Batman: Four of a Kind

Shadow of the Bat annual 3: Poison Ivy Year One

Format: special issue
Binding: standard comic
Date: 1995
Writer(s): Alan Grant
Artists(s): Brian Apthorp, Stan Woch
Storyline: Chapter 1: Look...but you Better not Touch
Batman happened upon a body which appeared to be overgrown with fungus. A woman in green, called Poison Ivy by her partner, watched him. She demonstrated mind control to him by kissing another and forcing him to jump from a rooftop. Batman lost their trail while he saved the man.
Chapter 2: Kiss of the Spiderplant?
Batman returned to the cave, taken aback by Poison Ivy. When two of her men tried to get away from her, she killed them by manipulating plants. Bruce tried to make sense of it all.
Chapter 3: The Secret Life of Plants
Bruce is introduced to Pamela Isley at a party. The alcohol at the party was poisoned - it appeared only Wayne and Lt. Gordon were unaffected (they didn't drink it). Isley dropped her garb and revealed herself as Poison Ivy. She touched Gordon's lips, dropping him in his tracks. Wayne's date tried to stop her, but was shot when he tried to help her. Ivy gave him a special kiss, saying it would leave him dead within an hour. After looting all the valuables from Gotham's elite, she left them the antidote.
Chapter 4: The Deadly Garden of Poison Ivy
Wayne was able to get a tracer on Ivy; Batman got to her. She refused to give up and refused to give up the antidote for Wayne. She instead kissed Batman telling him he would die just like Wayne unless they got the antidote - a second kiss. He began to feel better immediately and bested the woman. She ended up confused in Arkham Asylum.


notes

  • Narration: He's been wearing the cape and cowl almost a year now, bringing fear and retribution to Gotham City's wild side.
  • Batman (after returning home on a motorcycle): "I'm really going to have to get a car for nights!"
  • Alfred mentioned Catwoman in conversation.
  • Penguin and Joker are mentioned in passing by crooks.
  • Gordon is Lt.
  • Problems: Gordon is mentioned as being of the rank Lieutenant, but is also mentioned as working the Joker case. At the end of the Year One storyline, Gordon has been promoted to Captain and first mentions the Joker. It appears Gordon was either called by an inappropriate rank, or he was promoted to Captain during the first Joker case (The Man Who Laughs), and this takes place between it's start and his promotion.
  • Detective annual 8: Questions Multiply the Mystery

    Format: special issue
    Binding: standard comic
    Date: 1995
    Writer(s): Chuck Dixon
    Artists(s): Kieron Dwyer
    Storyline: From Arkham, Riddler told the story of his youth. Eddie Nigma was an only child and a mediocre student. No one had time for him or the answers to his questions. He learned to cheat while in school and ended up winning a prize being the fastest person to put a puzzle together. That only led to bullies.
    The prize he won was a book on puzzles and trickery. With it, he found his calling. After school, he got a job as a delivery man and became a smalltime thief. That didn't challenge him so he began leaving riddles and clues at the scene of his crimes. The cops, led by Lt. Gordon, finally figured things out and found him. So did the Batman. Dumb luck saved him and he was able to escape.
    No one wanted to work with him on his next score until he was mugged by two girls in costume. They joined on with him as Echo and Query. A crossword puzzle sent Batman and the police to one location, but they chose the wrong one. Riddler and his girls were ripping off an underwater vault. Though Batman intervened, Riddler made off with around $2 million.
    The next heist had them stealing some one-of-a-kind music instruments. Batman was in on the ransom and took down Echo and Query. He nabbed the Riddler at an opera. Nigma realized there was no one behind the glass of his cell to hear the story he related and cracked.


    notes

  • Batman has a batmobile.
  • Gordon is Lt.
  • Batman annual 19: Scarecrow - Masters of Fear

    Format: special issue
    Binding: standard comic
    Date: 1995
    Writer(s): Doug Moench
    Artists(s): Bret Blevins, Mike Manley
    Storyline: Captain Gordon used his new signal to call Batman. He showed him photographs of five Gotham University employees who appeared to have been literally scared to death. Batman investigated records at GU and found they'd had another death about a year previous. This professor was replaced by Dr. Jonathan Crane, who'd recently been fired by the five dead men for his unorthodox methods. Batman went to his last known address. There, everything was packed and gone. He set off a booby trap - a scarecrow sprang up and gassed him. Batman's innermost fears came to life for him. After the gas came a bomb. Batman was thrown from the third-story apartment.
    Crane had a troubled upbringing, lanky and uncoordinated, most of his peers made fun of him. By the time he was a senior in high school, Crane began to fight back. He attacked two fellow classmates (a girl who jilted him and her jock boyfriend) after the prom. The boy was paralyzed and the girl was killed. Crane was overjoyed that he caused others to fear. After college, Crane used a chemical gas he created to cause his professor to commit suicide. Crane received the dead man's job, but was fired shortly thereafter for firing a gun during class as a demonstration.
    Gordon informed Batman of Crane's next murder - the owner of a chemical plant in Gotham City. Batman hid in the home of one of the latest victim's rivals, and Scarecrow was soon to arrive. Batman was immune to the fear gas - he'd prepared a filter for his mask. He chased Crane to the outskirts of town - a corn farm. Scarecrow was defeated and placed in Arkham's care.


    notes

  • Gordon is Captain and has a Bat Signal.
  • Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight annual 5: Wings

    Format: special issue
    Binding: standard comic
    Date: 1995
    Writer(s): Chuck Dixon
    Artists(s): Qulque Alcatena
    Storyline: Dr. Kirk Langstrom poured himself into his study of bats, even though the University refused to give him more funding. His bride-to-be, Francine Lee, endured. Langstrom used himself as a test subject and it worked - his deafness was cured by using the genetics of a bat. Langstrom's transformation was not complete. Day by day, he became more and more like a bat - even physically.
    Batman, while after a gang called the RidgeRunners, encountered a man in a bestial flying suit. Batman was not the bat which took the gang down. Weeks later, Alfred went to investigate an alarm in the cave. He was attacked by a huge bat creature. The Batmobile returned, placing Batman face-to-face with the Man-Bat. He was able to tranquilize the creature and strap it down to a table. There, he found the creature was once a man named Kirk Langstrom. He returned the Man-Bat to its fiancÚ, Francine Lee. She been working with a man on Kirk's experiments and was able to dose him with a possible antidote. After nine months outside of humanity, Langstrom was cured.


    notes

  • This takes place over the course of around nine months.
  • Dr. Kirk Langstrom becomes the Man-Bat