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This 8-part epic explores the underbelly of the DC Universe and ties in to COUNTDOWN! Frank Tieri and COUNTDOWN's J. Calafiore team up to deliver an action-packed tale that features Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batwoman and just about every other Gotham guest-star imaginable. As more and more evildoers seemingly disappear into thin air, Gotham City finds itself in the midst of a villainous vacuum. Who will rise to commandeer the remainder of Gotham's rogues? As several factions scramble to stake their claim, Batman and friends strategize a counter-attack!

Man-Bat is flying through Gotham City, and some special agents are capturing him. One warns the others that if Man-Bat flies through the open city, then they will fail their mission. One fires a net and captures Man-Bat and he falls to the floor. They approach him and are about to put him into the truck when he breaks free and bane punches Man-Bat out.

Meanwhile, James Gordon has signalled the Bat Signal and says, “You need practice.” He refers to Robin’s sneak, and how it needs more practice. Robin replies that he’ll work on it. Down below, there are some thugs and some sort of riot, with the police obviously not being able to control it. James Gordon explains how crime activity has erupted after Black Mask’s death. And with no one to take over, all gangs are going for the position. Things are heating up while Gordon continues explaining, with the police warning them to calm down. Gordon says that this will definitely turn into another gang war, worse than before. Shots are fired and Robin jumps down, while Gordon comments on his entry: “Passable at best.”

Elsewhere, Bruce Wayne is undercover as Matches Malone. Even though Matches Malone is just another disguise over his real self, he finds this one much more liberating, being able to rough up thugs in which otherwise Batman couldn’t do. Penguin comments on his style: “I like that.” Matches calls Penguin “boss” and he says he would have never thought of saying that. He then continues with his thoughts on how he never thought it would be necessary to infiltrate Penguin’s nightclub under his guise; the nightclub called The Iceberg Lounge; the official place to meet all the criminals in Gotham City. He comments on the high prices of the drinks here, but not as much as the criminal activities being discussed. “Ya got those guns we talked about?”, “Wait fifteen minutes then meet me by the car.”, “… And I need it to look like an accident.”, “I need to move a lot of product in a hurry, no questions asked.”, “You’ll get handsomely take care of, I promise you.” Matches then continues with his thoughts, as he wants Penguin to fill in Black Mask’s spot. He continues to explain that the Iceberg Lounge has been kidnapping criminals, by bringing them here with their “entertainment shows”. But Matches has a clue that it was The Suicide Squad kidnapping the criminals. He doesn’t know why their interest in Penguin is connected to the rumours that he has started some kind of underground place for criminals. Either way, he intends to get to the bottom of this.

“Is this seat taken?” asks Two-Face. Penguin spits his drink out and greets him nervously. Two-Face realises this new underground thing. Captain Boomerang knows too, and so does the Riddler. Two-Face wants to know about this underground thing, and threatens Penguin to tell him. Penguin gives in and spills the beans. He tells him to meet him after closing.

Outside the club, Alfred wants to get in, but is stopped by the bodyguard because he doesn’t recognise Alfred. Alfred then plays the pity man, and tells him that he wishes to wager on Batman… and brings out a wad of cash. The bodyguard then lets him in. But Nightwing is behind the bodyguard and slams his head against the metal door. He walks in, as if he is a guest in the club and everyone is surprised that a lone hero would walk into a villain hideout. All of the bodyguards bring out their guns and starts bringing them down. While Nightwing is taking care of the bodyguards, the bartender is brings out his own gun, with Nightwing oblivious to him. A bottle crashes against his head, and Alfred has saved the day. Nightwing then comments on how simple goons could have gotten these weapons. Nightwing then surmises that there’s a new player in town.

It then cuts to a restaurant, where some thug dealings are happening. The bosses of each of the two gangs are discussing on how to take out all the thugs and finally take the Black Mask spot. One thug boss, called Odessas says he wants to east side, because that side makes more money. But the other thug boss refuses, as he claims that they have had the east side for many generations. Then another thug boss, called Tobias Whale comes in and stabs them both with his harpoon arrow and introduces himself. He continues to talk, and says that they should thank him for removing the two immovable objects that were preventing them from taking over Gotham City. He explains that because of scenes like that is why they are never able to get a real leader around here. He tells them that with the next few days, he will be arranging a meeting between all the heads of the Gotham crime families.

Back in the Iceberg Lounge, Matches adds that he Hugo Strange, Scarecrow and the Mad Hatter have now joined, saying how they are scared. He comments on Penguin, and how he likes it like that, and how he enjoys taking advantage of it, manipulating whoever he wants under his thumb. But Matches wants that, at least until he can figure out what happening in Gotham City. His city. And that’s why he’s Matches this time, not Batman. Matches would allow him to fall back on something soft, unlike his cowl and cape counterpart, suddenly the Suicide Squad breaks in and captures all the criminals in the lounge. Matches comments on how this is their second appearance, and he too gets hit behind the head by Bane.

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3.88 stars 3.88/5 Stars Average score of 4 user reviews

Another great Batman Mini 0

I LOVED THIS FIRST ISSUE!!!! I know I have been hearing how everyone is mad about how Countdown is sucking and its tie-ins are awful, but I am the opposite of those people...I love Countdown and everything to do with it. This is issue has some of Batman's best villains: Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, Hugo Strange, Man-Bat, and Scarecrow...not to mention this has the new Suicide Squad (Bane, Capt Boomerang, Plastique, Bronze Tiger, and Deadshot.)There is also a new player in the game wan...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Awesome 0

I don't even remember hearing about this comic but I am so glad my comic shop put it in my bag. I loved it, yet am a bit confused about some of the rouges, wish these writers would keep things in continuity. Besides that it was a great read with lots going on and an exciting mystery, The Whale, Suiside Squad, the Underground, even Alfred gets in on the action. Though I'm not sure what Nightwing means about the weapons guess I am missing something there (I don't follow his book). The artwork ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A Very Good Start to a Promising Mini 0

Gotham Underground is a very good opening to a story where Batman is undercover as his criminal alter-ego, Matches Malone. So in his absence, Robin, Nightwing, and Alfred must try to cope on their own.This was a well written issue. The art was great. I love the way Riddler is drawn. He looks fantastic. The shadowing and inking was done well by the very talented Jack Purcell who will hopefully stay on board for the 8 issues left. The only thing that brings this issue down a little is how Ban...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
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