DCM Knights
Detective Comics

The Sinister Six
Part I: Sinister Takeover
by Black Condor

The Sinister Six
Dr. Octopus
Dr. Phosphorous

At the Gotham Water Treatment plant, it was the close of Friday's day shift. The watchful workers did a few tests, and readied themselves to get off of work.

The replacement shift was arriving, and the day shift workers began to line up near the automated time clock so they could swipe their cards on the card reader and go home. A few bragged about the good time they were going to have this summery weekend.

All of a sudden, a hissing noise filled the air. The workers turned to see a hole burn through the metal wall.

Some backed away, while others froze in fear as a hand reached through the burning hole. The hand rotated around the hole until it was big enough for someone to walk through. Through the hole emerged a ghastly figure, wearing flames that lapped over a flame-retardant suit.

The figure had just a skull for a face, with hair of acid flame. He cackled insanely as his henchmen followed him into the plant.

The brave manager of the Water Treatment Plant stepped forward.

"I don't know what you're trying to pull here, pal, but this is just a water treatment plant. We don't have any money here or anything."

Silently, the fiery-skulled man motioned to a henchman, who raised his gun and shot the manager dead. The rest of the henchmen then raised their guns and began shooting at the fleeing workers. However, one of the workers escaped the attackers' notice and ran to the break area to call the police.

The fiery man shouted to his troops. "Find the main reservoir tank! Hurry, there's not much time to spare!"

The henchmen grabbed a worker and forced him to show them the main reservoir area. The fiery man followed them. They surprised a group of workers in the Main Reservoir Area, but the workers were soon gunned down.

The flame-skulled leader stopped before a water reservoir that fed the water supply of Gotham.

"I was robbed of my ability to drink water when I became Dr. Phosphorous. Now I rob Gotham of its water!"

He stuck his chemically burning hand into the water supply, and at the same moment a number of his henchmen dumped small canisters full of carcinogenic chemicals into the water.

The wounded workers who were left alive watched in horror.

Rush hour on the Manhattan Bridge was always awful, but today it was worse than ever. Devin Floyd peered out his windshield to see if there was any movement in the traffic ahead of him, but there wasn't. A motorcycle policeman zoomed up next to him and waited in the traffic.

"Do you know what the problem is, officer?"

"You wouldn't believe it if I told you, sir."

"Try me! I have plans back in Brooklyn and I wanna get home."

"You'd better make other plans, buddy. The middle of the bridge has disappeared! From what I've heard, the same thing has happened to all the other bridges in the city!"

And for all practical purposes, it had. Cars were lined up on both the Manhattan and Brooklyn sides of the Manhattan bridge, stopped dead by the lack of bridge on which to continue driving. There was just empty space, inexplicable as it was.

Devin Floyd sat back in his car seat. It would be a long while before he would be able to get home. In a tower on the bridge, a mysterious helmeted figure gloated with glee at the confused commuters, then talked into a handheld communicator to report in his success.

"Success, Doctor Octopus. No one can leave Manhattan by this bridge, or by the others. My projected illusions have been successful."

"Excellent, Mysterio," a voice responded.

It was early evening in Manhattan, and the only people left at the New York State Banking Department office were the cleaning staff, security guards, and the occasional industrious employee staying late to finish an important project.

One guard sat at a desk in the hallway leading to the Information Services department, arguing with the Systems Administrator about how well the Yankees played during the previous night's game. There was a slight scratching noise, and both looked up to see a ceiling panel get moved aside.

The security guard did not have time to pull his gun before a catlike man jumped down on him from the ceiling panel opening. One scratch from the catlike man's claws shredded his face, and one well-placed blow to the nerve endings near the neck put the guard out of commission.

The Systems Administrator quivered as three thugs in strange cat masks and black leather jackets and pants jumped out of the hole in the ceiling.

"Please don't kill me! What do you want here?"

The catlike figure smiled. "My friend, we want you! We want you to help us do something."

They marched the Systems Administrator down the hallway, through a secure doorway, and into the main server room.

One of the catlike man's eyebrows arched. "Lots of transactions must go through here..lots of money back and forth . . . "

"Y-yes . . . sometimes thousands, sometimes more . . . Who are you?"

"They call me Catman. Right now, all I am is your boss, and you're going to do what I tell you to or I'll gut you with these claws."

"Sure. What do you want me to do?"

"That terminal over there . . . what's it doing?"

"That's a transaction server. It's doing a transfer of funds from this location to the community banks in the area. It does this every night . . . "

"Stop the transaction."

"But that would--"

"Do it."

The System Administrator stopped the nightly transaction. The records of the dependent community banks would be fouled up by the error, and people's accounts would show the wrong amount of money available. Catman had done some real damage, and with control of the Banking Department's computers, he could do even more.

Catman picked up a small communicator he had in his utility belt. "Success, Doctor Octopus. We now have control over a great deal of the money in New York City."

The dedicated workers of the Main New York City Emergency 911 Call Center were busy answering the dozens of calls that kept coming in. They were a diverse group of people, old and young, but everyone had some kind of stress-saving device on their desk. Sheree Whitley sat squeezing a pink anti-stress ball as a caller asked her advice in stopping the blood flow to a deep cut.

The room started to smell a little like chemicals. She paid this no notice, since sometimes trucks would back up to where the air intake valve was and fill their office with exhaust. But then, she stopped hearing the voice of Daniel, the operator in the cubicle next to hers. Nobody ever stopped answering the phone in the call center.

She got up from her seat and looked over the cubicle partition. Daniel was just sitting there while his phone rang, with a big smile on his face.

"What's so funny, Daniel? You gonna answer your phone, or do you need an invitation?"

There was no response. Sheree walked over to Daniel and turned his chair around forcibly. Then she screamed.

Daniel's face was fixed in a permanent smile. Sheree then smelled the fumes more strongly, and took a quick look around. The phones in the Emergency 911 Call Center were ringing, but no one was answering them. They were all dead, their faces fixed in a permanent smile. The gas soon overcame her, and she fell to the floor with a permanent smile on her face.

A lanky figure entered, wearing a green gas mask, followed by five goons dressed like mimes, each with either a black or white gas mask.

"What a lovely view!" the Joker said. "If I could only do away with that annoying ringing sound! It's driving me batty."

One of his mime-like goons, Marcel, quietly slipped off to the telecommunications room and shut the phone system down. The ringing of phones stopped.

"That's better," the Joker said, knocking a dead call-center employee out of their chair and sitting down languidly. "It seems, boys, that we have control of the emergency services in this town." He held a communicator that looked like a squirting flower up to his mouth.

"Octopus, this is the Clown Prince of Crime speaking," Joker stated. "We have success."

In an abandoned warehouse, Otto Octavius, otherwise known as Doctor Octopus, rubbed his hands together in satisfaction before a bank of monitors that showed the chaos brewing in New York City. Behind him on a raised platform, was the figure of Spider-Man. Spider-Man was chained to a wall with electric binders, although the hero frequently struggled against them in an attempt to get free.

"Well, hero, looks like your city's coming under my control. Care to switch sides and join me? It's the only practical choice."

"You're a lunatic, Octavius!"

"That's too bad, Spider-Man. With your obvious scientific knowledge, you would make a good lackey for me. I'll just have to kill you, then . . . but not right now. I have a call to make . . . to the Mayor of New York City!"

Spider-Man struggled anew against his bonds. There had to be some way to get out of here, to save the city. He just had to figure it out.

The mayor of New York City and his advisors were having a frantic meeting that night at Gracie Mansion, trying to deal with the chaos that was brewing in the city.

The mayor pulled his chair up to the conference table and gave everyone a hard stare. "Tell me, boys, how can all of these things go wrong in the city in the space of hours? Have we been caught napping?"

The transportation secretary cleared his throat. "Mr. Mayor, we have detailed emergency plans to deal with a bridge outage like the one that happened today...although I must admit I've never seen a bridge disappear before!"

The phone rang, and the Mayor's personal assistant picked it up. She was happy to get a break from taking notes on the heated meeting.

"Who is this?" the personal assistant demanded loudly. "Well, okay, I'll let you talk to the mayor."

"Who is it, Samantha?" the Mayor asked.

"Someone called Doctor Octopus. I would have hung up on him, but he claims to know who's responsible for today's disasters."

"Probably some nut . . . Hello?" the Mayor said, pressing the cell phone to his ear. "You . . . you what?"

"What is it, Mr. Mayor?" the chief of sanitation asked.

"This guy on the phone claims responsibility for the disasters today. He says if we don't give him 36 million dollars by midnight, and control of the city's six boroughs, he'll take down the entire power grid to the city."

"How do I know this is for real?" the mayor asked into the phone.

At that instant, the power to Gracie House went out, and the Mayor and his advisors were left sitting in the dark. The only light in the conference room was the power LED on the Mayor's cell phone.

"Okay, we believe you," the Mayor said, his voice trembling. "Now let's talk terms."

Commissioner Gordon walked into his office at the third precinct headquarters of the New York Police Department. He needed a break from the chaos in the squadroom.

The city was in dire straits, with no emergency services, a threat of poisoned water, no way for anyone to get out of the city by car, and God knew what else wrong. Riots were going to be breaking out soon if the situation wasn't somehow abated. He had already deployed the Super-Unit Police to deal with the incipient panic in the streets.

Gordon's hand moved slowly to his desk drawer, and opened it. Inside was a palm-sized object he had received in the mail two years ago. He had never needed to use it before; now, it was his only hope. It was shaped like a bat, and the letter that had come with it said that whenever Gordon truly needed help, he could push the signal button on this bat and help would come to him. He needed that help now.

He pressed the Bat-Signal for the first time ever.

In the Batcave, Bruce Wayne was poring over the letter he had received a few days before, and keeping his eye on the monitors that had been reporting a different disaster in New York City each hour since about mid-afternoon. Alfred was present, serving his master evening tea.

Bruce showed Alfred the envelope that contained the letter. "Why do you think someone would want me to go to this nursing home, Alfred?"

"I don't know, sir. As you may well know, none of the Wayne family resides in a nursing home, not even your oldest aunts and uncles!"

Bruce Wayne analyzed the letter with his keen detective's eyes. "It's written in a scrawly hand, by someone who has . . . some kind of arthritis or something, but the handwriting looks like it's written by someone with a sense of urgency. The letter asks me to please come visit before it's too late, to ask for Agatha Haggschwarz." Bruce looked at Alfred quizzically. "I don't know anyone by that name."

Alfred stiffened. "Well, perhaps it's her last wish that she meet the esteemed Bruce Wayne. Surely you could find some time to visit her, and grant an old woman--"

Suddenly, the Bat-Signal went off. Alfred was so shocked by the sudden noise he almost dropped his tray. Years of butlering prevented any mishap, however.

"Oh, dear! What is that?"

"It's Commissioner Gordon! I knew that he'd be calling me sooner or later tonight! I've got to get to the Batmobile!"

In a matter of moments, Bruce Wayne had changed into Batman, and the Batmobile roared out of the Batcave toward New York City.

He arrived in town just as it was getting dark outside, just in time to see a crowd of people running out of the Gotham Avenue subway stop. They were screaming, so Batman stopped the Batmobile suddenly to take a look.

He jumped out of the Batmobile. Commissioner Gordon would have to wait.

"Armor," he said into a hidden microphone in his gauntlet, and a force field appeared around his vehicle.

Batman parted his way through the screaming crowd and ran down the subway steps into the station. Halfway down the steps, he heard an unearthly roar come from down below. He pulled a folded Batarang from his utility belt, and pressed the button that expanded it to its full size. Batman continued down, a little slower than before.

As he reached the subway platform level, Batman saw who had made the frightening roar. A nine-foot-tall dinosaur that had the features of six different dinosaurs was destroying a subway train. His jaws snapped at the people who were trapped in the car he held in strong dinosaur arms. Batman was amazed when he heard this creature speak.

"I am Stegron, lord of the dinosaurs! I am here to destroy your useless technologies!" Stegron grabbed a portly businessman with a clawed hand, and threw him to his two attendant velociraptors, who cut the poor man to shreds right before Batman's eyes.

Batman quickly noticed that behind the attacked train, there were other subway trains lined up down the tunnel, waiting for the chaos to subside. Down the tunnel, Batman could see people abandoning the trains in a hurry. This was the train going out of Manhattan to the city's environs--effectively, a good portion of those who worked in Manhattan were now trapped in the subway tunnel.

Batman knew that throwing the Batarang would do no damage to the naturally armored Stegron, but he threw it to distract the creature.

"Hey, you big monstrosity!" Batman called out. "I didn't think dinosaurs came as ugly as you!"

"Quiet, costumed fool!" Stegron responded, still grabbing at the frightened subway riders. "Velociraptors, tear him apart!"

The two velociraptors seemed thrilled at the prospect of a hunt. They licked their lips of the blood from the businessman and silently stalked Batman. Batman wondered how he would get out of this one, but readied for the dinosaurs' attack.

Six attacks had happened in six hours. The water services, banking services, emergency services, transportation services, bridges, and city government of New York had been taken over by the Sinister Six. The Mayor had conceded control over the city, along with millions of dollars, to the Sinister Six. It was perhaps Manhattan's darkest day ever.

Next: Go to Spider-Man #6 for the conclusion of the Sinister Six saga!