Detective 719 (March 1998) is billed as a prologue to Cataclysm, but only the last couple of pages deal with that storyline. For the rest of the issue, Chuck Dixon scripts a story that hearkens all the way back to the 1940s classic, The Three Racketeers. Jim Aparo and Flint Henry share the pencilling, in a most effective way, with Mark Buckingham on inks.
The story deals with some hoods being shipped over to Blackgate prison, telling each other of their encounters with Batman. Aparo does the art on the realism part of the story.
Flint Henry takes the art when it comes to showing how Batman was perceived by the crooks.
The story thus neatly contrasts the actual events, with the version told by the criminal.
As the issue reaches it’s end, the story shifts to introduce Jolene Relazzo, a seismologist who gets some frightening information. She desperately tries to contact her employer – but no one is home at the Batcave.