We continue with the return of Black Mask with Batman undercover in Black Mask’s operation, as Black Mask’s gang has kidnapped Lucius Fox.

Batman #485

Written by Doug Moench
Art by Tom Grindberg & Trevor Scott
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Lettering by Richard Starkings
Edited by Scott Peterson & Denny O’Neil

We open with Fox asking why he was chosen as a hostage – because the Wayne Foundation caused Black Mask to lose face, which also makes Fox’s blood perfect warpaint.

Bruce as Skullface looks on, trying to find the best way to help Lucius – even if that means blowing his cover. Right before that moment comes, Circe talks Black Mask down.

Circe talks down Black Mask.

Bruce takes Lucius to the mask room, letting him know that he’s there on the down low. Meanwhile, Robin discusses Fox’s abduction with Gordon, letting him know that Batman has infiltrated Sidonis’ gang.

At a meeting of Sidonis’ goons, a couple of members of the gang complain about the masks, and are very quickly put down by Tattoo. Tattoo and Skullface report back to Sidonis, before Skullface is dismissed.

In Bruce’s absence, Tattoo and Sidonis discuss Skullface, and Tattoo is suspicious of him, while Robin listens in with a transmitter that was built by Harold (I’ll explain him later). Tim warns Bruce, but Bruce isn’t ready to act yet – he has to get Gordon into position first.

Batman shows up at Gordon’s office right as he and Sarah are in the middle of a disagreement over Batman. Gordon is getting frustrated at the current state of their relationship, but now’s not the time to resolve this.

Batman interrupts Jim Gordon and Sarah
Batman, you could have waited.

That night, Bruce comes to Sidonis’ base as Skullface, where Sidonis is ready to torture Lucius after letting him starve for 24 hours – and he’s going to start with the cosmetic compound. His hand force, Bruce blows his cover, saving Lucius but being captured himself. However, before he’s taken out, he’s saved by Circe – at which point Robin uses a smoke bomb to cover Bruce, Circe, and Lucius’ escape

Bruce sends Robin off with Lucius and Circe to get them medical attention, while heading back in as Batman to take on Tattoo and Black Mask, so they’re kept clear of the GCPD rounding up the rest of the gang at 10 PM, which is some time up.

As the GCPD waits for the appointed hour, Harvey Bullock flirts with Montoya and is rebuffed.

Back at Simonis’ base, Batman uses the smoke to disarm Simonis. The two flee, but the clock has struck 10, triggering the raid before they can show up, so Simonis gang is getting round up.

Batman attacks Tattoo.
You really should have seen that coming.

Instead, Black Mask and Tattoo flee to the docks to take a boat, but Batman catches up. Batman fights Tattoo and overpowers him.

Black Mask falls into the river, and Batman isn’t able to find him. Later, Batman and Gordon discuss the night’s work, and Gordon reveals they couldn’t find Simonis – there was a body wearing a mask like his, but it was on the face of a missing Wayne Corp executive – Howard Rambeau.

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