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Cover art for the trade paperback of Gotham Underground. Art by Jim Califiore.
|Publication date||December 2007 - August 2008|
|Number of issues||9|
|Gotham Underground||ISBN 1401219284|
The series looked at the repercussions of Countdown to Final Crisis and focuses on the Batman Family banding together to prevent a gang war to find out who will occupy the territory that belonged to the recently deceased Black Mask.
Some of the issues tie in with Salvation Run.
A trade paperback was released on November 19, 2008.
A group of people hidden in the shadows targets Man-Bat with their hi-tech gadgetry and take him captive. Talking amongst themselves, they discuss what their next target will be. At Gotham City's Police headquarters, Commissioner Gordon lights the Bat-Signal, but only Robin answers the call. Gordon tells him about the recent upsurge in gang-related violence. Dozens of would-be crime-lords are trying to fill the vacancy created by the death of Black Mask. Meanwhile, Batman infiltrates the Iceberg Lounge in the guise of henchman Matches Malone. He wants to keep an eye on the Penguin's recent activities. He knows that the Penguin is projecting the image of a legitimate businessman, but he suspects that Penguin may also be the ringleader behind an "underground railroad" for supervillains. As the Penguin conducts his affairs, Two-Face enters the club and wants in on his underground railroad project. Penguin tells him to meet him later after hours. Elsewhere, Nightwing and Alfred Pennyworth investigate another nightclub where wagers are placed on hero/villain battle outcomes. Nightwing raids the gambling den and takes down all of the goons. He is surprised however by the hi-tech weaponry that these low level thugs now have access to. At Giovanni's Ristorante, the leaders of two of Gotham's more powerful criminal gangs, the Galantes and the Odessas, meet to discuss territory. Their meeting is interrupted by Tobias Whale who announces his intention of taking control of Gotham's underworld. Later, the Penguin holds a meeting with several of Gotham's most notorious villains including Hugo Strange, Two-Face, Scarecrow and Mad Hatter. Matches Malone spies on the meeting from behind a darkened alcove. Suddenly, the Suicide Squad bursts into the room and attacks the assemblage of villains. Bane knocks Matches Malone out with a single punch.
Penguin is involved with the Suicide Squad, and that he set up the other villains to gain the favor of the Squad. Scarecrow, who has recently reconsidered his decision to abandon his fear toxins, gasses Bronze Tiger and escapes to warn Ventriloquist II. However, when the Ventriloquist and her gang accuse Scarecrow of being Suicide Squad's snitch and then lead an assault on the Iceberg Lounge, Scarecrow leads them into a trap by Tobias Whale. Whale then betrays him, leaving him beaten and tied-up, though alive, as a sign to all "masks" that they are not welcome in Whale's new vision of Gotham. Batman as Matches Malone is in Blackgate Penitentiary and ends up being targeted by Victor Zsasz. Meanwhile, the Riddler investigates Penguin's "underground railroad."
Matches Malone ends up in a fight with Zsasz while Penguin tries to negotiate with Tobias Whale. Robin and Oracle try to figure out what is going on in the criminal underground when they are suddenly attacked by Spoiler.
Bruce Wayne as Matches Malone escapes from the Penitentiary's infirmary and runs into Great White Shark while Scarecrow takes revenge on those that have wronged him. Tobias Whale sends a message to Gotham City Police telling them not to interfere.
It is discovered that Johnny Denetto is the one who drove Tobias Whale out of Metropolis and into Gotham City. Bruce/Matches then finds out who is orchestrating his death.
Bruce/Matches learns how Great White Shark got from Arkham Asylum to Blackgate Penitentiary. Tobias Whale and Penguin are both assembling armies. Spoiler is seemingly working with the Penguin to take care of Johnny Stitches of Intergang. As Bruce/Matches escapes Blackgate Penitentiary, Nightwing as "Freddie Dinardo" has a run-in with Vigilante.
Penguin and Tobias Whale are currently fighting each other as Robin, Huntress, Batgirl, and Wildcat IV get involved. Even though Penguin gets the upper hand, Tobias Whale reluctantly calls a truce with him in order to stop Johnny Stitches and Intergang. Batman arrives just in time to save Nightwing from Vigilante.
As Batman continues his fight with Vigilante, Johnny Stitches sends him Riddler's glasses and Mr. Jessup's cut-up body. When Penguin has a talk with Johnny, he mentions that Tobias Whale isn't on "Penguin's side" anymore. Johnny also mentions that he has threatened the families of those fighting on Penguin's side and tells Penguin that he is giving him a day to get out of town.
When Penguin and Riddler are talking in the Iceberg Lounge, members of Intergang attacks. Things weren't looking good for the Penguin until Batman arrives and comes to his rescue. However, Batman isn't here just to save his life. He lets Penguin know that he owns him now and that he will report everything to Batman concerning Intergang and what's going on in Gotham, to which Penguin was actually quite happy to agree to.
Cast of Characters
- Alfred Pennyworth
- James Gordon
- Question II
- Wildcat IV
- The Suicide Squad
- The 100
- The Galantes
- Great White Shark
- Hugo Strange
- Johnny Stitches
- The Joker
- Killer Moth
- Mad Hatter
- Mr. Jessup
- The Odessas
- Ra's al Ghul
- Tobias Whale
- Ventriloquist II
- Victor Zsasz
All members of Penguin's army were provided with weapons based on those of established villains. They formed small groups inspired by the affiliations of the originals. Their individual codenames were not revealed, although the New Rogues' were given shortly before their deaths in Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #2.
- The Bat Killers (based on Batman villains)
- The Dead End Boys (based on the Suicide Squad)
- The Femme Fatales (based on villainesses)
- The Five Points Gang (based on the Fearsome Five)
- The L.O.D. (based on the Legion of Doom)
- The New Rogues (based on Flash's Rogues)
The series has been collected into a trade paperback:
- Gotham Underground (224 pages, Titan Books, January 2009, ISBN 1845769651, DC Comics, November 2008, ISBN 1401219284)
- Delving Into The Gotham Underground With Frank Tieri, Newsarama, September 24, 2007
- Frank Tieri - Gotham Underground...Deep in The Thick of It, Newsarama, February 13, 2008
- Gotham Underground, IGN
- Review of Gotham Underground #1, 6, 7 and 8, Comics Bulletin
- Gotham Underground at the Grand Comics Database
- Gotham Underground at the Comic Book DB