“DEAD MAN’S QUADRANGLE!” When Batman becomes aware of an illegal immigrant smuggler named El Zapatero who smuggles people into the country by any (and often fatal) means possible, Batman decides to investigate further and put it to an end.
With Batman's foot caught in the rotting planks of an old dock, the Caped Crusader is forced to witness the murder of an illegal immigrant. As the machete armed immigrant goes down, his blade flies from his hand, severing the rope of a suspended cargo crate, which crashes down upon his murderer, crushing him. The dying immigrant, Luis Vega, begs Batman to bring a man known only as "El Zapatero", or the "Shoe Maker", to justice. Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon and Immigration Service agent, Carl Curtis. to discuss the problems of illegal immigration in the United States, and the smuggler called "El Zapatero". Another dead immigrant turns up at the Gotham City Airport. Brand new shoes on the corpse are the calling card of El Zapatero. Further investigation reveals blue quartz sand ground into the corpse's boot soles. The sand can only be found on Key Allegro, an island in the so-called "Dead Man's Quadrangle, where the corpse of Luis Vega's brother, Juan, was discovered. Batman journeys to Key Allegro, and by happenstance, meets a writer named Hannibal Kingsley, the author of a book on the Dead Man's Quadrangle. Suddenly the pilot's controls lock up, sending the jet into a sideslip, as it loses altitude and begins to plummet into the sea. At that moment, the distress call of the S.S. Glencannon can be heard over the radio, a ship that sank in the Dead Man's Quadrangle three decades ago. Moments before impact, the pilot manages to level the plane off, and safely land at their destination.
Ted Grant picks Batman up at the airport, and ferries the Caped Crusader the rest of the way to Key Allegro. After explaining the situation to Grant, Batman asks Grant to join his investigation, as Wildcat. Grant, however, is haunted by the accidental death of the last man he fought in the ring, during his second comeback, and has vowed to never engage in violence again. Suddenly, both men are drawn to the screams of a man being pursued by a large shark. Batman dives in the water to try to rescue the man, but the shark reaches him first and devours him. The shark then turns towards Batman, who stabs at it repeatedly with a knife until it swims away. The shark's victim is wearing new boots, marking him as another illegal immigrant. The horrific death of the immigrant is enough to get Grant to don his Wildcat costume, and, at the very least, join the investigation. Locating the beach with the blue quartz sand, Batman and Wildcat spy on a group of illegal immigrants waiting to be picked up by El Zapatero and smuggled into the United States. Taking the place of the shark's victim, Pedro, Grant infiltrates the group. Grant and the immigrants are ushered into the hold of El Zapatero's freighter, where Grant activates a homing beacon that will allow Batman to follow them, across the Dead Man's Quadrangle. Batman receives a distress call from the schooner, Mary Scott, while following the signal from the homing beacon, but chooses to ignore it. Snooping around outside the hold, Grant is attacked by one of El Zapatero's men, resulting in the destruction of the homing beacon. With the beacon out, Grant opens the freighter's oil releases valve, giving Batman a trail of oil to follow.
With the immigrants and the crew asleep, Grant, as Wildcat, prowls El Zapatero's freighter, immediately being taken captive at gunpoint. At dawn, Batman's vessel is detected by radar, on board El Zapatero's freighter. The Caped Crusader's vessel is brought aboard the freighter. After a pitched fight between Batman and the crew, the Caped Crusader is brought before El Zapatero, who turns out to be KIngley, the author of Dead Man's Quadrangle. Kingley wrote the book to stir up fear within the region, keeping other ships and planes from discovering his illegal immigrant smuggling operation. Taped broadcasts of long lost ships and aircraft were routinely broadcast to the radios of passing craft to build upon the legend of Dead Man's Quadrangle. To add to the horror of the legend, El Zapatero occasionally offloads his human cargo into the sea, allowing their deaths to be blamed on the Dead Man's Quadrangle. Fearing the Batman has already revealed his smuggling route to immigration services, Kingsley changes course, intent on disposing of the illegal immigrants. Kingsley leads Batman to the cargo hold, where Wildcat is squaring off with Kingley's enforcer, a martial arts master called "Iron-Fist. Still haunted by the memory of the man he killed, Wildcat refuses to defend himself, allowing Iron-Fist to mercilessly beat him. It is only when Wildcat sees El Zapatero throw a noose around the Batman's neck, that he rises to his feet and lays Iron-Fist out. The freighter crew descend on Batman and Wildcat, but with the timely assistance of the illegal immigrants, the heroes win the day. During the melee, though, KIngsley flees the freighter by helicopter. Moments later, KIngley's sends a mayday to the freighter, declaring that he has lost control of the helicopter. Kingsley, it seems, has become the only true victim of the Dead Man's Quadrangle.