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You are in: Galleries > The Brave and the Bold > Issue 131

Issue Number: 131
Published: December 1976
Cover Artists: Jim Aparo
Writer: Bob Haney
Pencils: Jim Aparo
Inker: N/A
Letterer: N/A
Colourist: N/A
Editor: Murray Boltinoff
Story Title: Take 7 Steps To...Wipe-Out!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Batman
(Bruce Wayne)
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
"Uncle Sam"
Catwoman
(Selina Kyle)
Ahmad Bakra  

Cover of Issue 131

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

Batman crouches on a ledge overlooking a Gotham street lit by street lamps. He watches as a man emerges from the nearby foreign embassy and walks towards his waiting limo, with an attaché case handcuffed to his wrist. Batman knows he is the Sudarian Ambassador, on his way to a secret meeting with the caped crusader. He decides to follow the limousine as it sets off down the street.

But as the Ambassador pulls away from the curb he hears a growl behind him and sees to his horror a Jaguar in the back seat. As Batman swings along high above he suddenly sees the car swerve out of control. The car crashes into a wall and the caped crusader drops down onto the street and rushes over to the wrecked car. He opens the door to find that the Ambassador has been mauled to death! At that moment the Jaguar leaps out at him, taking him by surprise. But out of nowhere, a golden lasso loops around the wildcat and drags it off. To Batman's relief he realises it is Wonder Woman! He watches her place the Jaguar into a nearby trash can and slams the lid down, trapping it. As she loops her lasso around it, Batman sees another wildcat leap from the vehicle, this time with the suitcase in its mouth. Before either of the heroes can react it has made its escape into the night.

Batman checks his scratches and confirms he is OK, asking Wonder Woman why she is here? She replies that she is here for the same reasons as him - shadowing Mr. Kadaffir, the UN Ambassador from North Africa's newest but nastiest nation - Sudaria.

Wonder Woman dumps the wildcat into a nearby trash can!Batman points inside the car and tells her that Kadaffir has been killed by the Jaguar. He surmises that both cats were waiting in ambush in the car's rear seat - a beautiful, deadly double play by his old foe Catwoman! The Amazon Princess then explains that she, in her role as the UN crisis trouble shooter Diana Prince, had suspected Kadaffir of smuggling drugs into the US via embassy mail. She had tracked him as Wonder Woman but does not understand where Catwoman fits into things? He replies that it is what is being smuggled out of the US in Sudaria's mail pouches that is far more dangerous.

With that, they load the caged cat into the trunk of the Batmobile and then speed off down the narrow Gotham streets. As they go, Batman explains that Kadaffir in fact wanted his country to be a peaceful, law-abiding UN member and not an international criminal state. He had been on his way to meet secretly with Batman to hand over the priceless contraband in his case. But somehow his fellow smugglers got wise and he was killed by the two Jaguars which only Catwoman could have trained.

The Batmobile reaches an innocent looking rundown garage but as they enter through a secret doorway they drive into a top secret government nerve centre. Batman introduces Wonder Woman to a man called "Uncle Sam" who runs the operation. Sam then takes them into a nearby room to show some slides depicting the schematics of 'Peter Rabbit', the most complicated cryptographic machine ever invented. He tells Wonder Woman that their chemical analysis has revealed that the blueprint has been photographed by a clever spy in seven separate intersecting exposures, like a jigsaw puzzle. Obviously the device is being sold only piece by piece to a foreign power because the buyer cannot build a duplicate until he has the seventh and last piece. Batman believes that Catwoman has photographed the blueprints and is selling them to Sudaria.

Batman then continues that Kadaffir had told him that five of the photos had already been smuggled to Sudaria and that he had been on his way to hand over the sixth before he had been killed. Batman then asks if the Amazon Princess will help him to track down the last two photos and she agrees. They know that if Sudaria gets its hands on the complete set of blueprints, then all of Americas coded defense communications will be useless!

Meanwhile at a secluded estate beyond the city, Catwoman welcomes the return of her feline accomplice with the brief case in its mouth. She now has the sixth photo and vows to make sure that the next time he interferes, Batman will fall prey to the killer claws...

Two days later at a posh auction house on Gotham's East Side, Diana Prince and Bruce Wayne are seated with the other bidders. Diana asks Bruce why on earth they are at this "silly auction" when America's biggest secrets are in danger? He tells her to keep her cool and explains that Catwoman still has to get the sixth photo to Sudaria's new Ambassador, Ahmad Bakra, who is seated nearby. She knows that they will be watching the embassy so the transfer has to be made somewhere else - like this auction house.

The next item up for auction is a statue of a cat and Bakra makes a bid which Bruce knows is way over the odds for what it is actually worth. Bruce whispers to Diana that the photo may well be contained inside and to test his theory, he makes a counter bid. Bakra desperately bids higher and Bruce continues to up the bidding while the Ambassador panics. As the price goes up and up Bruce finally bids a massive amount and purchases the statue! Diana and Bruce then watch the enraged Bakra storm out but know that he will be back.

Later, they return to the auction house as Batman and Wonder Woman and explain to the surprised manager that they have come to pick up the statue on behalf of Bruce Wayne, because it needs a lot of protection. But suddenly Bakra enters with a gun and demands the statue be handed over. Batman duly obliges by hurling it into the air. Bakra drops the gun in panic as he tries to grab the falling statue. But Wonder Woman moves with lightning speed and catches it while Batman grabs the Ambassador.

But as they struggle, the disguise falls off and Batman realises that the man is not Bakra at all. Quickly he shouts a warning to Wonder Woman to get rid of the statue quickly. She swiftly hurls the object through the doorway just as it explodes. As the dust settles Batman picks himself up to find that the phony Bakra has died in the blast, his body having protected the caped crusader. Wonder Woman also lies on the floor having taken the full force of the blast!

He rushes over and is relieved to find that she is still alive. As he helps her up she asks what tipped him off and he replies that if Bakra was a fake, then so must have been the statue. With that they leave the auction house for the police to clear up.

Shortly, they arrive at the airport only to see Bakra's jet taking off, with his embassy luggage on board which as usual has not been searched. It appears that the sixth photo has eluded the two crime fighters.

Batman realises that Catwoman had set a false trail to trap them while the real Bakra got away. They know they now have to stop the final photo making it out of the country and Bruce wonders whether the Jaguar they still hold captive may hold the key.

Not long after beyond the city limits, the Batmobile cruises along the road while the freed Jaguar bounds along in front of them. Batman tells Wonder Woman that the cat must be lonely without its mate and that it will hopefully lead them right to Catwoman's lair, using the electronic beeper he has placed in its collar.

As night falls, they are eventually lead to a mansion house owned by the Felidae Foundation. Batman knows that "Felidae" is Latin for cat and realises that this must be the place.

As he and Wonder Woman climb over the perimeter fence however they suddenly find themselves discovered. Standing on a nearby tree branch, Catwoman orders two tigers to attack. As the Amazon Princes prepares to engage one of the creatures, she suddenly finds her lasso whisked from her belt by Catwoman's Cat-O-Nine Tails. But she still has her bracelets and uses them to fend of the deadly Tiger's fang.

Meanwhile, Batman is chased by the other one and uses a tree branch to swing himself up and over the top, allowing him to land on the pursuing creature's back. But Catwoman emits a piercing whistle and the Tiger rears up and throws its mount. As Batman struggles to get back on his feet the deadly Tiger leaps towards him.

Wonder Woman sees that he is in trouble and grabbing the tail of her attacker, she swings it round and round before letting go. As the Tiger sails over the fence she uses her momentum to then rebound off the fence and plough feet first into the other wildcat, knocking it out.

Wonder Woman swings the Tiger around by the tail and hurls it over the fence!As she retrieves her lasso from a nearby branch she tells Batman that Catwoman appears to have gone...

A few days later at the UN Batman accompanies Diana Prince to the assembly hall. The caped crusader tells her that Catwoman is still lying low but that he has arranged for Bakra to be declared as no longer welcome in the United States. Sudaria will therefore have to appoint another new Ambassador!

But as they take their places, Batman is shocked to see that the new Ambassador is none other than Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman! The American representative on the council explains that she is now a fully accredited diplomat due to the fact that Sudaria's Dictator is an old friend of hers. Catwoman has renounced her US citizenship to accept the post!

She begins to address the council, saying that the US is a Paper Tiger whose claws Sudaria will soon pull. Batman knows that now there is nothing to stop her smuggling the last photo out with her own embassy mail because she has diplomatic immunity. But Diana has another surprise for him. Her boss has asked her to enlist her friend Wonder Woman to act as Catwoman's bodyguard and apparently it was by Selina's own request!

Batman smells a typical Catwoman trap but at least Diana will be able to be by her side constantly. And so a few days later at the airport Batman watches Wonder Woman and Catwoman, with a briefcase handcuffed to her wrist, arrive at the plane. Just then the pilot stops them and explains to Catwoman that there has been a bomb threat and that all luggage, including diplomatic carriers, must be x-rayed.

Catwoman splutters that this is outrageous and that she will not have her bags searched, deciding to cancel the flight instead. Little does she know that in fact Batman called in the phony bomb scare! Batman tells Wonder Woman to keep close tabs on her as the furious Catwoman walks away. What will she do now?

A few days later though Batman and Wonder Woman find themselves looking down into a casket where the dead Catwoman lays to rest. The Amazon Princess confirms that this is no fake and that three American doctors have officially pronounced her dead. It appears that she was poisoned by her enemies.

As they leave the Embassy, Wonder Woman explains that she has been asked to fly her invisible jet ahead of the plane taking Catwoman's body back to Sudaria.

Sometime later at the UN Batman is informed that the flags are being flown at half mast in Catwoman's honour and that her coffin will be flown to Sudaria within the hour. Suddenly, a thought strikes the caped crusader and he asks whether the coffin will be searched by customs? He is told no!

He races towards the airport and arrives in time to see the coffin being loaded into the plane's cargo hold. But before the task can be finished, he uses a forklift to whisk the coffin away and into a van. Once safely parked in a deserted terminal he wrenches open the coffin only to find himself leapt on by the two Jaguars! It's a trap! A recorded message blurts out from the coffin, informing him that before he dies, he will enjoy knowing that the seventh and last photo is on its way to Sudaria courtesy of his unwitting ally Wonder Woman!

Batman manages to break free of the savage claws and know that his only chance is to dive into the coffin and slam the lid shut. Using his wrist radio, he contacts the Control Tower and shortly his warning message is relayed to Wonder Woman who is already en route. But the Sudarian air defenses monitor the message and before she can turn back they launch a heat seeking missile at her plane. The rear of her craft is blown apart and the stricken craft begins to plummet.

Wonder Woman climbs out onto the wing and twirls her lasso above her head like a helicopter. She manages to guide the craft down to land safely on the decks of a nearby US Aircraft Carrier. She realises that as soon as the Sudarians knew their plan had been thwarted, they had tried to ensure that no one got the last photo out of spite. But the navy manage to retrieve the small capsule hidden inside her plane's left wing tank which is coloured the same as her jet fuel. That is why she did not spot it!

Not long after in Gotham City, Batman explains to Wonder Woman that Catwoman's recorded message had gone on to explain that she had used a rare drug to induce a deathlike coma that even fooled the doctors. Wonder Woman goes on to confirm that Catwoman had then assigned her to fly escort to Sudaria after she had dropped the microfilm capsule in her plane's wingtank...the fuel being the only visible part of it. Sudarian customs would have then seized it as soon as she had landed.

As the two crime fighters walk away, Batman knows that although Catwoman has vanished again, she will no doubt turn up again soon!

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