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Batman #448 - Packrat Comics

Batman #448


  • 900

THE PENGUIN AFFAIR PART 1 - PAWNSOn a lonely road, a man walks towards nowhere. His name means little and his fortune even less, for he is a hunchback and luck has never been on his side. Every driver that passes by, stops at the sight of him, but when they get closer, all they can muster is insults and rude remarks about his physical appearance. Eventually, a group of men get out of their car and start beating this man to a pulp, but unaware to them, another person, more dangerous than they are, is watching the whole scene. When the thugs are done beating the helpless hunchback, the spectator sends his bodyguard, a woman by the name of Lark, to retrieve the man and take him to their vehicle. Lark takes the hunchback to the backseat of the car, where the poor beaten man is greeted by the Penguin.  Three months later, a large flock of birds attack the Gotham Stock Exchange building, without an apparent reason and Batman goes to the place to try to stop the crazed animals. After a long struggle, Batman manages to stop the birds, but he is unaware that his activities are being monitored by the Penguin in his hideout, far away. Penguin is using technology created by the hunchback, whose name is Harold, in order to manipulate the flocks of birds and this is just the first test of this technology. After a successful test, Penguin resumes a continuous chess match with an unknown adversary using his computer board and he explains that he has been playing against the same unknown person for several years. After making his move, Penguin starts watching the soap opera called Heartstrings, as he has become infatuated with the character of Heron, played by the attractive actress, Sherry West.  Later, Penguin and Harold prepare for the second test of the bird controlling device and they send the animals towards the Gotham Bank, where they succeed in stealing the money. Penguin is satisfied with the test and he asks Harold to let him control the birds. As a result, Penguin takes the animals on a murderous rampage on a crowded tunnel of Gotham. At that moment, Batman is on the Batmobile with Tim Drake at his side. The Dark Knight gives Tim a chance to deduce the culprit behind the bird attacks, honing his detective skills. However, when they learn of the emergency at the tunnel, they hurry towards the place.  At Penguin's hideout, Harold becomes concerned of Penguin's reckless actions with his bird controlling device. Penguin notices this and he sends the poor henchman to get a massage by a reluctant Lark, who is disgusted at the thought of her current task. Once alone, Penguin continues creating mayhem and reveals his intentions of eliminating Harold once he is of no more use to him.  Batman is busy trying to contain the chaos left in the tunnel, but Penguin has already moved his path of destruction to the Gotham Power Plant. As these events take place, a lonely bird crashes into Sherry West's apartment, with a threatening note to the actress from his admirer, The Penguin. Batman arrives too late at the Power Plant and Commissioner Gordon informs him about the recent events and how they connect to the recent threat to Sherry West.  Back in the Batcave, Alfred and Tim are concerned about Penguin's next move, but Bruce decides to take some time to stop worrying about that and makes his next move in a chess game against an unknown adversary. Having done his move, Bruce explains that sometimes, a problem can only be solved if you take your mind away from it, if only for a short time. With a fresh mind, Batman deduces Penguin's most likely plans and goes out to prevent anything bad from happening to the helpless actress.  On the filming set, Sherry is recording a scene, while Commissioner Gordon and several of his men surround the area. Batman is present as well, but despite their measures, they are all taken by surprise when a large flock of birds attacks them and distracts everyone while a group of the birds take Sherry and fly away with her. Batman follows the birds on the Batmobile, but Penguin creates a distraction by sending more birds to commit crimes and break into buildings in Gotham, leaving Batman conflicted between stopping the birds or saving the woman.

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