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The Gotham Cold War was a conflict in Gotham City and the first major fight for the city since the Arkham War earlier the same year. Divided into several phases, the Civil War was more than just a fight for Gotham City, it was a fight to drive out and destroy the Batman Family. Orchestrated by Hush, the Cold War slowly teared down the seams that Batman held on the city, removing him from his most base elements.


The origins of the war traced back to the beginning of Gotham City, with the arrival of families from Scotland that would make up the First Families of Gotham. Of these, the Wayne Family, the Kane Family, the Cobblepot Family and the Elliot Family gained the most wealth and power, effectively controlling the city. Through Cyrus Pinkney and the Gates of Gotham, the Waynes became the de facto leaders, helping out with the good in the city through the Elliots. The Kane Family slowly began to lose prominence as their companies began to be known for their families dirty secrets and inside notoriety. The Cobblepot Family, although always persistant, turned to crime and despite rumors, nothing was ever proven. Eventually, in the late 20th Century, Thomas Wayne married Martha Kane, effectively merging the two familes and ending Kane influence on the city. Their son, Bruce continued friendship with the Elliots as his best friend, Tommy, was the heir of that family. Slowly, however, even their friendship began to deteriorate and ended when Bruce's parents were gunned down by Joe Chill, forcing him to become antisocial and dreaming of revenge. Tommy on the other hand orchestrated the deaths of his own abusive parents and was irritated that Bruce did not lavish in the wealth he had.

The Cobblepot Family ended up allying itself with Falcone's Mob, with Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot becoming an upstart mobster under Carmine Falcone. As Gotham began to deteriorate due to the Red Hood Gang, Bruce returned and in the Zero Year, secretly became the Batman to save the city. Patrolling it for years on end, saving it from disasters like the Battle of Gotham City and the Arkham War and villains like Deacon Joseph Blackfire, the Batman's power over the city was immense. Oswald secretly usurped Falcone's Mob and created the Penguin's Empire while Tommy descended into insanity upon learning the Batman's true identity. Resurfacing as the madman Hush, he vowed to take down his once best friend.

The War[]

Phase One[]

The Gotham Cold War was wrapped into several different phases, each phase representing a different type of madness representing Gotham. The first phase primarily focused on Hush damaging Gotham City from the inside and distracting the Batman Family from many of the main points. It also allowed for his secret infiltration of the city.

The Trial of James Gordon:

  • With the transfer of Jason Bard to fill in a position vacated by a promoted Jack Forbes, the GCPD set out to aid Batman in capturing Professor Pyg, who had hijacked a subway train. While the Batman went after Pyg, Commissioner Gordon went after Derek Grady. Confronting Grady in front of a station box, because of the machinations of a Dr. Falsario, Gordon saw a gun in Grady's hand. Shooting at it, Gordon actually ended up hitting a station box, which was rigged to explode and caused the derailment of the subway train and the deaths of 162 passengers and wounding of several more. Forbes then ordered Bard to arrest Gordon, causing his confinement, were he was met by the Batman shortly before the Gotham Gazette announced his arrest. The crime scene was later investigated by Jim Corrigan and the Spectre. After a hearing, Gordon was then sentenced to Blackgate Penitentiary where he would wait out his trial. Angered at her father's capture, Batgirl sought out and attacked the henchmen of Professor Pyg. Placed by Agatha Zorbatos in the same wing as the Wrath, Gordon surprisingly found a friend in a cellmate known as Leo. Approached by his son, James Gordon Jr., Gordon was given a chance to escape, but stuck with his morals and closed the open door.
  • Batgirl, through her investigations, discovered a Brazilian actor named Gonzolo Dominguez to be present at the scene of the crime. Heading to Brazil, Batgirl discovered that the Club of Villains was using Dominguez's face for their crimes. Attacked by Scorpiana, Batgirl fought her off with the help of Red Hood, Starfire and Gaucho.

The Fall of Arkham:

  • In Arkham Asylum, the ghost of Deacon Joseph Blackfire began to torture Dr. Phosphorous, causing him to escape the institution and returned to work for the Penguin. While taking out some of goons, Batman and Batwing were attacked by the Gentleman Ghost. Later visited at Wayne Manor by Jim Corrigan, Batman sent Batwing out with Corrigan to investigate, warning him of the Spectre. In the catacombs below Arkham, the Joker's Daughter began an occult ritual involving Maxie Zeus.

The Gang War:

  • Joined by Catwoman, Batman began to investigate security footage of the explosion. Taking clues into account, he learned quite quickly that Carmine Falcone had returned. At that moment, Falcone met up with Mayor Hady and set up an alliance with Jack Forbes. Making his way to the Penguin, the Batman roughed him up before informing him of Falcone's return. The Roman himself then started a vicious gang war against the Bird, easily taking much of his territory. Just as the GCPD prepared to intervene, Hady named Forbes the interim commissioner and placed Batman's capture as a higher priority than the gang war. Making his way to Falcone, Batman issued an ominous warning before leaving. The gang war was then revealed to the public by Vicki Vale. Dr. Phosphorous then began blowing up Falcone's supply trucks for the Penguin. Professor Pyg was then betrayed by the Roadrunner and Falcone, with his laboratory almost destroyed. While interrogating Penguin herself at the Icberg Casino, it was blown up by Tiger Shark. Forbes, refusing to work with a vigilante, let Pyg go free after he was delivered by the Batman. Confronting Forbes, Batman was saved from arrest by the sly machinations of Bard. Departing to Hong Kong to investigate Falcone's time there, Batman came into contact with Shen Fang and Julia Pennyworth. Bringing a wounded Julia back to Gotham, Batman learned Falcone to have captured Catwoman. She was, however, rescued by Batman who took advantage of a situation prompted by Pyg. Saddened, Catwoman headed off to the grave of Lola Macintyre to find a message left there for her by her father. While getting closer with Vicki Vale, Jason Bard started his secret plan to end the gang war. Bard then began to arrest Falcone's men and publicize it with Vale's help, so as to avoid their release. With his plan proceeding properly, Bard then exposed Forbes and had him arrested, while also personally arresting Falcone and the Penguin.


  • Returning home, Stephanie Brown accidentally stumbled into a supervillain meeting being orchestrated by Hush. Discovering her father to be the villain Cluemaster, Stephanie also saw Firefly, Lock-Up and the Signalman. Shocked that her father would kill her on Hush's orders, Stephanie barely managed to escape. Seeking help from her mother, Crystal Brown, Stephanie was shocked when her own mother betrayed her. Nearly killed, Stephanie barely escaped. The murder of the man who died in her place was investigated by Bard. Heading to the library, Stephanie was shocked to learn of her father's criminal activities.


  • Visited by Alfred, Red Robin himself began to investigate Gordon's imprisonment. Learning many on the train were sick before coming into contact wtih Pyg, RR also reported all of them to be from the Narrows. Ending up entangled with a child infected by a nano swarm, Red Robin also inadvertently saved Harper Row and Vicki Vale from Falcone's Mob, although Cullen Row was then infected. In Tokyo, Sergei Alexandrov received an alert learning of the activation of the nanobots. With Cullen going comatose, Harper tracked down Red Robin and began to spy on him. Red Robin was then, through research, able to connect the nanites to Alexandrov.

Phase Two[]


  • Batman then met with Bard, disapproving of the way the officer stopped the gang war. After Bard began to round up Falcone's remaining men, he finally shook Batman's hand. Batgirl and Red Hood found Dr. Mangavarite, Gonzolo Dominguez's surgeon, and also met up with Batwoman. Finding Dr. Falsario, the heroes were unable to stop his death but did find evidence that he framed Gordon. In Blackgate, Gordon started to work to stop the prison riots between Falcone and Penguin's men, forcing Leo to confirm his identity as Rex Calabrese. With Bard named the new police commissioner, Batman began to interrogate Falcone, who admitted to a higher power. At Wayne Manor, while talking with Julia, Alfred was attacked by Hush, who injected Fear Toxin into the butler's brain. This attack forced Alfred to reveal Bruce's secrets to Julia. Instead of releasing Gordon, Bard affirmed his true allegiance to Hush by releasing the Architect. Learning of the attack on Alfred, Julia being in the Batcave and Hush's return, an enraged Bruce quickly apprehended the Architect. Although defeated, the Architect still managed to use the Beacon Tower to start an earthquake. Bard used this an excuse to call in the National Guard and get martial law declared upon the city. In between, Alfred was sent to a general hospital. Bard was then met by Batman and then Batgirl, the latter of whom injured his leg.


  • To continue her ritual, the Joker's Daughter kidnapped the Scarecrow while Corrigan and Batwing entered the Asylum. Encountering Margert Pye and Philip Reardon, they found the inmates to be in control. Making their way to the inmate cells, the two were attacked by zombies that proceeded to drag Batwing away. Joker's Daughter then used Batwing's radio to keep Batman away with false messages while Achilles Milo helped the ritual with Maxie Zeus. Getting information on the threat from Simon Ecks, Batwing found Corrigan and learned the evil spirit haunting Arkham was Deacon Blackfire. Once again overtaken by demons, the two were dragged into a black mire. Hush then orchestrated Alfred's transfer from a general hospital into Arkham. Discovering Hush's deception, Joker's Daughter decided to finally betray Blackfire. With this, Batwing finally was able to send a report to Batman just as Blackfire destroyed Arkham Asylum. As Batman saved innocents, Blackfire declared premature victory, only to be dragged to Hell by the Spectre. Batman then set about stopping supervillains from escaping while Julia began to decode the Riddler's code. Alfred then surprisingly teamed up with Bane to escape, only to betray the supervillain at the last second and escape.

Exposed Fathers:

  • After a run in with Killer Croc in the sewers, Batman and Jason Bard began to look for Jade McKillen, whom Philip Reardon was trying to sacrifice. Stopping Reardon, Batman returned Jade to the Ibanescu Family. Stephanie Brown, on the other hand, had enough of her father's crimes and became the superhero known as the Spoiler. The Ibanescu Family began to fight Tiger Shark as Jade took Catwoman to meet with her father. Continuing to spy on her father, Stephanie learned that Hush was commanding him to incite riots on the city. Leading the Cluemaster outside of Gotham, Stephanie managed to get him arrested by the state police. Killer Croc then started to go on a rampage in search of Jade. Following Spoiler's clues, Batman found himself at Hush's rat nest, where Ibanescu was about to execute Catwoman. With a surprise attack by Croc, the only dead citizen was the child Jade.

Training Day:

  • Beginning to combat train Harper, Red Robin took her to Tokyo to meet up with Sergei Alexandrov. After training with Alexandrov and learning of the thievery of the nanobots, Red Robin and Harper returned to Gotham.


Shortly after the Cold War was settled and won, Batman moved his base of operations to the former nest of the Talon in the Old Wayne Tower.