Xane Swift was a slacker college student at Gotham University and a member of Theta-Kappa-Gamma fraternity house who doesn't work well with others. One day, Xane receives a mysterious email from "The Client," someone who represents the group known only as "The Reapers
." He would join the criminal organization as a field operative known as Slipstream. With the help of a technologically advanced suit, Swift would be able to travel at speeds comparable to those of speedsters.
Slipstream was created by Batgirl
writer Bryan Q. Miller
and artist Dustin Nguyen
. He first appeared in the fifteenth issue of Batgirl. Slipstream and The Reapers are part of an initiative Miller took with his second year on the Batgirl series, to introduce new villains to add to Stephanie Brown's
Major Story Arcs
Batgirl is dealing with a new group of criminals residing in Gotham called The Reapers, who are harassing a Gotham U student for technology. Though they manage to frame Batgirl for the murder of the student, she is able to find, and capture them, putting them all into custody. But in a flash, The Reapers, and the technology they were stealing disappear, thanks to the help of Slipstream, who uses the suit that the Reapers designed, to quickly spring his teammates from police custody. The Reapers then set their plan in motion for Slipstream. He takes part in a series of bank robberies, where not much money is actually stolen.
Later on, Det. Nick Gage arrives at Branch 19 of the Gotham Bank and Trust where a bizarre crime scene has just been committed. Stephanie eventually appears at the scene as Batgirl. Gage informs Batgirl that this is the third unusual bank robbery this week. The only damage to the bank was at the front door and the vault door. Gage and Batgirl also review the security feed from the bank’s closed circuit television. They soon recognize a blurry image that set off the pressure censor alarms in the bank.
They both figure Slipstream, a servant of the Reaper gang, intentionally set off the alarms to mock the decisive duo after their last encounter with the shadowy speedster. The security feed also reveals that Slipstream only stole a couple thousands of dollars and left millions more behind. Steph is curious as to why Gage is making this particular case a personal matter. She asks Gage if this case has anything to do with the murder of his ex-partner's son Nelson Flitwick. Gage just brushes off Steph's suspicions and leaves the crime scene.
The next day at Gotham University, Steph attends her class on the Introduction of Dynamic Systems. Unfortunately, Steph’s nightlife has been cutting into her sleep and she gets a rude awakening by her professor. Stephanie’s professor tells her to pay attention and to have her wake up Xane Swift, a student that sits next to Stephanie. As Steph leaned towards Xane to wake him up, she notices building schematics on Xane’s laptop as well as a text from his cell phone saying "You're on." Steph begins to suspect that Xane is involved with Slipstream especially after listening to him mumble in his sleep about directions and street corners.
Later that night, Steph slips into her Batgirl suit and surprises her stalker Clancy Johnson aka the Grey Ghost, to find out why he has been observing her for the past week. However, before she could get any answers out of him, Steph receives a transmission from Wendy Harris aka Proxy. Proxy informs Steph that she has been tracking Slipstream’s speedy signature by via satellite. According to Proxy, Slipstream has passed through a bridge toll booth, nineteen sets of traffic lights in a matter of seconds and now he has arrived at another bank. Grey Ghost overhears Proxy’s discussion with Steph and decides to take the initiative by heading toward the bank.
Meanwhile, Slipstream is inside the bank vault where he is using an unusual spray can to mark piles of bank notes and stacks of money. Just as he was finishing up, Slipstream soon realizes he is being held at gunpoint by the Grey Ghost. Slipstream takes the advantage by sending Grey Ghost out of the bank vault and then having him crash through a window. As the Grey Ghost plummets to ground below, Steph grapples to the rescue. The Gray Ghost and Batgirl team up against Slipstream but their combined efforts are not enough to stop him. Batgirl soon learns that Slipstream is not like the usual speedster who harnesses Speed Force or uses medicinal substances to gain superhuman speed. Slipstream’s suit replicates the same power as Speed Force but it has limitations.
After being knocked off her feet, Steph notices Slipstream’s suit is emitting an electrical shock which causes Slipstream to cry out in agony. It seems that the Reaper's installed an override kill switch in Slipstream's suit which prevents him from killing Batgirl because it's not part of the plan yet. Slipstream makes a quick getaway and Stephanie is left battered and bruised since the Grey Ghost has already vanished. Fortunately, Steph managed to steal Slipstream’s spray can while he was tossing her around. Now, Steph and Proxy can analyze the spray can to find clues as to who is Slipstream and what is the purpose behind these strange robberies.
Soon Batgirl figures out that Slipstream was marking the money with trackers, so while the banks made an annual transfer of money, Slipstream could steal it all at once. Batgirl manages to intercept the armored trucks that are transporting the marked money. When Steph tries to convince the guards that she is there to help, the guards decide to open fire. Fortunately, Batman Incorporated gave Steph upgrades to her arsenal as well as defenses. During the gunfire, Slipstream makes his move by assaulting the guards and begins to take the marked money. Steph remembers that Slipstream's suit operates at super speeds and the Reapers'override switch effects Xane's brain operations plus Xane is the kind of guy who repeats his cheap shots.
Steph began to anticipate Xane's moves and used a series of goo-filled batarangs to slow Slipstream down then she used an electrified batarang to put an end to Slipstream. Afterwards, Steph hands Slipstream over to Det. Gage but Gage as well as Steph notice that Slipstream doesn't seem at all concerned that he is going to Blackgate. Both Steph and Gage know that they have not heard the last of the Reapers. Meanwhile, the Reapers are pleased by Slipstream's capture since his incarceration will serve a greater purpose for the Client and now the Reapers have initiated a new member to the Order of the Scythe code named Harmony.
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