Grotesk was a villain featured in the story arc, with the same name, Grotesk (Batman #659-#662). This story arc spanned 4 issues from January 2007 to March 2007. He was created by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake. He first appeared in Batman #659 as the Grotesk villain without any back story. In later issues the readers find out that he was Wayne Franklin, a plastic surgeon with Parkinson's Disease who faked his own death and developed the I-Gore .
Wayne Franklin was born to parents who were radicals in the 60s. Both parents were in a group that included George Williamson, one of Grotesk's victims. Wayne Franklin has one sibling that is made known that goes by the name, Amina Franklin; which he is older than by 4 years. At the age of 10, Amina 6, Wayne's parents, along with Williamson, had committed an armed robbery of a bank, were a security guard was murder. Wayne's father not wanting to "do black man's time in a white man's prison" decide that the only way to spare his children any suffering was to kill them. His father pulled out a gun and was prepared to kill both Wayne and Amina, when Wayne intervened to save his and his sister's life. While wrestling the gun in his father's hand it went off and killed his father. Wayne saved both their lives and made Amina promise to tell everyone that their father committed suicide rather than go to jail.
Wayne Franklin is a famous plastic surgeon, people call the black Bruce Wayne. During his time as a plastic surgeon, he contracted Parkinson's disease. Because of this disease his hands were becoming to unstable to perform surgery. Due to this set back Wayne began developing the I-Gore, a cybernetic surgical multi-tool. Due to a lack of funds, probably because he could not perform surgeries, he borrowed money from multiple sources; one was Wayne Enterprises and two include the Russian mafia boss Perun and a Yakuza boss named Johnny Karaoke.
Because Wayne owed too many people money he decided to fake his own death. He enlisted the help of his sister, Amina, and a derelict named Henry Jones, who also had serve Parkinson's Disease. The deal was that Wayne would painlessly euthanize Henry Jones, give his mother $50,000, and leave him to burn in a secondary warehouse lab of Wayne's. Something went wrong while Wayne was setting fire to the warehouse. Henry Jones was burn alive and Wayne was badly burned all over his body.
His sister Amina, was told by the Gotham City Police Department that Wayne might have been killed in an arson fire. Amina falsely identified the burn body of Henry Jones as her brother Wayne Franklin by way of a tattoo. The burning broke Wayne mentally as he decided to seek out deadly vengeance upon many he felt wronged him by using a weaponized version of the I-Gore.
Essential Story Lines
Grotesk part 1 (Batman #659)
The introduction of Grotesk is made, in name only, when Batman is investigating three of his victims that were burned alive and a piece of their face was cut off (Jaqui Tremayne, Donny Lucido, and George Williamson) in the beginning of the story. As Batman is confronting a group of Russian mobsters lead by a man name Perun, who are attacking Dr. Amina Franklin over money borrowed by her dead brother Wayne Franklin, at the Leslie Thompkin's Center we get our first glimpse of Grotesk. Grotesk uses his cybernetic arm as a flame thrower to kill multiple mobsters. Some run away, including Perun, while Batman deals with Grotesk. It is here that Grotesk makes it known he is on a journey of vengeance. Batman then launches Grotesk off a building into a dumpster, which he immediately recovers. Here we can see that Grotesk cares nothing for human life, when he set a passing truck on fire to cover his escape. It is also explained by Batman why Grotesk cuts pieces of skin off the face of his victims; to make a skin mask. We also see in this issue that Batman discovered that one of the victims, Jaqui Tremayne, who was previously dating Dr. Wayne Franklin, worked for OmniMed, a Division of Zeis Pharmaceuticals, that came up with an identical device to the I-Gore called to Mimic. This gave readers to first glimpse of the supposed identity of Grotesk, Dr. Wayne Franklin.
Grotesk part 2 (Batman #660)
This issue begins with Batman investigating OmniMed's Research and Development department. As Batman questions a worker named Dr. Myles Strane, a Yakuza boss named Johnny Karaoke and his Geisha Girls (J. Lo, Brittany, Beyonce, & Mariah) attack the OmniMed lobby. Batman discovers, while fighting with Johnny Karaoke that Wayne Fraklin also borrowed money from him too. This distraction is long enough for Grotesk to steal the notes, the Mimic prototype, and burn and kill Dr. Stane. Batman informs James Gordon that he believes that Grotesk is the "late" Dr. Wayne Franklin. Batman later prepares to confront Perun, who has taken Wayne Franklin's (Grotesk) sister, Dr. Amina Franklin Hostage at St. Eligius Medical Center.
Grotesk part 3 (Batman #661)
Batman beats Perun and his men, who have set off a grenade to cover their escape. While driving away Grotesk calls Perun to tell him to meet him at the Old Gotham Opera House, near Gotham Docks. When Perun and his men enter the Opera house they met Johnny Karaoke and his Geisha Girls, who have also come to claim the I-Gore as payment. As a tension rises from both sides Grotesk drops the I-Gore in the middle of and claims they have to fight over it. As they are killing each other for the I-Gore Batman arrives, after following a tracer attached to Perun's car. Grotesk and Batman have a quick battle. (It is during this battle that Dr. Wayne Franklin is conclusively identified as the Grotesk villain.) As soon as Batman gets the upper hand on Grotesk he sets the cybernetic device, which is now seen as the revealed as the Mimic prototype, to explode in a blaze of fire that is killing everyone. Grotesk escapes while Batman saves one of the Geisha Girls (Beyonce); Johnny and Perun kill each other. Batman then realizes that Grotesk's sister knows more than she is letting on.
Grotesk conclusion (Batman #662)
Batman uses his Bruce Wayne persona to talk to Grotesk's sister Amina, who had a brief relationship with Bruce two years prior in the story line. Bruce takes Amina to his penthouse, while Grotesk secretly follows, were Grotesk's back story is revealed. She explains about their parents, her father killing at the hand of her brother, how he had gotten Parkinson's Disease and had to develop the I-Gore, his plan to fake his own death, and the accident that left him burned. After telling this story Grotesk crashes in by way of firing a mini-missile. He kidnaps his own sister and leaves Bruce to die. Grotesk is then seen talking to his sister asking her for help to travel across the bay to the other side to continue his "work". She refuses which spurns Grotesk into saying the same thing his father said "I won't do black man time in a white man's prison...or in a white man asylum (referring to Arkham Asylum). He prepares to kill her when Batman intervenes. Grotesk then fires an overdose of paralyzing drug at his sister to cover his escape. Batman tries to save Grotesk's sister but she dies in his arms. While Batman is doing this Grotesk attacks two Gotham Seaport guards, killing one of them, and forces the other to help him (who he later kills) set sail on a large old wooden sail named "The Star". This boat is the setting for Batman and Grotesk's final battle. Grotesk tries to sail the Star but it is a snow storm and he cannot navigate. Batman confronts Grotesk who quickly uses his flamethrower. This sets the Star on fire. In the storm a container boat is also sailing and is on a collision course with the Star. Unable to stop the container boat on time, it crashes into the Star. Batman grapples onto the container boat but Grotesk is entangled in the ropes of the Star sails. Batman tries to save Grotesk graving his I-Gore device to pull him up but the part that Batman is holding breaks apart. Grotesk is seen sinking into icy water. In the last page Grotesk can be seen dead or frozen alive in a block of ice being carried out to sea.
Powers & Abilities
Grotesk had some what higher than normal human durability; as seen when he recovers from falling into a dumpster from a multiple story building. He also had a cybernetic surgical multi-tool attach to his right arm called the I-Gore. It has the ability to shot flames long range, fire mini-missiles, fire hypodermic needles filled with paralyzing drugs, and has multiple long blades and scalpels attached to it. Grotesk is a medical doctor and highly skilled plastic surgeon. He has no regard for human life and is able to set traps.
- Identity: Secret (kept from the public deliberately)
- Place of Birth: Unknown (possibly Gotham)
- Citizenship: Gotham, U.S.A
- Base: Warehouse Lab near the Gotham City Docks
- Occupation: mass murder, plastic surgeon
- Known Relatives: unknown named parents (father deceased), Dr. Amina Franklin (sister, deceased)