CIRCLE OF SIX
Membership: Hwa Rang Ree, Iron Aron Abromowitz, Joey N'Bobo, Kitty Kumbata, Tengu, Wam Wam
Base of Operations: Balkana
First Appearance: Richard Dragon #1 (July, 2004)
(Batgirl I #68) - Nyssa Raatko, calling herself Nyssa al Ghul, followed in her father’s footsteps and took over his empire. She recruited a new generation of the League of Assassins consisting of Alpha, the Circle of Six, Krunk, Los Gemelos, Mad Dog, Momotado, Ox, Shrike, Tigris and White Willow. She recruited Lady Shiva to act as their new Sensei and used the remaining female Ubus to act as her personal security. Shiva had a sparring session with her students, and finding Joey N’Bobo unfit as a fighter she disemboweled him, killing him and hopefully sending a message to her students about her standards of excellence. Batgirl tracked down Lady Shiva to Nyssa’s stronghold in the Balkans, hoping to learn her true parentage. Nyssa’s security systems detected Batgirl, but she wanted to see what would happen when she confronted Shiva. Batgirl found herself in Shiva’s dojo, where the new League all bowed down before her, calling her the One Who is All. Shiva said they respected her for being the League’s perfect living weapon and for having defeated Shiva in personal combat. Batgirl disliked their adulation, and liked it even less when Shiva said she’d be their teacher too. Shiva attacked Batgirl, reminding her they were supposed to have fought to the death, but admitting that she was grateful in a sense because Batgirl humbling her forced her to relearn. Batgirl demanded to know if Shiva was her mother, but she was evasive and asked Batgirl if she saw her creation or her destruction in Shiva’s eyes. Nyssa was intrigued, but didn’t want to risk either Batgirl or Shiva dying, and summoned her scientist Mr. Freeze, who froze Batgirl solid, putting an end to the fight.
(Batgirl I #69, 70) - Nyssa told Shiva that Batgirl was her father’s investment in human engineering and she had every right to claim her property, but paused to see if Shiva would object, which she did not. Nyssa asked Batgirl if she was hoping Shiva would fight for her, if that would prove anything. Nyssa allowed Batgirl to remain frozen and told Shiva to carry on with instructing her students. Shiva broke up a sparring match between Alpha and Mad Dog to demonstrate her skills on Mad Dog, complementing his raw talent, but criticizing his focus and badly hurting him. Batgirl wondered what point she was trying to make, and realized that against her better nature watching Shiva elegantly hurt people gave her a feeling of exhilaration. Nyssa had a video conference with Society members Talia al Ghul, Penguin, Deathstroke, Merlyn and Calculator, telling them all was going well with Mr. Freeze’s research to create a machine that could freeze half the world’s oil supplies. She surprised them by revealing she had Batgirl as her captive and told Penguin he should pay her the bounty on Batgirl’s head. She also mocked Deathstroke, who still hoped his daughter Ravager would be the one to take Batgirl out, saying his daughter should set her sights lower and go after third-stringer Flamebird. After the conference Talia confided in Batgirl that she was only working with the Society for her own ends, and hoped to initiate a hostile takeover of the group alongside Talia. Nyssa was sure the Society would conquer the world and told Batgirl that once she was in charge Batgirl could fulfill her destiny as the finest product of the League of Assassins. Instead of busting drug gangs and supervillains she could help Nyssa stop the corporate greed that starved some people and killed other due to making medicine unaffordable or unavailable. Batgirl was unconvinced and Nyssa put her in Mr. Freeze’s lab to reflect on her offer. Mr. Freeze had only agreed to work with Nyssa and the Society because he’d been promised the Lazarus Pit could resurrect his wife Nora Fries. Batgirl convinced him he was being used as a useful tool, and both he and Nora deserved better. Freeze unfroze Batgirl and together they fought past the Ubus Nyssa set up as security for Freeze’s lab. They made their way to the Lazarus Pit and Freeze pushed Nora in, but she emerged furious and insane. Years of alterations by Mr. Freeze’s machines had altered Nora’s biochemistry, allowing her to internalize the fires of the Lazarus Pit. She blamed Mr. Freeze for turning her into a monster, and rechristening herself Lazara she started raising zombies from the grounds of Nyssa’s stronghold. Nyssa admitted that she built her stronghold on one of the sites where Milosevic committed genocide, saying she never wanted to forget what true evil was. Lazara’s powers also resurrected Joey N’Bobo. Nyssa confirmed that the resurrected were not truly alive, and Batgirl had no reason not to hold back against them. Shiva was impressed, and sent her League into the fray. Batgirl took time during the fight to tell Alpha he didn’t belong with the League, and that his belief that he was a born killer was ruing his life. Alpha saw wisdom in what she said and ducked out of the fight. The zombies threatened to overwhelm them, and killed Los Gemelos. Nyssa tried to kill Lazara, but Batgirl staid her hand, saying there had to be a better way. She admitted to Freeze that she’d made a terrible mistake, and asked him to freeze Lazara again. He said he would not, but he did have a plan to stop the carnage he’d inadvertently caused. He blew up the freeze machine he’d been working on for the Society, and Nyssa’s stronghold began collapsing under tons of ice. Batgirl fled to safety with League members Ox, Tigris and White Willow. She witnessed Mr. Freeze and Lazara making their escape as Freeze chased after his wife, begging her to stop her rampage. Ox, Tigris and Willow looked to Batgirl for guidance as to what to do next, and she wondered if she could show them a life path that would lead them away from being hired killers. Shiva survived, and told her students Mad Dog, Kitty Kumbata, Wam Wam and shrike that she had a contest for them, hunting Batgirl and her defectors.
(Batgirl I #71) - Batgirl, Ox, Tigris and White Willow fled into the woods with Shiva and her League of Assassins in pursuit. Batgirl reflected on the death and destruction her quest to learn about her past and her parentage had already caused, and wondered if her motives weren’t selfish. She missed Bludhaven and finally having a life of her own. Shrike, Kitty Kumbata, Wam Wam and Mad Dog ambushed them as Lady Shiva hung back and watched the action unfold. Unbeknownst to both groups Alpha was watching them from a nearby treetop. Batgirl ordered Ox, Willow and Tigris to flee while she dealt with the assassins, saying that none of them had the skills to live up to Shiva’s expectations or replace her one day, which is what Batgirl assumed they all hoped for. Her new allies returned to surprise the League, but when Ox bearhugged Wam Wam, Mad Dog stabbed him from behind with a sword, killing both combatants. Kitty Kumbata told her fellow assassins to flee, saying Mad dog was out of control and would kill them all. White Willow tried to attack Mad Dog, only for him to rip her throat out with his bare hands. Batgirl finally realized that Mad dog was David Cain's first, failed experiment in creating the perfect assassin. Mad dog could so no goal further than killing whoever was around him when ordered, and called Batgirl his sister, promising he’d kill her too.
Comments: Created by Chuck Dixon & Scott McDaniel.
The Circle of Six had a cameo of Batgirl I #72.
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