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Doug Moench and Gene Colan begin a 4part Two-Face story in Detective 563 (June 1986) that weaves back and forth between this book and Batman.

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Jason Todd brings Rena back to Wayne Manor, and in his quest to impress her, he almost reveals his Robin outfit.  Or at least, that’s what Alfred thinks he is going to do, just before he stops Jason.  Was he going to?  Jason says no, but teen hormones do overpower judgement.

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Batman and Catwoman are still trying to round up the last members of Black Mask’s False Face Society.  Batman breaks into the Sionis family tomb, which he was using as a base.  But all they discover is that someone else is trailing them.

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As for Two-Face, the length of the four part story means that this issue serves to re-introduce him, and he reflects on his origin.  Circe is also re-introduced, the former girlfriend of Black Mask, horribly mutilated by him.

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Green Arrow and Black Canary continue their struggle against Steelclaw and Champion in this story by Cavalieri and Moore.

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Green Arrow has noticed that all the things Champion has saved had been insured by the same company.  He figures that Champion is actually causing the disasters he saves things from, and sets him up.  Entertainingly, Green Arrow uses an art exhibit by Ozone as bait, which Champion shows up to set fire to.

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Black Canary doesn’t have a lot to do in this one, but does make the vital connection, through the use of the nickname “Brucie,” realizing that Steelclaw is really the mayor.

 

 

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It’s the middle chapter of the three-part introduction of the Film Freak in Detective 562 (May 1986).

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Moench and Colan pick up the story from it’s Batman cliffhanger, as Film Freak approached Julia Pennyworth, taking a shower, to re-enact Psycho.  A handy bottle of shampoo and some quick thinking get Julia to safety.

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Batman and Catwoman do some digging into the past of actor Burt Weston, and determine that his death was a hoax.

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As Film Freak, Weston kills another of his enemies.  The gorilla suit is less than King Kong scary, though.

The story concludes in the next issue of Batman.

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A very impressive outing for Black Canary, and some excellent art by Moore on Joey Cavalieri’s story in this issue.

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After being bound and thrown into the water, Canary manages to get free and take down the men who tried to kill her.

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Green Arrow seeks out the mayor, to complain about Champion and insist that action be taken against him. Oliver is not pleased by the mayor’s seeming lack of concern.

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But the mayor has much bigger fish to fry, as we discover that he is really Steelclaw, using the knowledge and power he gains from that position to further his control as mayor.

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Detective 651 (April 1986) is a fairly blatant anti-drug story, but Moench and Colan manage to pull off a tale that has its own merits.

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Jason Todd is the star of this story, as it chronicles his interest in a girl at school named Rena.

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She wants to get Jason to get high with her after school.  She never has, but the “whole gang is doing it.”  But the story keeps it about the kids themselves, and Jason gets Rena fascinated with stories of his circus days.

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With Batman’s help he tracks the source of the drugs, as Rena had told him who was bringing them to school.  And as Robin he busts the big guys, and terrifies the student.

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And as Jason Todd, he gets the girl.  Dick Grayson never pulled off anything this smooth.

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Cavalieri and Moore do an excellent job balancing the roles of Black Canary and Green Arrow throughout this storyline.

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Black Canary is cracking down on some drug smugglers down at the docks, and is doing pretty well until Steelclaw shows up and knocks her out.

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Green Arrow and Champion cross paths at a collapsing construction site. Champion saves an experimental antenna while Green Arrow saves humans, and he is not pleased about that.

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A very moody cover for Detective 660 (March 1986), and I was expecting a Batman solo story, but Moench and Colan go a different way.

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Batman does, indeed, go off to sit by himself in a cave and brood, reflect on his origin and training, and look all solemn, sad and spooky. But he sets things up with Harvey Bullock to make Catwoman a true member of his team.

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It’s also to force Robin to have to work with Catwoman, which Jason Todd is reluctant to do, feeling that he is betraying Nocturna.  But they track down some cop killing Savage Skulls, and bond.

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The only problem is that Catwoman has been softened to such an open and accepting person that it hardly feels like it’s really her.

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Black Canary shares the billing with Green Arrow on this excellent story lead off by Cavalieri and Moore.  The phrase, “does that make me a bad guy?” ends three different scenes in the tale, playing differently each time.

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We meet Champion, who uses his powerful costume to help those who can pay for his services.  He compares himself to any other trained professional, arguing that he is not required to do heroics for free.

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Dinah argues with Oliver over her idea to go undercover and fight crime from the inside, the way her mother had originally.  An odd way to go about breaking out of her mother’s shadow, but whatever.  The landlord comes by to raise the rent, and basic economics are the root of the second time the question is asked.

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And finally, Steelclaw introduced, a powerful villain being hired by the mob, who turns the tables on them and demands a cut of the action.  He is definitely a bad guy.

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It’s mixed doubles in Detective 559 (Feb. 86), as Moench and Colan bring together Batman, Catwoman, Green Arrow and Black Canary in a story about corporate malfeasance and sabotage.

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It begins as Green Arrow stops Batman from apprehending a thief.  Green Arrow knows the man, and his beef against the Kremson corporation, and sympathizes with his struggle against them, while Batman is furious that Arrow would flout the laws in Gotham.

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Black Canary steps in to try to play peacemaker, but the guys continue their fight.

The best thing about this story is also the worst thing.  The arguments between Batman and Green Arrow are excellent, thought-provoking and entertaining, as each have valid points.  But the story consists largely of panels of the two of them talking.

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Catwoman gets enlisted by Batman to go undercover at Kremson and find out more about what is going on.  Her cover gets busted right away though, so we do get to see all four in costume by the end.

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While Batman and Green Arrow are given some conflict, Black Canary and Catwoman just relax and get along with each other.  It works, but it’s a bit of a cop out.  I cannot think of another story that has them happily clinking coffee mugs together.

 

 

 

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The red rains buffet Gotham in Detective 558 (Jan. 86), as the Crisis stories come to a close, and a number of people hunt for Nocturna.

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Batman brings the Night Slayer’s reign of terror to a close, finally.

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But Moench and Colan spend far more of this story on the night watchman seduced away from his wife by Nocturna, who roams the city searching for her, as does Robin.  Harvey Bullock is also on the hunt, though the watchman himself is Harvey’s goal, after meeting his tormented wife.

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Seeing Nocturna’s damaged balloon hanging from the spire of Gotham’s version of the Chrysler building, he climbs to the top and sends it flying away.  Although Batman and Robin try to save him, he falls and disappears into the red rains, and Bullock is left to try to explain things to the man’s wife.

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The story ends with Batman being called by Commissioner Gordon about the Joker’s escape from Arkham, which leads Batman into the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths 2.  But not before he and Catwoman profess their love again.

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Dean Traven and Trevor Von Eeden helm this entertaining little story.

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Green Arrow hears the words of a wounded man just before he passes out, and, interpreting them as a clue, seeks out those who attacked him.

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By far the best page of the story is a bit of a digression.  Olive spills a child’s ice cream, and when he tries to pay for it, is attacked by the boy’s mother as a molestor.  The page almost feels like Giffen, and the Ambush Bug reference makes me certain that was the intent.

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The ending brings a laugh as well.  Green Arrow visits in the man in the hospital, explaining his mistaken interpretation of his words, and how he really found the attacker, all the while devouring the man’s candy.

 

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Detective 557 (Dec. 85) follows the big battle between Catwoman and Nocturna, in a story by Moench and Colan.

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And though Nocturna and the Night Slayer are still on the loose, Batman spends this story sitting by Selina’s bedside in the hospital.

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Robin returns to the cave, and in a slight allusion to the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Justice League try to contact Batman.  The Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man and Zatanna cameo.

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The Night Slayer is left pretty much free to keep killing the former members of Nocturna’s gang, and still aims to kill Nocturna herself.  Batman and Catwoman are too busy professing their love for each other to care.

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Cavalieri, Moore and Patterson conclude Green Arrow’s team-up with Onyx in this issue.

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Although I really love the art on this story, the tale itself just doesn’t warrant the length, to me.  But there are great scenes along the way, as Arrow and Onyx defend the temple.

 

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