Before we get into next the minor arc in Knightsquest: The Crusade, we have a couple one-shots from Batman: Shadow of the Bat.
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #24
Written by Alan Grant
Art by Vince Giarrano
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Lettering by Todd Klein
We open at night on the docks in Gotham, the second worst place to be in Gotham outside of abandoned amusement parks. Some goons are shaking down a woman who is apparently come to Gotham illegally. AzBat shows up and the goons back off with feigned innosence, but AzBat calls them out.
After driving the goons off, AzBat learns the story of the woman, Rosemary. She is from a war-torn Latin American country, where she, her husband, and their children were subsistence farmers. When her family couldn’t afford to pay taxes to the various factions in the war, her husband was arrested by the government. In desperation, in order to get the money to pay the bribes to get her husband back, she sells one of her children to someone who says they’ll be taken to a rich American family in California where they’d be safe. Instead, they’re taken to a rich American family… in Gotham City.
She tells AzBat all of this in Spanish, which Jean-Paul is surprised to discover he understands. He then passes this info to Gordon, who says he’ll put Rosemary under the protection of Renee Montoya. Se then intercut between AzBat’s investigation and the rest of the story, which was presumably told earlier. On AzBat’s end, he traces the child smuggling ring to a fertility clinic. From there he plants a bug in the office of a doctor at the clinic, and hears their sales pitch for the child sale – and then goes to catch them in the act at the meet.
Flashing back to Rosemary’s backstory, she found out that when going to pay the bribe to free her husband, she learned that he’d already been killed in a “prison uprising”, so she took the money to get her child back. This ultimately lead her to Gotham.
Back with Jean-Paul – through interrogating the doctor off camera, he finds out when the next delivery is due. The couriers rumble to AzBat’s presence & flee, ultimately bailing from the van while it’s in motion.
AzBat manages to stop the vehicle before disaster occurs, and the story ends with Gordon and the GCPD going through the doctor’s client list, while Jean-Paul reflects on the mother he never knew.
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