Issue #1

Cover Date: June 2006
Subtitle: The Return part one
Writer(s): Bruce Jones
Artists(s): Mike Huddleston
Storyline: A young couple were found dead in and around a cave near Gotham City. An investigating officer was killed in the same cave, his partner traumatized. A woman was killed in her home near the cave. A witness - her daughter - described the killer as "some gigantic winged creature."
Francine Langstrom confronted her husband, Kirk about the situation. He confided that he'd been suffering blackouts. He asked her to take the kids to her parents and stay a while. He later woke up and found them all dead.
Hush visited an old acquaintance: Murmur.

Issue #2

Cover Date: July 2006
Subtitle: The Return part two
Writer(s): Bruce Jones
Artists(s): Mike Huddleston
Storyline: Believing he'd killed his family, Kirk Langstrom attempted suicide by leaping from a rooftop. He transformed into the Man-Bat on his way down. A witness went to the police, but they brushed the drunk off.
Two more bodies were found in a museum. Random artifacts were stolen / destroyed. Batman stepped in on Commissioner Akins' investigation. Batman didn't believe Man-Bat was behind the killings; Akins showed him photos of the Langstrom family crime scene.
Black Mask, who'd been wanting to move in on the museum, ordered one of his men to get to the bottom of the "Man-Bat" and have him killed.
Hush watched as a hooker was attacked by the beast.

Issue #3

Cover Date: August 2006
Subtitle: The Return part three
Writer(s): Bruce Jones
Artists(s): Mike Huddleston
Storyline: Reports came in on the dead hooker - she was apparently killed the same way as the other recent murders. Langstrom heard a newscast and realized he was nowhere near the latest murders. He leapt in front of a truck hoping again to kill himself, but he survived. Man-Bat flew off with the truck's driver.
Black Mask lopped the head off a man-bat he had captive.
Batman went over some evidence and realized that there were multiple murderous man-bats.
One of Black Mask's underlings reported that he had found the Man-Bat. Batman arrived on the scene, and the creature slapped away part of his mask. Hush, using Murmur, grabbed Black Mask's top ranking man.

Issue #4

Cover Date: September 2006
Subtitle: The Return part four
Writer(s): Bruce Jones
Artists(s): Mike Huddleston
Storyline: Batman took off his mask and cape, hoping to appeal to the man in the Man-Bat. The creature instead cut the line he was on and watched him fall from a skyscraper construction site. Man-Bat swooped down and grabbed him just before he would have hit the ground. Bruce woke up in the cave; Alfred had Langstrom tied up.
Sutabi got back to Black Mask and told him Murmur had blown up his car. He died as Black Mask was putting two and two together to get Hush.
Man-Bat escaped his bindings, trashed the cave, and flew away.

Issue #5

Cover Date: October 2006
Subtitle: The Return conclusion
Writer(s): Bruce Jones
Artists(s): Mike Huddleston
Storyline: Batman found Sutabi and Murmur dead. Hush and several of Black Mask's girls were strewn across the room. Batman had put a tracer on Langstrom and followed it to him. He was there with the bodies. Bruce again tried to appeal to Kirk, but the Man-Bat emerged (though able to speak). They battled until Hush shot Man-Bat and he fell into a pit. As Hush moved in for the kill, Man-Bat returned, grabbed him, and flew off.
Batman grabbed Black Mask, who seemed to still be alive, and escaped into the sewer with him.


  • Akins is Commissioner, placing this somewhere during or before 52.
  • Black Mask is alive, placing this before Catwoman #52 (?)
  • Black Mask in issue 2: "When one ... suffers the indignity of "dying" at the hands of the boorishly histrionic Catwoman..." This refers either to Catwoman #16 or 52.