Batman ongoing 2006 (issues 647-658)

Issue #647

Cover Date: January 2006
Subtitle: Franchise part 2: The Away Team
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen
Storyline: Alfred noticed Batman hesitate in the cave.
Black Mask spoke to Deathstroke about the lack of support from the Society - he was not impressed with Hyena and Captain Nazi. Deathstroke assured him a third member would be arriving soon to make the team complete. Red Hood would be dead.
Red Hood sprung their trap and was soon joined by Batman. They worked together against the Society's assassins, pulling off moves they'd practiced years before. Count Vertigo joined the fray. Batman turned on his cowl's sonar and was able to get a handful of Vertigo's cape. He punched Hyena with it, and the beast attacked its teammate. Red Hood killed the Nazi and escaped.

Issue #648

Cover Date: February 2006
Subtitle: All They do is Watch us Kill part 1
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen
Storyline: Alfred received a package from Jason - two first edition books. Only Dick and Jason knew of the collection he and Bruce had. He immediately called Bruce, who dropped everything and sped home.
Black Mask, with Red Hood watching, killed his own inner circle.
After scanning the boxes, Alfred told Batman the contents - a lock of green hair and an address. He relayed the latter to him. Mask and Hood got into an argument which escalated into a brawl. Todd got a pool cue stuck in his back; Sionis got a few slashes from his adversary's knife. Batman found them struggling with the knife, but when he got to them, Jason was laying on the floor with it stuck in his sternum.

Issue #649

Cover Date: March 2006
Subtitle: All They do is Watch us Kill part 2
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Eric Battle, Rodney Ramos
Storyline: Batman burst in on Black Mask and his dead victim - it wasn't Jason. He'd placed someone else in his outfit and was using a microphone and speaker to communicate with his adversary. The real Jason was holding Joker at knife-point.
Black Mask soon realized Batman was also being played, and that the Red Hood used to work for the Bat.
Joker and Red Hood bantered back and forth, neither really getting the upper hand until Jason told him he wasn't as crazy as he wanted people to think.
Batman and Jason met at Crime Alley. They watched Chemo being dropped on Bludhaven.

Issue #650

Cover Date: April 2006
Subtitle: All They do is Watch us Kill part 3: It Only Hurts when I Laugh
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Artists(s): Eric Battle, Rodney Ramos
Storyline: Jason marveled at the irony - if Dick were in Bludhaven, Batman would be too late to save his "boy sidekick." He set off a small charge when Batman attempted to leave. He promised that if he did, Joker would die. The two former partners went at it. Jason pulled a gun on him and told him he was forgiven for not saving him all those years before. He opened a door to show the Joker and asked why he was still alive. He lectured Batman about how he would have killed Joker had the tables been turned and Batman was dead then. Batman told him how much he wanted the Joker dead, but feared he'd never be able to stop himself if he killed him. Jason put a gun to Joker's temple and gave Batman a pistol. He gave him a three count and someone was going to die (either Batman would kill Jason or Jason would kill Joker).
Batman was able to get a batarang in and cut Jason. He fell. Joker grabbed a gun and shot some C4. The entire building exploded with Batman screaming for his old partner.

Issue #651

Cover Date: May 2006
Subtitle: Face the Face part 2 of 8
Writer(s): James Robinson
Artists(s): Don Kramer, Keith Champagne
Storyline: [continued from Detective 817]
Jack Ryder's newscast noted the return of Batman (as did the signal overhead) and Poison Ivy. As Batman and Robin neared the high-rise where Ivy was holding several people hostage, her plants attacked the plane. It exploded, but Batman and Robin were safely inside the building. They split up; Batman got to Ivy first. The men she held were running major corporations which were polluting the Earth. She encased Batman in a plant, but he told her Robin had defoliant in the water system and was ready to release it. She gave in.
At Gordon's office, he told them Bullock was on the scene of another murder: Magpie was dead.
[continued in Detective 818]

Issue #652

Cover Date: June 2006
Subtitle: Face the Face part 4 of 8
Writer(s): James Robinson
Artists(s): Don Kramer, Michael Bair, Wayne Faucher
Storyline: [continued from Detective 818]
Bullock, Batman, and Robin investigated the Wesker murder scene. Robin found something on the dummy - it turned out to be an address Wesker smeared in before he died. In the cave, Robin found some surveillance footage from that location - Magpie, KGBeast, Ventriloquist, and Orca together. Harvey Dent showed up and they all left.
Batman met with Gordon and Bullock. He gave the former dirty cop a clean slate for what he did to help get the corruption in GCPD cleaned up. He found out Cobblepot had hired each of them during the previous year.
They found a gun with Dent's prints on it. Batman went to confront him while Robin went after Killer Moth. Dent neither confirmed nor denied he had any part in the recent murders. Dent accused Batman of seeing him now as a jealous rival rather than a friend. He detonated his apartment; Batman was thrown clear.
Robin took down Killer Moth.
[continued in Detective 819]

Issue #653

Cover Date: July 2006
Subtitle: Face the Face part 6 of 8
Writer(s): James Robinson
Artists(s): Don Kramer, Wayne Faucher
Storyline: [continued from Detective 819]
Harvey Dent talked with his reflection - Two-Face. He realized he was happy and Two-Face was out of the picture until Batman had returned and taken his job. A year previous, Batman had come to him, acknowledging his sanity. He hoped Dent would watch over Gotham while he, Nightwing, and Robin were gone. Batman trained him for a month before he left. They took down Mr. Freeze and Firebug together right before Batman left.
Remembering how great it was to be the best, Harvey poured acid on himself and returned Two-Face.
[continued in Detective 820]

Issue #654

Cover Date: August 2006
Subtitle: Face the Face conclusion
Writer(s): James Robinson
Artists(s): Don Kramer, Wayne Faucher
Storyline: [continued from Detective 820]
The newly recreated Two-Face took over Gotham Zoo. He ordered everyone to leave except for one janitor and one veterinarian. Four cops were dead, another injured. Dent set all the animals free except for one male and female of each species. Batman and Robin went after him. As they fought, Two-Face told Batman he'd scarred himself because Batman didn't trust him. Dent escaped Batman while Robin disarmed his bombs.
Batman headed to Arkham to interrogate the puppeteer: Warren White - the Great White Shark. Though Batman couldn't prove anything against White, he did put the fear of God in him - both with the threat of physical violence and by telling his victims who was behind everything.
Back at the cave, Batman asked Robin upstairs. Alfred had refurnished Dick's old room - Bruce again asked Tim if he could adopt him.

Issue #655

Cover Date: September 2006
Subtitle: Batman & Son part 1: Building a Better Batmobile
Writer(s): Grant Morrison
Artists(s): Andy Kubert
Storyline: Commissioner Gordon was infected with Joker gas; Joker had Batman down and a group of disabled kids hostage. Batman pulled out a gun and shot him, picked up his limp body, and threw him in a dumpster.
Batman visited Gordon in the hospital - the man who'd shot Joker was an ex-cop who snapped and dressed as the vigilante.
Robin checked in with Bruce and Alfred - Bruce was busy working on his costume and rebuilding the car. Bruce told him they were heading to London for a charity event.
A woman threatened the life of Francine Langstrom if her husband didn't hand her over the man-bat serum. Bruce bumped into Kirk Langstrom in London and noticed he was acting oddly.
While looking at guests at the gala, Talia's son picked out his father. It was time for her to introduce them.

Issue #656

Cover Date: October 2006
Subtitle: Batman & Son part 2: Man-Bats of London
Writer(s): Grant Morrison
Artists(s): Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang
Storyline: Bruce was approached by a woman named Jezebel Jet. She was a fashion model who was now running a small African nation. After a quick chat, she left him to schmooze with other guests.
Outside, Alfred saw the Langstroms thrown from a van. Kirk explained to him that he'd been force to give up his man-bat serum. A group of the creatures attacked the gala. Bruce changed clothes and went after the ninja man-bats. He stopped the first six, but more arrived to take their place. He was eventually overwhelmed by their sheer numbers. He looked up to see Talia and a child. She introduced Batman to his son and left them.

Issue #657

Cover Date: November 2006
Subtitle: Batman & Son part 3: Wonderboys
Writer(s): Grant Morrison
Artists(s): Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang
Storyline: Batman introduced his son to the cave and Robin. Damian was unimpressed. Batman sent him up to the manor with Alfred and explained things to Robin. Tim didn't take it quite well and stormed out after telling Batman the Spook was holding the mayor hostage.
Back upstairs, Batman used fear to convince the boy that he was not the boss.
When Gordon and his men got to the Spook, Batman was holding his dead body. Everyone else was OK.
Robin returned to the cave to try and make good with Damian. Damian showed him the head of the Spook - he'd killed him. Damian and Robin fought. Batman was later met on a rooftop by his son dressed in a hybrid of his League of Assassins garb and Jason's Robin outfit. He told Batman that Robin had quit.

Issue #658

Cover Date: December 2006
Subtitle: Batman & Son part 4: Absent Fathers
Writer(s): Grant Morrison
Artists(s): Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang
Storyline: Batman got back to the cave - Robin was injured. Batman sent Alfred down to check him out. Batman and Damian (so he could keep an eye on him) headed out to track down Talia and her ninja man-bats. Damian seemed genuinely sincere about helping his father.
They took the Bat-Rocket and headed toward Gibraltar, then parachuted down on Talia's stronghold. Once the Prime Minister's wife was safe, Batman told Talia to take the kid and leave. The British Navy fired on her submarine. Batman refused to join her and he watched the sub explode.

alternate printings

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