Posts tagged ‘Alfred’

Detective 536 – Julia and Deadshot, down in the sewers

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As with last issue, Moench and Colan conclude another 2-parter in Detective 536 (March 1984), this one with Deadshot as the villain.

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The story also serves as part of the build-up of the new villain, Dr. Fang.

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Alfred’s daughter Julia is at the centre of this story, and her relationships with Alfred and Jacques Reamrque, the man who raised her, and who is now in danger. Deadshot was caught last issue, but breaks free and makes another attempt on Remarque in this story.

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Julia heads down into the sewers in search of Jacques, but simply becomes a hostage for Deadshot.  Colan is the perfect artist for creepy sewers.

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Batman comes to the rescue, of course, jamming Deadshot’s gun with a really impressive throw.

I should maybe mention that Green Arrow’s back-ups have continued through these past issues.  For three of them he dealt with survivalists on a rampage, and for the last few issues was dealing with punk bikers, as well as the return of Ozone and the end of the Z.Z.Z. story.  Rick shows up for the climax of that plot.

It’s all very mediocre though, and the villains look like they are dressed for a night of clubbing.  A low point for the character.

 

Detective 532 – The Joker’s theme park

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The middle chapter to a three-part Joker story, Detective 532 (Nov. 83) is still an enjoyable read, with Batman and Vicki Vale at the Joker’s mercy, by Doug Moench and Gene Colan.

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The Joker has joined forces with Central American revolutionaries, although he treats them no better than any others he works with.

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He has grand plans to turn the entire nation into a murderous theme park, but has already begun construction, on a smaller scale.

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The story cuts back to Gotham for a scene, as Alfred brings dinner to Julia Remarque, who has finally been told that she is really Alfred’s daughter.  Their relationship had continued tense until now, but gets warmer and more familial.

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Batman gets strapped to a Joker-rollercoaster of death.  This is an excellent example of a great Joker trap.  Crazy, scary, and with his face plastered on it.  Batman manages to survive, of course, but it makes it fun to watch.

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And once Batman gets Vicki Vale untied from the tracks, she shows herself no mere hostage, grabbing one of the revolutionaries guns and going to town.

The story began int he previous Batman, and ends in the succeeding one.

Detective 527 – Man-Bat attacks, and Green Arrow meets Ozone

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Doug Moench begins his run on Detective Comics with issue 527 (June 1983).  Dan Day does the pencils, with Pablo Marcos on inks.

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Day’s art is exceptional, and I wonder why he didn’t do more that I know of.  Kirk Langstrom has gone back to work at the natural history museum, but gets so into his job that he forgets to take the medication that prevents him from turning into Man-Bat.  So guess what, he does.

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In his Man-Bat state, he imagines Batman to be responsible for his daughter, Rebecca, having inherited his sonic senses (Man-Bat logic is not too far from Bizarro logic), and seeks him out.  Not finding him in the Batcave, he heads up the stairs and into Alfred, who has a brief but enjoyable fight with the creature.

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Later, Batman gets involved in the fight, as does the chandelier.

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The fight keeps going, back down the stairs and into the cave.  Jason Todd leaps in, providing a convenient victim for Man-Bat to fly away with.

The next couple of years will see a huge degree of integration between Detective and Batman, so many stories, like this one, will only have one part in Detective, and the other in Batman.  Which is to say, I won’t be covering the resolution to this story in my next post.

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Paris Cullins and Pablo Marcos  go all 80s in this Joey Cavalieri Green Arrow story.

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The villain, Ozone, has a variety of spray cans that facilitate his thefts and escapes, and a style that went out before it was ever in.

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Rick comes to visit Oliver Queen at the Daily Star, bringing him a police band radio he built, which conveniently broadcasts Ozone’s latest crime.  Oliver makes  Rick a copy boy, so that he can continue to give him wonderful toys.

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Ozone’s spray cans usually stray out something destructive or escape enhancing, but they seem to be pretty powerful on their own, as Green Arrow discovers.

 

Detective 524 – Batman vs the Squid, and Green Arrow vs Machiavelli

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Croc’s rise continues with Detective 524 (March 1983)  by Gerry Conway, with art by Newton and Giordano.

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Croc is still working for the Squid when this story begins.  And at the opening of the story, the Squid looks to be in a good position, having thrown Batman into a tank of his namesakes.

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But Croc and the Squid do not see eye to eye.  Croc’s hat comes off, and this is the first time we see his face.  Croc walks out, and the Squid vows vengeance on him.

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Meanwhile, back at Wayne Manor, a party is in progress, although the guests (expecially Vicki Vale) are still waiting for Bruce.  Dick Grayson brings along the Todd family, circus performers he met recently in the pages of Batman.  Joseph and Trina Todd are the parents of young Jason, and the whole family are aerialists, so it’s easy to see why Dick has bonded with them.  Barbara Gordon is there as well, along with her father, recently re-instated, so he’s back to being Commissioner Gordon.

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Batman escapes from the squid tank, and makes it back to the mansion.  Alfred is tending his wounds, but no one thinks to close the door or separate themselves from the rest of the party, so Trina Todd just comes walking right into the room, seeing the Batman costume and everything.

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Fixed up, Batman resumes his attack on the Squid.

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But it’s Croc who wins, shooting the Squid with a sniper rifle, just as the Squid was about to shoot Batman.

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Green Arrow squares off against the Executrix in this story by Cavalieri, Novick and Randall.

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Machiavelli continues to promote his unusual brand of libertarianism, but finds people willing to listen, and begins to make a splash in Star City politics.

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He is on the verge of being swept into office as mayor by the time Green Arrow defeats Executrix and makes it back to him.

 

Detective 520 – Boss Thorne hires Dr 13, and a Catwoman solo story

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Gerry Conway and Don Newton art joined by inker Alfredo Alcala on Detective 520 (Nov. 82).

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Batman meets with Jim Gordon and Jason Bard, as well as Vickie Vale.  Her editor committed suicide, and they know he gave Vicki’s pictures to Boss Thorne.  They are trying to tie Thorne to Hamilton Hill.

Batman breaks into a prison, and breaks Deadshot out, to get the name of who hired him.  Floyd Lawton has no problems giving up Thorne’s name, but is surprised when Batman knocks him out and sends him back.

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Meanwhile, Boss Thorne is more concerned with the hauntings of Hugo Strange’s ghost than with the detectives, and has hired Dr. 13 to find out if the ghost is real.  Dr.13 was last seen a little over a year earlier, investigating the ghost of Wayne Manor.

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Dr. 13 goes to Greytowers, the phony hospital run by Hugo Strange, and his ghost materializes.  And Alfred dusts the Batcave.

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Catwoman’s solo tales had been running periodically in the back pages of Batman for the last few years.  This issue marks her only solo story in Detective, by Bob Rozakis and Gil Kane.

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Selina Kyle bumps into a former henchman of hers, and, sensing that he is lying to her about his plans, decides to follow him. Catwoman is on the good side of the law these days.

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It’s a soft story with a happy ending, as the guy has gone straight as well, and was hoping Catwoman would follow him and be his back up as he exposed some thieves.

Detective 518 – Deadshot aims for Bruce Wayne, and the Velvet Tiger debuts

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Detective 518 (Sept. 82) pulls off a difficult task.  Gerry Conway, Paul Levitz and Don Newton tell a tale that works well as a single issue Deadshot story, but which also advances the Boss Thorne plot, and concludes the Vicki Vale one.

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The story begins as Batman gets a blood transfusion to return him to human, while the vampires roil in agony at their capture.  Robin, who got him into this whole thing by falling for Dala, keeps watch over Batman, but gets a big surprise when he heads back up into Wayne Manor.

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Dick is stunned to encounter Bruce upstairs, spending time with Vicki Vale.  He keeps his mouth shut, and Alfred explains to him about hiring the Human Target to impersonate Bruce and deceive Vicki.

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Believing Vicki’s evidence, Boss Thorne hires Deadshot to kill Bruce Wayne, and thus, Batman.

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Perhaps because the job seemed too easy, rather than simply shooting Bruce, Deadshot tries to kill him by shooting the chandelier above him, intending it to crush Bruce.

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And though no one planned exactly this outcome, Batman shows up to rescue Bruce, leaving Vicki Vale convinced her “evidence” was wrong.  And Christopher Chance, oblivious to everything, makes Bruce act strong and heroic, which Vicki is impressed with as well.

Deadshot goes to jail, Vicki goes on happily, and Boss Thorne goes on to another plan.

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Barbara Randall and Trevor Von Eeden take the Batgirl series in a darker direction for it’s final two chapters, beginning with this story.

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The supporting cast is ditched, as Batgirl gets involved with a brother and sister who run a computer company.  The sister has a criminal identity, the Velvet Tiger, but the brother is no innocent himself, although Batgirl believes him unquestioningly.

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Von Eeden’s art, while not as polished as it would become, certainly takes exciting risks, even if they do not all pay off.

Detective 515 – the college for killers, and the origin of Lady Viper

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The cover for Detective 515 (June 1982) was a real torment for me.  At 16, I thought it looked too childish to want to buy it, but it also really intrigued me.

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The story, by Conway, Newton and Chiaramonte, is also based on an early Batman story, with the Crime Academy.  To be fair, this story has been retold at least five times by now.

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Vicki comes to Wayne Manor with her photographic evidence that Batman is Bruce Wayne, but almost begs Alfred to prove her wrong. With Batman busy dealing with the graduates of the academy, he decides handle this himself.

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Batman adopts his Matches Malone disguise and joins the academy.

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Alfred contacts master of disguise, Christopher Chance, the Human Target.  A surprise to see him, but you can see the wheels working in Alfred’s brain.

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Batgirl and Lady Viper spend the whole of this chapter locked in combat, but Burkett, Delbo and Giella also work in an important flashback.

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Lady Viper relates her story to Batgirl as she chokes her.  How she found snakes preferable to men, and found a snake god statue that she felt a special connection to.  A moonlight ritual altered her form to the one she has now.

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Lady Viper blows a noxious powder at Batgirl, and flees.

The story continues next issue.

 

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