Continuing with the Bloodlines tie-ins with Batman Annual #17, which is much more clearly with Jean-Paul in The Suit.
Batman Annual #17
Written by Doug Moench
Art by Eduardo Barrets
Colors by Adrianne Roy
Lettering by Albert De Guzman
Edited by Jordan B. Gorfinkel & Denny O’Neil
We open with one of the monsters, this time a woman, and this one has a name – Angon – attacking a guy in an alley.
We quickly go to Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock discussing the string of killings, to Gordon telling Batman II about this at the Bat-Signal. The dialog here makes it clear that this is Jean-Paul, as they reference Batman’s “recovery from the beating.”
Batman II very quickly finds Angon, He tries to fight Angon, but is only really able to distract her enough that her intended meal is able to escape, before Batman has to flee himself.
Jean-Paul, somewhat shaken from his first Close Encounter of the Third kind – which means the previous issue had to have been Bruce, returns to Commissioner Gordon and lets him know that GCPD is not equipped to handle this monster – which is accurate. We then go to a squad of GCPD SWAT, a hive of toxic masculinity, where we see a lot of racist insults being made against the Korean man on the squad, Kelvin Mao, by a white guy – McCain. The only person who stands up for Mao is the Black guy on the squad, who I don’t think gets a name, just the nickname of “Jukes”.
In the Bat-Cave, Jean-Paul tries to put together a plan, without ever having been prepared for this part of the job (and without, to my knowledge, any contacts with the JLA or STAR Labs that he can use). Meanwhile, at his apartment, Mao considers resignation for a moment, and only for a moment.
Angon attacks again, this time in the Warehouse district. The night watchman reports it in, and SWAT beats Batman II there. The squad is surprised to see their first alien. Like a proper X-Com rookie, McCain freezes and panics, which allows the monster to kill the watchman and McCain.
By the time Batman arrives, everyone on the squad is dead except for Mao, who is in a bad way.
As Gordon and Bullock commiserate over the condolence letters Gordon has to write, and while Angon is going after a mark in a bar, Mao is being put in a high-tech full body cast.
The doctors check in on Mao, and discover that his cast is gone, and instead he’s covered by some sort of carapace. Then the power goes out, and when it returns, Mao is gone.
Outside, Mao is running along rooftops, unintentionally experimenting with his new powers in the process.
Mao returns home, and realizes with his much more inhuman appearance, he probably should hide, so he clears an entrance to a disused subway tunnel with some plastic explosives that GCPD had in storage and which was due for disposal.
At the Gordon house, James and Sara discuss the murders, while Mao breaks into GCPD again and steals a bunch of guns and a Humvee. Now that he’s ready, he heads to the roof of GCPD, turns on the Bat-signal, and gets Commissioner Gordon to introduce him to Batman, with the code name of Ballistic. Batman II begrudgingly agrees to his first proper team-up.
With a little research, Jean-Paul finds a Wayne estate on the coast that would work for a trap.
The next time Angon attacks, Batman and Ballistic intercept, get it to hang on to Ballistic’s Humvee, and they drive it to the trap. They get it into the manor, fight it through the building, before blowing it – the mansion and presumably Angon – up.
Afterwards, the two part ways, Batman as Gotham’s protector, and Mao planning to become a meta-human merc.
Elsewhere, a fisherman pulls a mysterious woman out of the water – Angon.
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