"Black Ice": While patrolling the Badlands, on the Rat-Tail gang's turf, Catwoman arrives too late to stop a rat-tail gang member from being caught in an unexpected explosion, launching him up into the air, and onto the live power lines abov
- Tell me what you want with me or I'll stuff your family jewels right down your throat.
- -- Catwoman
Appearing in "Black Ice"
- Mayor Hady (Mentioned only)
- Rolando Gimrack (Mentioned only)
- Black Ice
Synopsis for "Black Ice"
While patrolling the Badlands, on the Rat-Tail gang's turf, Catwoman arrives too late to stop a rat-tail gang member from being caught in an unexpected explosion, launching him up into the air, and onto the live power lines above. Though she was too late, the gang's leader arrives on the scene, and explains that he feels no loss with this particular kid, as he was going out of control.
Catwoman explains that she had been on the scene in the first place because someone had texted her claiming that she could stop a murder if she was at that corner at the right time. As the police arrive, she and Rat-Tail make a run for it. He suggests that she stick around, because someone is trying to take over their neighbourhood. She responds that she works alone, and ditches him.
Later, Detective Carlos Alvarez is saddled with the gang murder case, and becomes frustrated with his partner Tammy Keyes' lack of respect for the victim. She believes they need to take a hard-edged approach, beating snitches and coming down hard on the Rat-Tails. He is willing to acknowledge the fact that most of the Rat-Tails are just kids.
Selina Kyle watches their argument via the cameras she hid in Alvarez' office, but her view is obscured when Harvey Bullock enters the room, and commandeers their case. He claims that it is not merely one murder, but three, and that their fixations on Catwoman or Rat-Tail as prime suspects are based solely on circumstantial evidence. He points out that the heavies who are committing these murders are the Penguin's men, and if the Penguin is expanding into the Badlands, this is a gang war.
The Penguin, meanwhile, is holding an audience with Gwen Altamont, explaining his intention to kill Catwoman, Gwen's client and friend, if he can't force her to surrender and work under him. Gwen is aware that Selina won't work under anyone. He has left it to Gwen to make her do it, or Catwoman will have a messy death.
Penguin has had his man Volt design a set of heat-seeking rockets that are programmed to seek out Catwoman and destroy anything that has her silhouette - and thanks to an implanted camera, Penguin will get to watch. Penguin is interrupted in his inspection of the devices by the arrival of Lark with Hypnotic, who has been motivated to do his bidding thanks to a carefully placed threat on his family.
At the GCPD's Morgue, the coroner has determined that the shrapnel in the most recent body is indicative of a concussive blow from an impact-triggered explosive projectile. Keyes is having trouble being aroudn the dead bodies, having only just transferred from vice to homicide, and she is still convinced that Catwoman is responsible. Bullock, however, reminds her again that such projectiles are the modus operandi of the Penguin.
The other two bodies, both women, were murdered when the heel of a stiletto was pierced through their spinal nerve. There is also an indication that one of them might have been poisoned. Bullock assigns the detectives to canvass for witnesses to these two murders and find the murder weapon.
At the scene of their murder, Catwoman watches from the rooftops while Keyes interviews a drunken homeless man who might have witnessed the murder and Alvarez questions a dog-walker. Surprisingly, both witnesses mention an ice-cream truck having been nearby, even in this bad neighbourhood. In fact, it is only moments before it passes by them again. As it speeds by, it unleashes a hail of bullets at some Rat-Tail gang members. Catwoman leaps down just in time to save Detective Keyes from being killed, but the Detective turns on her, and accuses her of being behind the crimes. Annoyed, Alvarez warns Keyes to lower her weapon, but Catwoman disarms them both in a quick motion, and warns them that they should be looking into a new drug called "black ice", not her. Meanwhile, she will look into Cobblepot.
Annoyed that Gwen has taken her cut to pay off the Penguin, particularly since he intents to blow her to pieces, Catwoman has Gwen pay a woman named Alice to design her a drone jammer that will trick Penguin's rockets into boomeranging, and killing the one who launched them. The jammer comes in the form of a camouflaged cape made of metalized kevlar fabric that can deflect the drones' thermal imaging camera and heat signature. Alice has also made Catwoman a special gun that will send the rockets back.
That night, Penguin launches one of his rockets, ensured by its designer that it will find its target. Catwoman waits, and becomes impatient, never having gone to so much effort to be noticed in her life. Finally, some strangely behaving birds alert her to the rocket's impending arrival, and she readies her gun. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. After taunting the drone by narrowly leaping out of its way a few times, Selina gets a call in to Alice, who reminds her to turn the safety off.
Unhappily, the Penguin watches as the drone returns to him, and blows up his control station. Catwoman soon follows it, eager to get her revenge. Grovelling, Cobblepot explains that he only wanted her to work for him. She responds that she would never work for him, and demands to know what black ice is, threatening to force feed some to him. She has already learned that whatever it is, it's addictive, and the kids of the Badlands are hooked on it. She would never associate herself with that kind of business.
Unfortunately, Selina underestimated the Penguin, and she soon finds herself in shackles after accidentally looking into the eyes of Hypnotic, for just a moment. Grumpily, she and Cobblepot size each other up in his bird sanctuary. However, she unexpectedly tosses a baby bird at Hypnotic, and its pecking convinces the Penguin's men to uncover his eyes, which hypnotizes them. Wrapping her schackles around his neck, Catwoman forces him to have them free her, and then incapacitates the thugs. Finally, she warns the Penguin to stay our of her business, and escapes.
Meanwhile, Keyes is more determined than ever to catch Catwoman, despite her partner's warnings. At the same time, Bullock visits the mayor's office with new information about just what this black ice drug is.
After recovering, the Penguin swears to kill all of the Rat-Tails, and to destroy Catwoman. Her own experience with him, however, leads her to ally herself with Rat-Tail in protecting the Badlands.
- This book was first published on May 29, 2013.
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