Batman ongoing 2005 (issues 634-646)

Issue #634

Cover Date: January 2005
Subtitle: War Games Epilogue: Decompression
Writer(s): Andersen Gabrych
Artists(s): Paul Lee, Brian Horton
Storyline: Bruce told Dick about Stephanie. He took down some illegal arms dealers after he left her at the Thompkins Clinic. At that moment, he forgot two things: Oracle was gone and Tim didn't know. He went to tell Robin his girlfriend was dead. Days later, Tim's father died. Bruce had spoken with Stephanie's mother at her grave side and called her a hero. She called Batman a criminal.
They went over the rest of the situation - Robin and Batgirl were in Bludhaven while Dick recovered from the bullet he took to the leg. Black Mask appeared to be in complete control of Gotham's underworld.

Issue #635

Cover Date: February 2005
Subtitle: Under the Hood part 1: New Business
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen
Storyline: Batman battled it out on a rooftop with a man in a red mask. Their fight poured over into the streets, where Batman lost his mask. The man in the red mask pulled his off to "keep it even."
Bruce thought back five weeks previous to the gang war. Lucius Fox visited him. Kord Industries (Wayne's R&D) had fallen victim to hostile takeover. Bruce was removed from the Board of Directors. Batman feared all his weapons would now be available to the public.
The Red Hood met with a group of drug runners, asking 40% for full protection from both Black Mask and Batman. For proof, he provided them with the heads of all their lieutenants, which he'd gathered in a two-hour time span.
Black Mask recruited Mr. Freeze.

Issue #636

Cover Date: March 2005
Subtitle: Under the Hood part 2: First Strike
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen
Storyline: Nightwing joined Batman on a case going after a big shipment of something "big." Batman seemed happy to be working with his first partner again. The cargo they came across was some "super villain" leftovers: Joker bombs, boomerangs from Captain Boomerang, Mr. Freeze's gun, etc. They escaped when the ship exploded. Red Hood (though they didn't know him) was spotted on a rooftop and they gave chase. Batman noticed quite a few things familiar about their prey. He led them to Amazo, an android created to take down the JLA.
Mr. Freeze was fitted for a new suit while Black Mask was informed of the Red Hood.

Issue #637

Cover Date: April 2005
Subtitle: Under the Hood part 3: Overnight Deliveries
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen
Storyline: Black Mask and Mr. Freeze talked about their 'partnership.'
Batman placed a diversion while he planted a batarang-bomb in Amazo's leg. He and Nightwing fled. The android caught up with them, but together (and with the help of the car), they destroyed it.
Black Mask heard about the incident almost immediately, then received a call from Red Hood - he had the crate full of Kryptonite.

Issue #638

Cover Date: May 2005
Subtitle: Under the Hood part four: Bidding War
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen
Storyline: Batman clued Nightwing in - where they were standing had housed over 100 pounds of Kryptonite very recently. Red Hood spoke with Black Mask and gave him his demands for the safe return of the precious rock. Black Mask sent Mr. Freeze to kill the guy and recover the Kryptonite. At the trade-off location, a shoot out began. Red Hood took down Freeze's goons before Batman showed up. Both criminals escaped.
Red Hood found the Joker, beat him with a crowbar, and revealed himself to be Jason Todd - the second Robin.

Issue #639

Cover Date: June 2005
Subtitle: Family Reunion part 1: The Word on the Street
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen
Storyline: Red Hood took out his sixth arms shipment (all Black Mask's stuff).
Batman took Zatanna to the last Lazarus Pit. She confirmed that it had not been altered since it was sealed. He then consulted Jason Blood. Green Arrow had no answers for him, either.
Onyx took down a drug deal. The sellers confessed to working for Red Hood. Red Hood found Onyx.

Issue #640

Cover Date: July 2005
Subtitle: Family Reunion part 2: While the Cat's Away
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Paul Lee, Cam Smith
Storyline: Red Hood and Onyx spoke about what they were seeing. He invited her to join him in taking the gang down. She obliged. After taking down the group, Red Hood turned a gun on them and killed them all. As Onyx attempted to stop him, he stabbed her and turned the gun her direction.
Elsewhere, in Metropolis, Batman met up with Superman. He questioned the Man of Steel about his 'death' and return.

Issue #641

Cover Date: August 2005
Subtitle: Family Reunion conclusion
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen
Storyline: Batman approached Onyx's location and thought of Jason. He arrived to find Red Hood standing above a bleeding Onyx. Red Hood began firing at him. The two battled it out onto the rooftop where Batman lost his mask. Red Hood removed his to reveal himself as Jason Todd. To make Batman believe him, he made sure he put fingerprints on a batarang and cut his head to leave a blood sample. Jason told him it was he who he fought in the graveyard - before switching with Clayface (see Hush). Red Hood escaped; all Batman's tests showed positive that he was indeed Jason.

Issue #642

Cover Date: September 2005
Subtitle: Breaking the Skin
Writer(s): Andersen Gabrych
Artists(s): Crhis Marrinan, Andrew Pepoy
Storyline: Black Mask and Mad Hatter surveyed their new project - Killer Croc. Tetch had implanted a controller in Croc's head. Croc got some False-Facers into a safe and finally got rid of the implant he'd been scratching at. Batman found the safe - all the False-Facers had been mutilated. He found the discarded implant and escaped as the police arrived. Batman went to James Gordon's former home (which he bought under an alias) and ran some tests on it. Batman stopped Croc from eating Tetch. He tried to explain to Croc that he had an infection where the implant was. It had halted his immune system, therefor kicking the mutation Hush gave him into high gear. Batman got a syringe into his tongue. Croc ran; Batman grabbed Mad Hatter.

Issue #643

Cover Date: early October 2005
Subtitle: War Crimes part 2: Minor Discrepancies
Writer(s): Bill Willingham
Artists(s): Giuseppe Camuncoli, Sandra Hope
Storyline: [continued from Detective 809]
Batman swung down on Joker and the impostor Batman. He took down Joker, told Black to get lost, then went after the impostor. He finally caught up with his impostor, Black Mask. He escaped after gassing Batman.
Back in the cave, Bruce found some problems with the medication inventory at Dr. Thompkins' clinic and what was (or wasn't) given to Stephanie. It appeared that she'd been neglected of her needed meds.
Rodriguez did a pre-interview with Stephanie Brown's mother - he planned on having her on his show the next day. He was appalled to find Aaron Black giving an interview on a competing channel about being attacked by two Batmen the previous night. He also implied that Rodriguez was in Black Mask's pocket.
Batman went to the normal digs to get information on Black, Black Mask, Dr. Thompkins, and Joker. He left, acting overwhelmed, so his recorders could pick up conversations.
[continued in Detective 810]

Issue #644

Cover Date: late October 2005
Subtitle: War Crimes part 4: Judgment at Gotham
Writer(s): Bill Willingham
Artists(s): Giuseppe Camuncoli, Sandra Hope
Storyline: [continued from Detective 810]
Batman broke up the fight between Black Mask and Joker as the police arrived. The Joker had one more trick up his sleeve, but Batman easily saved himself and his other enemy and delivered them both to the GCPD.
Joker, Kosov, Arturo Rodriguez, and Black Mask were all indicted. Sionis (Mask) killed five and escaped during his arraignment. Batman visited Chen - the reporter who'd helped him. He told her she'd be hired by one of the major TV networks and handed her first assignment over - interview Superman.
Batman, who'd learned Dr. Leslie Thompkins' location, visited her. He confronted her with the knowledge that she'd knowingly allowed Stephanie to die. He told her he'd handed over all the information the police would need. She was not to return to America or practice medicine again, or he promised he would know it.

Issue #645

Cover Date: November 2005
Subtitle: Show me Yesterday, for I can't Find Today
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen
Storyline: Alfred had Jason's casket exhumed. He thought back on their first meeting, after Batman had brought him to the cave when he was caught stealing the tires off the Batmobile. He thought of a case where Batman and his new Robin took down Captain Boomerang. He thought of the first instance where Jason had used too much force.
Batman took the coffin to the cave. He was sure it was the one Jason was buried in - the man who built it also built his parents'. The sensors were still in place. Bruce realized there had never been a body in the coffin.

Issue #646

Cover Date: December 2005
Subtitle: Franchise part 1: Supply Side Economics
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Shane Davis, Rodney Ramos, Wayne Faucher, Lary Stucker
Storyline: Batman burst in on a huge meth lab. He ordered everyone out and showed them a wall full of C4. As he went to disarm it, Red Hood - Jason - told him why he shouldn't. He was given 8 seconds to escape, and he made good on it. Batman barely got out before the entire building exploded.
Black Mask was informed of the loss of both is meth lab and an arms shipment from Bludhaven, also destroyed by Red Hood. While discussing it, Black Mask spotted a man on a nearby roof and ran. Jason shot a rocket into his window.
Black Mask was approached by Deathstroke. He invited the crime lord to join the Society. Batman and Jason both watched.

alternate printings

2004 | Batman | 2006