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"Hour of the Serpent": Batman walks the night streets of Chinatown to meet his friend Danny Loo, when his attuned reactions save a Chinese man who comes crashing through a window. Batman leaps into action, and on the other side of the window


Quote1 Once I saved Batman's life -- And ancient Chinese custom says his life's in my keeping! How can I not help him and our oriental brothers? Quote2
-- Jason Blood



Appearing in "Hour of the Serpent"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Shahn-Zi (Resurrected; dies)
  • The Savage Dragons (gang) (Single appearance)
    • Willie Chang (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "Hour of the Serpent"

Batman walks the night streets of Chinatown to meet his friend Danny Loo, when his attuned reactions save a Chinese man who comes crashing through a window. Batman leaps into action, and on the other side of the window he confronts the Savage Dragons. He fends off the gang of young thugs until he is struck with a bottle on the back of the head. Fortunately, Danny bursts in behind the GCPD causing the teen punks to scatter. Danny confides in Batman that he's concerned the Dragons, led by Willie Chang, will disrupt the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The next night, Batman patrols the streets of Chinatown, where he comes across Jason Blood and Glenda Mark who have just been to dinner at Lum Fat's; although Glenda chimes in to mention his real motive of observing any supernatural activity the New Year may bring. They are suddenly interrupted by Danny who urgently requests Batman's assistance.

Jason and Glenda accompany the two friends to the store of a respected businessman, Lao Ching, who lies dead with his face twisted in horror. His servant, An-Hah, come running into the room, screaming hysterically about Shahn-Zi. Batman is incredulous at first, witnessing the Spectre kill the evil wizard years ago, but doubt sets in when he sees the woman presenting a damp weed only found in the Yellow River — Shahn-Zi's calling card. Jason suspects it's a hoax played by the Dragons and offers his services despite Glenda's disapproval.

Batman asks Jason play the tourist to lure out the Dragons while he watches from a distance. After a while, Jason turns down a murky ally where the real Shahn-Zi materialises before him. The warlock wisely senses the power within Blood and quickly transforms him into a helpless fly. Unable to talk, Jason is unable to summon the Demon.

Elsewhere, Batman has also encountered Shahn-Zi, but when the wizard lunges at him with a blade, Batman evades and unmasks Willie Chang. While Batman apprehends the gang leader on a rooftop, Jason clings to a grimy window, panicking as he feels his sentience slip away. Before he becomes a fly in mind as well as body, Jason tries writing the incantation to summon Etrigan on the dirty glass. Amazingly, the spell works, and Etrigan assaults Shahn-Zi with demon-flame. The wizard fights back in vain as Etrigan distorts Shahn-Zi's body with astral energy, forcing him to retreat through the door of illusion.

At GCPD Headquarters, Commissioner Gordon's interrogation of Willie Chang is futile, so Batman opts for his release. The Caped Crusader follows the slippery criminal across town to his hideout on Blackwell's Island. However, Willie is shocked to find Shahn-Zi there, informing the youth that his costumed antics resurrected him. Willie attempts to attack the usurper, but trips over the wizard's magic and falls on his own blade. The other Dragons are quick to align themselves with a new leader before Batman announces himself. Shahn-Zi spins around to face his old foe and transforms him into a real bat, a spell that will become permanent at midnight. Frantically, Batman flies to find Jason Blood, while also craving another blood.

In the sewers beneath Chinatown, Etrigan lies in silence to remotely contact Merlin at Tintagel. With the mention of Shahn-Zi, the ancient sorcerer grants Etrigan's request, allowing him to shapeshift his form to combat this enemy, but only empowering the Demon to use the magic once.

As night falls and festivities start in Chinatown, Danny and Glenda worry about their friends. A bat swoops down on an unsuspecting victim and an officer scares it away, unaware that it's Gotham's greatest detective trying to fight animal instinct. Etrigan emerges from a manhole, sensing the plight of Batman, and hurries to find his enemy. On the street, the spectators are being turning to stone as a serpent costume bobs past. Etrigan burns away the paper costume to revel a real snake coiled around the Dragons. To match Shahn-Zi's form of a deadly cobra, Etrigan uses his gifted power to become a mongoose. As the two rivals tussle, the clock begins to chime midnight, and the hungry bat-man dives for Glenda. The mongoose lands the killing blow just in time, undoing Shahn-Zi's curse. With Batman back to normal, Jason suggests he try the bat-wing soup at Lum Fat's.



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