate the web video, when a humongous Chinese man appears in his doorway. Later, Gordon receives an email with another snuff video, this time showing the murder of the hacker. Tracing both the first victim and the Cobra species to Hong Kong, Batman decides to take a trip there, with Alfred in tow, as usual.
Batman discreetly introduces himself to Police Chief Yee, carrying Gordon's report on the murders. Yee informs Batman that he respects Gordon, but will not tolerate vigilantism in his city. Benny, who has been discreetly tailing Yee, is amazed to see a "man in the shape of a bat" fly away from their meeting. Benny follows him to a local nightclub, where he demands information on the most powerful triad. The thugs attack, and are easily beaten. The police arrive and aim their guns at Batman, but Yee grudgingly accepts his claim that the thugs attacked first.
Batman then goes to confront Tiger One-Eye, knocks out his bodyguards, and asks what profit there is in televised murder. In rage, Tiger says the triads in Hong Kong have more honor than American gangsters, and he would never stoop so low - but more practically, he does not wish that sort of crime to go on, or the greater the chances that the police will blame him for it. Batman accepts this explanation, but says Tiger is wrong; American gangsters make the same lofty claims to "honor" but they are all the same criminal scum.
Watching these encounters from above, Benny is awestruck; a man walking the line between the law and the underworld, winning respect from Yee and addressing Hong Kong's most powerful gangster with "naked contempt." Inspired, Benny creates his own vigilante persona, "Night Dragon," and creates his own suit of armor and arsenal of weapons.
Batman, in spite of what he has said to Yee and Tiger, is conscious that Hong Kong is not his city, and he is unfamiliar with many aspects of its crime, and finds himself wishing for a local ally. Seeing a hostage crisis on the news, he goes to intervene. He succeeds in freeing the hostages, but is close to being overwhelmed, since there are simply too many armed thugs. His body armor is about to fail, when Night Dragon appears, and together they take down most of the thugs. Alerted that the hostages are safe, Yee orders his SWAT unit to storm the building.
From a rooftop, Batman and Night Dragon watch as Tiger arrives in his limousine to survey the carnage, and witness an argument between him and Yee. Night Dragon informs a surprised Batman that Hong Kong's Chief of Police and its most powerful gangster are brothers (his own uncles). The rift between them started when his father, Lo Pao (their half-brother), was killed in a fire at his chemical plant. Yee always suspected Tiger of the murder and refused to take his half of Lo Pao's estate; Tiger denied it, and used the earnings to climb to the top of Hong Kong's criminal organization. Benny himself does not believe Tiger capable of killing his own brother, but both his uncles despise him for what they perceive as lack of loyalty to them. Since they both refuse to help him find Johnny's killer, he would be grateful for Batman's help.
The murders escalate when an email of the same video is sent to Chief Yee and Tiger: this time, it is a double murder being filmed: of Chief Yee's best friend on the police force, and Tiger's chief bodyguard. Furious, Yee and Tiger gather their respective factions and order them to scour Hong Kong for the killer.
The triple forces of Batman and Night Dragon, the police and the triads, interrogate every underground video dealer and webmaster, but have no success. Returning home, a weary Benny is horrified to find Angela missing, and an email on his computer, showing her tied up and about to be the cobra's next victim. From the background, he deduces she is being held at one of the piers, and hurriedly calls Batman for help.
Benny engages the huge Chinese martial artist, while Benny rushes aboard one of the junks to rescue Angela, fighting off the thug filming the scene just in time to knock away the cobra and free her. Batman and Night Dragon subdue the thugs and demand to know who their boss is. The answer shocks them both: Lo Pao, who is still alive.
Lo Pao appears on his own web broadcast, horribly disfigured from the fire that was thought to have killed him. Believing himself betrayed by his whole family - Tiger for setting the fire, Yee for not investigating his murder more diligently, and Benny for not taking over the business - is now avenging himself on them, and the whole city.
Watching this broadcast in Chief Yee's office, Benny is further shocked when his own mother enters and confesses to trying to kill her husband. Even before the fire, Lo Pao was cruel and sadistic, and she saw no other means of escape. She hired two thugs to torch the chemical supply warehouse while Lo Pao was there - one perished in the fire and was mistaken for his intended victim; the other fled to Gotham City, and became the first victim of the snake murders. She was content to remain silent all these years, but Lo Pao's survival has made her responsible for his recent crimes. Yee reluctantly places her under arrest, while Benny grapples for some kind of stability, and Angela comforts him.
Lo Pao has announced that he plans an even worse crime, and Yee reasons that he means to detonate a chemical weapon that will kill half the city. He orders the video broadcast all over Hong Kong (but without sound), so the people can at least recognize Lo Pao when he surfaces to plant his bomb. Emerging outside the police station to organize the search, Yee is surprised to see Tiger standing there with his men. Tiger proposes an alliance, to help save the city they both love.
The police, triads and the two vigilantes desperately scour the city, but Lo Pao is safely hidden behind a disguise - until a stray dog bites the end of the scarf wrapped around his head and pulls it loose, revealing his disfigured face to the horrified crowd. Revealing the bomb strapped around his chest, Lo Pao tells the crowd to stay back and runs into a nearby skyscraper. One of Tiger's men sees the scene and calls it in, and Tiger relays the location to Yee, Batman, and Night Dragon.
Night Dragon asks to confront his father alone, hoping to reason with him. He tries to tell Lo Pao the truth, but Lo Pao is, if anything, even more unhinged by the revelation that his "beloved" wife, not his brother, tried to murder him. He is about to detonate the bomb, when Night Dragon lunges, knocking the detonator away and toppling them both into a rooftop swimming pool. The bomb detonates under the water, which contains both the explosion and the chemical blast. Yee and Tiger, watching the confrontation side by side, both weep for their lost nephew. Realizing they were wrong about each other, the brothers agree to reconcile, for Benny's sake.
Later, Batman investigates the swimming pool and finds evidence that one person escaped the blast. Night Dragon appears, hoping that he has atoned for his father's evil. Batman tells him he has done that, and more. Night Dragon says he will stay dead for the time being (except to Angela), and continue to walk the middle path between justice and vengeance. He thanks Batman for showing him the way, and the two part company.
- This book was first published on June 13, 2003.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
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- Batman (Volume 1)
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- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
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- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
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- World's Finest (Volume 1)
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