Batman #536

Batman #536



A disfigured man and his ape starts killing doctors across Gotham City by electrocuting them to death but dosing them with a strong sedative so they won't feel their deaths. Batman starts to investigate the crimes and he notices that the killer or killers leave a strange mark at the crime scene. Batman takes a picture of the symbol and makes his way to the batcave in order to create a link between the symbol and the first victim.  At their secret hideout, The Ogre and the Ape reminisce about the experiments that they were victims of. The doctors they are killing once experimented with them to recreate some kind of "missing link" by evolving the ape and devolving the human. The Ogre and the ape are killing the doctors as a personal vendetta. Both of them managed to escape from the doctors and their experiments and they took a list of the doctors' names with them to track them down in the future.  The Ogre and the ape strike again and Batman starts an investigation on the second victim. This time he realizes that both victims are part of a secret investigation in Atsugi, Japan. Batman discusses the matter with Commissioner Gordon and Mackenzie Bock. Bock tells Batman that criminals tend to use graffiti as a warning for their future victims and that the symbol that the killers are using might be used in the same manner. Later in the morning Gordon calls Batman and tells him that the symbol was seen at the Gotham Men's Club. Batman goes there as Bruce Wayne and pretends to be interested in becoming a member of the club just to look at a list of the current members. He discovers that there was a member who was a doctor that also was linked with Atsugi.  Batman rushes to the doctor's home but when he arrives he sees an ape leaving the doctor's home. Batman attacks the animal that responded with human-like reflexes. The two of them exchange a couple of punches but then they are interrupted by Ogre. The ape takes the chance to attack Batman and hurt him badly. Ogre tells the ape to leave Batman because he is innocent and deserves no punishment. By the time Batman recovers they are already gone. Batman decides he needs help in the case and he contacted Oracle.  Batman tells Oracle to search the cyberspace for the words Mirakle or Project Mirakle; as that is the only clue Batman has from the victims' personal files. Oracle does her best and finds the information that Batman needs. Oracle gives Batman the information but she is left terrified with the results. Batman reads the information and learns that Project Mirakle was a program that used apes and humans, with no family or friends that might wonder about them missing, and mixed their DNA in order to create a "perfect intelligence agent". The rate of failure of the project was 100%; meaning that all of the 22 first test subjects suffered a hideous death. Subject 23 managed to escape before the final procedure and the project was cancelled or shifted to some other secret activity. Subject 23 was Michael Lane, now known as Ogre.  Batman hurries to find the two remaining doctors but when he arrives to check upon one of them, he sees the symbol on the outside wall and continues straight forward towards the last victim without stopping to see the fourth victim.  The last doctor knows that his fate was near so he welcomed Ogre and the ape and told them that he was waiting for them. The doctor draws a gun and shoot thrice at the Ogre but the ape jumps to protect him and dies. The Ogre is furious and tries to electrocute the doctor when Batman arrives and stops Ogre. Batman tells Ogre that he will take the doctor to justice and see that he pays for his crimes. Ogre agrees and leaves the building carrying the ape's dead body. The doctor continues talking about leaving a monster roaming free until Batman hears enough of his rant and knocks him out. Batman then remembers what Oracle told him: Please, stop them.; and he realizes that she was referring to the doctors rather than the Ogre and the Ape. Batman feels bad for Adams and the ape, but he knows that Oracle is going to be haunted and devastated for such atrocities, longer than him as she is left crying in a catatonic state. 



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