Zero, Year Four

created at: 10/18/2012

Deconstruction

The Gentleman comes to New York, bringing his unique brand of social pretensions, polite manners, and cruel murder. Instead of targeting young socialites as he did in Empire City, however, he turns his attention to setting off bombs in buildings he deems "eyesores". He plans on revising the famous skyline of Manhattan, one ugly structure at a time.

A fast food restaurant and a dated office complex go up in flames, resulting in the deaths of several innocents. Zero investigates and follows the trail of illegally acquired demolitions to the Gentleman's gang of would-be glitterati at a rooftop mansion. After a close call with yet another explosion, he is able to save several kidnapped architects but the serial killer escapes to the subway tunnels under the city.

Zero pursues his quarry through the underground train system, fighting him atop one before the Gentleman reveals his final gambit; bombs planted throughout the tunnels intended to collapse the entire system! Zero alerts the authorities and the LCD, coordinating with them to disarm the remotely triggered bombs. He disposes of the last bomb - below Rockefeller Center - by using a ice-maker at the ice rink to freeze the component parts. The Gentleman Killer may have gotten away, but New York City and its subway system are saved.

created at: 10/18/2012

Exes

Will has an argument with his ex-wife Rosa after she gives an interview to a reporter about the new congressman and their past relationship. While she doesn't tell him the whole story of Will's alcoholism and time as a vagrant, its still damaging enough to threaten his re-election. Rosa responds to his anger by telling him that shortly before they divorced she had an abortion and didn't tell him. She twists the knife by admitting it was not his child but rather the result of an extra-martial affair with a co-worker.

Reeling from the revelations, he heads back to Washington and tries in vain to focus on his congressional paperwork. He finds a distraction soon enough, however, as he is approached by a fellow congressman named Seth Broussard and asked for help. Broussard admits that he has been involved in corruption for most of his time as a Louisiana representative, but now his life has been threatened by a group called Intergang. Will agrees to use his role as a member of a panel on organized crime to learn more about the group, but only if Broussard agrees to confess to his crimes.

As Will investigates Intergang both as a House Representative and as Zero, he meets Batwoman, a female crimefighter from Gotham City. She is also trying to learn more about the international gang, and together they witness Broussard's murder by masked assailants at his Washington townhouse. Determined to avenge the killing and uncover the corrupt ring of lawmakers behind it, the two vigilantes work together on identifying other involved politicians. They infiltrate a suspect's dinner party together, with Batwoman pretending to be Will's date. Kathy is standoffish despite his attraction to her, telling him she's planning to meet an ex shortly after they finish their mission. The two share stories of their failed relationships as they bust up the corrupt politician's plot to take over Broussard's place in Intergang's conspiracy.

Afterward, Will is bemused when Kathy's ex turns out to be a woman named Mallory Kimball, one of the other party attendees. The two agree to stay in touch, regardless, having developed respect for one another's methods. They will also keep an eye out for further signs of the Intergang organization and something they call the Crime Bible. Kathy later repays the favor of Zero's help by sending him proof that Rosa was lying about the abortion, but not about the affair.

Mirror of the Soul

Zero looks into the mysterious. gory death of an optician in New York and learns that the doctor was investigating a group of people who have all gone to the same eye surgery clinic. He sneaks into the clinic and is confronted with evidence that it is a front for a cult of worshippers of one of the “Old Ones”, ancient dead gods who desire control over our universe. By altering the eyes of their unwitting patients, the mad doctors and staff grant them the ability to see into something they call the “Beyond”, home dimension to their evil idol and his monstrous servants. While he escapes his encounter with the cultists, he finds that his multiverse vision is affected and begins to witness terrifying images of gibbering creatures and Things Man Was Not Meant to Know.

Increasingly paranoid and filled with dread, Zero cuts himself off from the LCD and tries to take down the cult's leaders by himself. He is captured and nearly sacrificed on an altar to the Old One, but the Lowest Common Denominators come to his rescue in dramatic reversal of roles. Reminding him of how he saved them and of the import of his work in the face of an uncaring universe, they help him regain his multiversal sight and see the true form of the seemingly immortal creatures possessing the sinister cultists. Reflecting this onto them and showing them that they are no greater in the cosmic scheme of things, he breaks their will and helps free the members of the coven from their clutches. The leaders of the former cult are taken into custody as they succumb to madness, but several other survivors agree to join the LCD and give Zero some much-needed support on matters pertaining to the occult.

created at: 10/18/2012

Lingua Franca

Will is contacted by one of the Lowest Common Denominators, Mathilda “Mutt” Chang, when she overhears some gang members discussing the return of Little Carlos to the Bronx. The gang members spotted and chased her after she was spying on them and she needs to hide somewhere. Zero offers her a place at his current headquarters beneath Penn Station. Looking into Carlito's current activities, he discovers that he has begun to work for a Columbian cartel as an insane and super-strong hitman, the result of his addiction to the super-drug “Heaven”. While he is able to intercept communications between the gang members, they use an obscure code that involves a mix of slang and obscure cultural references. Mutt helps Will decrypt the code and he is able to find the local base of operations.

Utilizing his street contacts, LCD members, and a campaign of harassment and sabotage, Zero carefully dismantles the Columbian cartel from the outside in. Turning the suppliers against the dealers and the drug lords against one another, he strategically weakens the organization despite Carlito's attempts to capture and kill him. Avoiding a real confrontation with his old foe until he can pick the ground they fight upon, he lures the increasingly desperate supercrook to Coney Island and takes him down.

After celebrating their victory together, Mutt and Will give in to their mutual attraction and become a couple.