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Batman #444 - Packrat Comics

Batman #444


  • 900

CRIMESMITH AND PUNISHMENTBatman stands against the pile of ashes that used to be Montgomery Marr, third rate crook and the latest victim of the Crimesmith's punishment for squealers. The remaining members of Marr's gang blame Batman for forcing their leader into speaking Crimesmith's name and causing his gruesome death. Batman picks the wallet from the ashes and keeps it to investigate later. As he approaches the other thugs to interrogate them, they refuse to talk at all costs, fearing they'd be killed in the same way. It is then that the Gotham City Police Department arrive at the scene, led by Homicide Detective Danah Hanrahan. The thugs start yelling the truth of the events to the police, pointing towards Batman as the one responsible for Marr's death. Although the police can't verify the truth yet, Batman simply points out the fact that the criminal is dead and he leaves the place in a somber mood. Back in the Batcave, Bruce's conscience feels heavy.  The next day, Bruce Wayne meets with security consultant Jeffrey Fraser in order to continue the arrangements of the deal between their companies. Fraser provides documentation about the security measures he intends to place in WayneTech, but after he leaves the building, Bruce becomes unsure of Fraser's honest intentions.  That night, Batman eavesdrops on the office of the police coroner, who is finishing the evaluations on the remains of Montgomery Marr and the man informs Commissioner Gordon that the criminal was killed using chemicals placed inside his body as well as a remote transmitter, making the criminal an expert in chemistry, physics and circuitry; or as Gordon would put it, a mad scientist.  With this information, Batman returns to the Batcave, where he starts analyzing the contents of Marr's wallet. Tim Drake is by his side, learning the basic aspects of investigation. Bruce finds a printed map of the target location for Marr's crime, which was most likely provided by Crimesmith. Batman then runs a cross-database search on the Batcomputer of companies that sell chemicals and experts in different scientific fields. While the computer runs the operation, Bruce and Tim decide to start their physical training. As they train, Bruce inquires if Tim has told something about his activities to his parents, but the boy replies that they have been away on a business trip and that they haven't called since they left. Tim believes they must be caught up with work and that they might have simply forgotten to call. Bruce suspects otherwise, but before he can jump to conclusions, the Batcomputer has ended the operation. Much to Bruce's surprise, one of the possible suspects and the only one from Gotham City is Dr. Fraser, the security consultant. Bruce goes to his study, where he analyzes the documentation that Fraser provided and when he compares it with the printed map on the criminal's wallet, he realizes they come from the same printer.  After sending Tim back to school with Alfred, Bruce starts changing into Batman. Putting on the Batsuit, he then takes his time choosing whatever possible gadget from the Utility Belt might prove useful for the mission, a ritual that he always keeps in mind. Once ready, he takes the Batmobile and drives to his destination: Dr. Fraser's company building.  Batman arrives at the place and breaks into the Crimesmith's secret room. Inside the control room, Crimesmith activates a series of security measures to eliminate the threat of Batman, but none of them are useful against Batman's cunning mind and large arsenal. Batman escapes from exploding chemicals, laser beams and corrosive gas, with only minor injuries. Inside the control room, Crimesmith is revealed to be Maya, who is the mastermind behind the whole criminal organization while Fraser acted as a front, to throw away suspicions. When Maya realizes Batman has overcome most of their traps, she leaves the control room and tells Fraser to create something deadly to kill Batman. Fraser combines a series of chemicals and the whole building starts explodeing. Batman eventually finds the control room and he tries to save Fraser, but the man is desperate and he runs into the fire, hoping to find and save Maya. When Fraser is about the confess that Maya is the Crimesmith and that he is in love with her, she kills the man using a remote control gun placed in the control room. With Fraser dead, Batman manages to jump out of the building just in time to see the place consumed by fire and explosions. Far from there, Crimesmith takes a look at Batman through a security camera connected to a small screen in her vehicle.

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