Team up with Batman, The Flash, and more of your favorite heroes as they defeat the Penguin and his cohorts in this action-packed novelization that includes an eight-page full-color insert featuring stills from the Animal Instincts Batman animated film!
There’s a wild new crime spree flooding the streets of Gotham City! Under the Penguin’s orders, Killer Croc, Cheetah, Silverback, and Man-Bat have been causing chaos with the help of robotic cyber animals, and Batman is determined to stop them. But what’s one hero against an entire zoo full of villains?
In order to defeat the criminals, Batman teams up with The Flash, Red Robin, Nightwing, and Green Arrow. Can Batman and his fellow heroes stop the Penguin’s diabolical plans before they destroy Gotham City for good? Find out in this action-packed story that comes with full-color stills from the movie!
Animal Instincts CHAPTER 1 The sky over Gotham City was growing darker as night approached. Businesspeople left their office buildings and flooded into the subway stations, eager to get home from work. Others darted between stores, finishing up the last of their shopping before the evening rush was in full swing. Still, they all knew to stay as far as possible from the dimly lit alleys where criminals often lurked. Even the members of the Gotham City Police Department walked cautiously through the city’s streets after the sun went down.
Despite the best efforts of the police, Gotham City’s criminals were always finding new ways to outsmart the law. Police hovercrafts floated above the buildings. Occasionally, a bright spotlight would shine from above, illuminating the inky black streets below in search of trouble.
Skyscrapers towered high above the bustling streets of downtown Gotham City, and along those buildings were dozens of bright neon signs and video screens. The largest video screen was almost fifty feet tall and covered the side of a building. The evening news was being broadcast on that screen, and a young newscaster smiled with excitement as she spoke. Behind her was an animated image of a giant asteroid flying through outer space.
“There are just three more days until Gotham City will be able to spot the passage of Midas Heart, the asteroid with a solid gold core that passes the Earth every seventy-seven years,” she said.
The screen then switched to an image of an unusual-looking man who was wearing a tuxedo and an old-fashioned top hat. He had a long, sharp nose and wore a monocle in his right eye.
The newscaster continued, “And finally, tonight is the grand opening of the Aviary, Gotham City’s newest and tallest building. Count on high society to flock to Oswald Cobblepot’s very exclusive opening-night celebration.”
A police hovercraft floated quietly past the video screen. Inside the craft, two policemen were dressed in combat gear. The dispatcher from police headquarters came over the radio as they piloted the craft higher.
“Go ahead, four-oh-nine. What’s your status?”
“All clear from up here, dispatch,” one of the policemen said. “Re-engaging for another pass.”
The dispatcher’s voice crackled over the communicator in response. “Roger that, four-oh-nine.” There was a pause, and then she spoke in almost a whisper. “Hey, Tony . . . have you seen him tonight?”
“Sorry, buddy, not tonight,” the policeman said as he peered through the windows of the hovercraft. “No sign of the Batman.”
“All right. Let me know if you do, huh?” she said.
As the hovercraft glided over the skyline, a dark figure moved within the shadows atop one building. The figure waited until the police vehicle was out of sight, and then he stepped forward into the moonlight. It was Batman, the masked crime fighter who prowled the streets and rooftops of Gotham City in search of criminals. During the day, Batman was secretly Bruce Wayne, CEO of Wayne Enterprises and one of the world’s wealthiest men. In the evening, he became Batman, the Dark Knight of Gotham City. He was not only a skilled fighter, but also a master detective.
Batman moved to the ledge of the building and fired his grapple launcher.
A long metal cord with a sharp hook at the end shot out of the device. The hook lodged itself into a nearby building, and within seconds Batman was swinging through the air, his fist holding tightly on to the cord and his black cape flowing behind him.
Just as Batman was about to crash into the next building over, he released his hand from the cord and extended his cape into two flexible glider wings, allowing him to sail silently through the air. As he soared high above Gotham, he scanned the city streets below for any signs of trouble.
Batman received an electronic alert on the communicator device on his cowl. It was Alfred, the trusted butler of Bruce Wayne. Alfred also served as one of Batman’s most devoted assistants.
“Yes, Alfred?” asked Batman.
“I had a question that simply could not wait, sir,” said Alfred.
Batman effortlessly flew over the building rooftops, remaining in the shadows as much as possible and avoiding the glare of the bright neon lights and video screens below.
“Which is?” he said, urging Alfred to continue.
“I was inquiring as to which suit Bruce Wayne might need pressed for his meetings tomorrow.”
Batman reached up to his cowl and tapped the area next to his right eye. With each tap, the lenses in his mask shifted from night vision to infrared to X-ray, allowing him to better scan the dark streets below.
“That was your question that couldn’t wait?” Batman asked gruffly.
“These are the things that keep me up at night, Master Bruce,” Alfred replied calmly.
Batman smiled as he adjusted his wings and banked high into the air.
“Was there anything else, Alfred?” Batman asked.
“I was inquiring how much longer your patrol would go on this evening. You see, I’ve cooked coq au vin.” Alfred sighed.
There was a long pause as Batman adjusted his scanners. Something was going on at S.T.A.R. Labs, the laboratory complex downtown.
“Looks like I’ll be late. I’ve got work to do,” said Batman as he shifted position and started his descent toward the center of Gotham City.
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