I present to you the completed issue 3.
Page 1 (1 Panel) Exterior/Interior Arkham Asylum
Panel 1 Long distance aerial view of Arkham Asylum
CLAYFACE (Off Screen)
A visitor this time of night? Has to be the Batman.
Page 2 (3 Panels) Exterior Arkham Asylum
Panel 1 Half page panel of Arkham Asylum entrance and driveway with Batmobile parked outside.
So Bats, why are you interrupting my beauty sleep?
Panel 2 Quarter page panel interior Arkham Asylum guard station with gate. Guard is seated, watching the security monitors.
Five-and-a-half years ago you boosted a secure delivery package from a WayneTech facility at the loading dock and replaced it with a dummy package.
Panel 3 Quarter page panel interior Arkham Asylum visitation room. Clayface is seated at a table. Batman is in the foreground, approaching the table.
What work of fiction did you pick that up from? I’ve done lots of things, Batman, but I can’t recall doing that.
Page 3 (3 Panels) Interior Arkham Asylum visitation room.
Panel 1 Quarter Page shot from behind a seated Clayface, over his shoulder toward Batman who is taking the seat opposite Clayface across the table.
Save it, I have you on security camera. But I’m not here to bust you for that. I want to know who hired you.
Panel 2 Quarter Page shot from behind a seated Batman, over his shoulder towards Clayface across the table.
Supposing I do recall anything about such an event, what do I get for helping?
Panel 3 Half Page panel profile shot of Batman seated across the table from Clayface, Batman on the right. Batman has his hand on top of a jewel case containing a disc.
This. Opening night Gotham Repertory Company’s performance of Glengarry Glen Ross. Recorded live, two nights ago.
You’re playing dirty, Batman, appealing to my thespian side.
Page 4 (3 Panels) Interior Arkham Asylum visitation room, Exterior of Arkham Asylum.
Panel 1 Quarter-page tight shot of the disc, laying on the table surface with both Batman and Clayface’s hands on it.
I got the job from Cobblepot. Penguin wasn’t forthcoming on the details. He just said it was a request from somebody not to be trifled with. Not my circus, not my monkeys, so I did the job for a quick buck and delivered the box to Cobblepot no further questions.
Panel 2 Quarter page closeup of Clayface looking through the clear jewel case of the disc at the camera.
Normally I’d say Oswald is down in 2a, his usual spot, since he got pinched a couple of days ago, but word is that he, Two-Face, and Scarecrow are in the hole up at Stryker’s Island. Whoever’s moving in on your turf, Bats, isn’t interested in our mental health.
Panel 3 Half-page shot of Batmobile streaking towards the camera down the driveway of Arkham Asylum, the Asylum shrinking in the background.
Alfred, contact Warden Draper at Stryker’s Island Penitentiary and tell him to expect Bruce Wayne and his legal team.
Page 5 (3 Panels) Interior of Warden Draper’s office at Stryker’s Island.
Panel 1 Half-page shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne seated across the desk from Warden Stryker, flanked by two non-descript lawyers. One lawyer’s briefcase is open (on his lap if it’s a clamshell briefcase, on the floor next to him if it’s a satchel type.) Warden Draper is reading some sort of legal filing.
I appreciate all your Institute for Criminal Justice Reform does for the mentally ill who end up in the system, Mr. Wayne, but my hands are tied now. The D.A. has filed motions to have the mental competency of Cobblepot, Dent, and Dr. Crane handled at their arraignments in two days and was granted a stay by the court against having them moved to Arkham until after the arraignment.
These men clearly have mental problems, Warden, and need treatment.
Panel 2 Quarter page closeup of an exasperated Warden Draper who has put down the legal filing.
For the most part, I agree, Mr. Wayne. I was arranging to have them transferred when the stay preemptively came into my office. If you want them transferred before their hearing, you’ll need to convince the court, not me.
Panel 3 Quarter page shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne and his lawyers standing at the desk.
Since we’re filing on their behalf can my legal team and I meet with the prisoners?
WARDEN DRAPER (Off Screen)
Page 6 (4 Panels) Interior of Stryker’s Island Penitentiary Visitor’s Room.
Panel 1 Quarter page panel of the lawyers and Batman as Bruce Wayne standing in the Visitor’s Room with a couple of guards.
BATMAN (To a guard)
Since there’s three of them and three of us, we’ll each meet with one of them so we can get out of here.
Your call, Mr. Wayne.
Panel 2 Quarter page of Batman as Bruce Wayne is seated at a table in the Visitor’s Room across from Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin.
To what do I owe the distinct pleasure of a visitation by ‘do-gooder-in-chief’ Bruce Wayne?
I’m here on behalf of my criminal justice reform institute to inform you we’re filing amicus briefs with the court to bypass the stay that’s keeping you in here rather than receiving treatment at Arkham.
Panel 3 Same shot of the Visitor’s Room table as before but Penguin is laughing.
Treatment? If you say so, Mr. Wayne. I’m ready and willing to accept any free legal representation from lawyers of the caliber you hire.
But that’s just part of it.
Panel 4 Closeup of Penguin, his eyes narrowed with a wicked grin on his face.
Ah, here’s the catch.
Page 7 (4 Panels) Interior of Stryker’s Island Visitor’s Room.
Panel 1 Quarter page profile shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne with a grim look on his face.
I’ve been informed by Batman that a WayneTech semi-conductor chip we had written off as lost in a traffic accident was stolen, by you, under contract from somebody else. What I want to know is who hired you.
Panel 2 Quarter panel profile shot of a now equally grim Penguin.
Do go on. I love hearing your flights of fancy.
Panel 3 Quarter page profile shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne leaning forward, a wry smile on his lips.
I’m not interested in going after you over the theft. I couldn’t care less about a middleman. If a third party is interested enough in my projects to hire you to steal from me, it’s a serious security risk to me. Tell me what you know of it and my institute will represent you through your whole trial on these latest charges to get you moved to Arkham.
Panel 4 Quarter page three-quarters closeup of Penguin, now leaning back in his chair, relaxed with a bemused look.
I am listening with all the intensity of a hunting barn owl.
Page 8 (3 Panels) Interior of the Stryker’s Island Visitor’s Room
Panel 1 Half-page panel overhead shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne and Penguin seated at a visitor’s table.
You and I both know that of all of Batman’s Rogues Gallery of enemies, you are the one most likely to be found sane enough to stand trial and serve a term of hard time here, in the Pen. Your obsession with the avian is clinical, but neither crippling nor criminal. For what you know I’m willing to work to get you moved to Arkham where the conditions are far better.
PENGUIN (feigned shock)
Why Mr. Wayne, you devious lout! I always knew there was more to you than the old playboy routine, otherwise you wouldn’t be as successful in business as you are.
Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin.
Doing my bid in here is a concern of mine. The new cape in town didn’t drop me off at my preferred location, making business difficult to continue. Very well, I’ll tell you what I know.
Panel 3 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin, leaning forward with a conspiratorial look.
I was indirectly contacted about the chip by the League of Assassins via Black Mask. Most unusual. Sionis had turned down the job because he wanted to know the why of it and they weren’t forthcoming. I’m not too picky so I took it.
Page 9 (4 Panels) Interior of Iceberg Lounge.
Panel 1 Half-page tall, but only a quarter page wide closeup profile of Penguin fading right to left as if to indicate panel 2 will be a flashback.
Panel 2 Remaining three-quarters of the page width panel, interior of Iceberg Lounge at Penguin’s private booth. Talia is seated across from Penguin with a female Assassin standing near her. Penguin has a large, well-dressed thug standing near him. Talia is examining the contents of an open WayneTech case. Another briefcase, full of stacked bills, is open on the table facing Penguin.
I invited Talia to the club to take delivery herself and to have a few drinks. You know, to celebrate a job well done. And surprise, surprise, she herself showed up.
You have indeed come through for me where Sionis refused. Your fee is well earned.
A pleasure doing business with you. I hope you keep me in mind in the future for other ventures that may be necessary but beneath your direct involvement.
Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Talia handing the now closed case to her associate.
Says something in Arabic. It is not translated so just put nonsense in the speech bubble.
She handed the box to her bodyguard and said something angrily in Arabic and the bodyguard left.
Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Talia, across from the Penguin, raising a martini glass and smiling.
And now I will take you up on that drink.
Betrayal abounds in my business, so I record all my meetings at the club. I’ve got so many layers of surveillance in there that nobody can find and neutralize it all. It bugged me I couldn’t understand what she said so I had it translated.
Page 10 (3 Panels) Interior Stryker’s Island Visitor’s Room.
Panel 1 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin seated at the visitor’s table, looking bemused.
Turns out she was speaking a very old and obscure dialect of Arabic, which made it very hard to translate. It wasn’t exact, but the gist of it was, “Tell that man this is the last task I do for him, despite what he knows. He asks another at his own peril.”
Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin, looking very serious.
Mr. Wayne, the League of Assassins are some very scary people. People who’ve you never heard of and trust me, you’re better off that way. And you’re looking for somebody with the stones to not only blackmail them, but the brains to do it successfully. A bird of a very different and very dangerous feather from your average cutthroat industrialist.
Panel 3 Half-page panel of Batman as Bruce Wayne walking away from the table with a guard standing behind Penguin.
We’ll be in touch soon, Mr. Cobblepot.
I’d let this go if I were you. Do be careful, Mr. Wayne. You need to be alive to honor our agreement.
Page 11 (3 Panels) Interior of the Batcave.
Panel 1 Half-page panel of Batman seated in front of the Batcomputer, Lucius Fox is on one of the side monitors, Oliver Queen (the Green Arrow) is on another. The main monitor has Batman’s file on Talia Al-Ghul displayed.
So, Oliver, there seems to be a new major player in the background. If Cobblepot can be trusted, someone developed enough leverage on Talia to force the League to do at least two difficult tasks for them, probably more.
They hit something very specific that was crucial to my work as Batman and used it against me in a very crippling manner. This indicates they are well informed with formidable intelligence capabilities.
Panel 2 Quarter-page panel of Green Arrow’s monitor
Thanks for the heads up, Bruce. I’ll keep a closer eye on Queen Industries skunkworks projects. Stands to reason whoever got to you would try to hit others. You going to warn Lex as well?
Panel 3 Quarter-page panel of Lucius Fox’s monitor.
I’ve taken care of strategically leaking the information to Lex’s assets within WayneTech. If he doesn’t already know what we want him to, he’ll know before end-of-business today.
BATCOMPUTER VOICE (off screen)
Incoming transmission from The Watchtower.
Page 12 (1 Panel) Interior Batcave
Panel 1 Full-page shot from behind Batman, seated at the Batcomputer. Alfred is walking in from the left side, approaching Batman with a tray with a coffee mug and a coffee pot upon it. The central monitor of the Batcomputer has the very worried face of Superman on it.
I just got your message, Bruce. The Batcomputer was hacked again? The last time that happened the Justice League nearly died.
I was hacked, Clark, but since that first incident I added triple-encryption security to any of my files related to the League and its members. Without having acquired three additional chip prototypes they cannot decode that information.
GREEN ARROW (angrily)
Hey! You didn’t tell me you were hacked!
Gentlemen, I can assure you that no information regarding the Justice League or its members was compromised. I designed those chips myself; I physically verified the location of all copies of the chips, and all were not only present but fully functional.
Page 13 (4 Panels) Interior Batcave
Panel 1 Quarter page view of Batman from the front, seated at the Batcomputer console looking up, towards the camera.
Whoever did this only got my files relating to operations here in Gotham City, and the Rogues Gallery that normally operated within the city and county.
ALFRED (off screen)
We can be thankful for that at least.
Panel 2 Quarter page view of Superman’s monitor. Superman has a resigned look on his face.
I’ll take you and Lucius and your word, but I’m going to have Cyborg increase monitoring of The Watchtower’s network and J’onn keep an eye on the primary systems.
Panel 3 Quarter page view of Green Arrow’s monitor, Oliver glaring (at off screen Batman), his lips pursed.
SUPERMAN (continued from off screen)
Arrow, since you’re already aware of the situation, assemble a strike team and be on standby in case something comes up.
You got it.
Panel 4 Quarter page view of Lucius Fox’s monitor.
Well, Bruce, that certainly could have gone better. Surprised it didn’t go worse.
Page 14 (4 Panels) Interior Batcave
Panel 1 Quarter page panel, front view of Batman looking up at the monitors.
Superman knows their information wasn’t compromised, and Oliver will forgive me. The League is not the target of this, so he gets to cozy up to Dinah on The Watchtower for a couple of weeks.
Panel 2 Quarter page panel view of Alfred looking puzzled.
It seems like someone’s put in an awful lot of effort to do all this for anything less than some Earth-shattering grand design. How can you be so sure that the League isn’t caught up in this scheme?
Panel 3 Quarter page of Batman in his chair, his elbows on the arm rests with his fingers steepled in front of him.
Whoever is doing this is exceedingly powerful, well financed, and very connected. More than enough to be planning something very big, but…
Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Batman in his chair, leaning on one elbow, stroking his chin with that hand.
Everything that’s been done, that we know of, is almost painstakingly focused on me. It all points to me as the target.
Page 15 (2 Panels) Interior of the Batcave
Panel 1 Half page panel wide shot of Batman seated at the Batcomputer with Alfred standing near Batman looking surprised. At the base of the stairs back up into Wayne Manor stands Nightwing, with Robin not far behind him.
I agree. It’s all almost laser focused on Batman, and that’s concerning. Hello Alfred.
Panel 2 Half page panel, same wide shot as before but Alfred is now hugging Nightwing.
It’s been years! It’s so good to see you!
It’s good to be seen, Alfred! I just wish it were under better circumstances.
Page 16 (4 Panels)
Panel 1 One third page wide panel closeup of Batman, his eyes narrowed, and his lips pursed.
What brings you out of Blüdhaven?
Panel 2 Two third page wide panel of Nightwing standing in front of seated Batman.
I started noticing a lot of the Gotham criminal element showing up in my town, trying to set up shop.
Panel 3 Quarter page closeup of Nightwing with a smirk on his face.
Seems something got them scared to do business in Gotham, and they said it wasn’t you.
Panel 4 Quarter page shot of Nightwing, now seated with one cheek on the Batcomputer console, facing the seated Batman.
I hit up Barbara and Kate about what’s going on and they told me about the new cape in town and how he’s really cleaning the place up.
Page 17 (4 Panels) Interior Batcave.
Panel 1 Two thirds page wide panel of Batman, now standing, facing Nightwing.
I’ve got it under control. It’s none of your concern.
Panel 2 One third page wide closeup of Nightwing, now scowling.
You made it my concern when you didn’t tell me about this new cape. I was caught flat footed by the influx of criminals from Gotham. I’ve been calling in some favors to get a little backup until the situation settles.
Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Robin whose been standing quietly until this point.
The past couple of nights I haven’t been doing patrols here in Gotham, Bruce. It hasn’t been necessary. I’ve been taking the Batcopter out to Blüdhaven and helping Dick out.
Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Batman looking shocked.
ROBIN (Off screen)
Barbara has cut down on her patrolling, and so has Kate. They’ve been alternating shifts for all night coverage but, apart from the petty crime we don’t have to get involved with, the streets have been quiet.
Page 18 (3 Panels) Interior Batcave
Panel 1 Quarter page panel of a medium shot of Alfred looking at his cell phone with a look of surprise as a notification sound goes off.
Panel 2 Quarter page panel of a concerned Alfred looking up from his cell phone at the camera.
Master Bruce, pull up Channel 9 News
Panel 3 Half page panel wide shot from behind everyone now standing and looking up at the Batcomputer’s main monitor. The screen features a generic news anchor with the typical chyron along the bottom with the text “Joker charged with terrorism!” and/or “Who is Shepherd?” Maybe have both phrases partially on screen to indicate the chyron is scrolling. Channel 9 News logo in the lower left corner.
… only moments ago. I repeat, the criminal known as the Joker has been apprehended and is now in solitary confinement at Stryker’s Island awaiting arraignment on charges of making terroristic threats, conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, and possession of weapons of mass destruction. But more importantly, a new protector of Gotham has revealed himself! This footage was taken at GCPD Headquarters only minutes ago.
Page 19 (1 panel) Interior Batcave
Panel 1 Full page panel of the primary monitor of the Batcomputer. Shepherd, flanked by Commissioner Gordon and a host of high-ranking police and District Attorneys, is standing in a sea of reporters and microphones. The news chyron is still running.
I am known as Shepherd. I apprehended the Joker and brought him to the authorities, along with the evidence to back the charges that are now filed against him. I am here, now, so that Batman can focus more on the wider issues around the globe that can benefit from his talent and expertise. For the other vigilantes in the city, put the word out if you want to contact me, I look forward to working with you. As for Batman, worry not, your flock will be well protected.
Page 20 (2 Panels)
Panel 1 Half page panel wide shot from behind everyone now standing and looking up at the Batcomputer’s main monitor. The everyone is looking up, some pointing, others dropping things from their hands, papers, coffee, microphones, etc. The chyron is still running.
With that, Shepherd leapt into the air and simply vanished.
Panel 2 Half page panel wide shot from behind everyone now standing and looking up at the Batcomputer’s main monitor. Incoming call notifications are filling the screen.
SFX (All over the Batcomputer screen)
BATCOMPUTER (Computer voice balloons all over on either side of the Batcomputer monitor.
Incoming call from…
Page 21 (4 Panels)
Panel 1 Quarter page closeup of Batman looking angry.
Panel 2 Quarter page panel of Robin looking impressed.
Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Nightwing looking surprised.
Panel 4 Quarter page panel shot of Alfred with the side of Batman’s head and shoulder in the foreground.
BATMAN (Off Screen)
Taking the call from The Watchtower.
Page 22 and 23 Interior Batcave
Panel 1 Two-page spread, wide angle, tilt shot from behind all the people in the Batcave looking at a stark angle at the main Batcomputer monitor. Use forced perspective to make all the members of the Justice League look incredibly imposing and everyone in the Batcave look small. Superman is standing in the middle, arms crossed, looking VERY upset. He is flanked by Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg on his right and Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern (Jessica Cruz), and The Flash (Barry Allen) on his left.
END OF ISSUE 3