Posts tagged ‘Arthur Reeves’

Detective 511 – Batman battles Mirage

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Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Frank Chiaramonte provide a full-length story in Detective 511 (Feb. 82), introducing a new villain, Mirage.

The story takes place in the immediate aftermath of the mayoral election. Hamilton Hill won, after Arthur Reeves faked photos of Batman were exposed.

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Mirage is a thief, armed with some wrist weaponry that causes hallucinations in any who look at him. He can affect individuals, or large crowds.

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Vicki Vale is at a racetrack he robs, and takes photos of him.  His effects do not show up in the pictures, an important clue for Batman to protect himself from Mirage’s powers.

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Robin is a supporting character again, giving university another shot as Dick Grayson.  But classes fail to be as interesting as the exotic woman he runs into, Dala.

Fans may recognize this name as the female accomplice/victim of the Monk back in very early Batman stories.  A number of early villains would be re-introduced in the next year.

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Arthur Reeves, upset about losing, goes to the man who backed his campaign and gave him the fake photos – Boss Thorne, recently released from Arkham.  Thorne also reveals that he leaked the undoctored photos to Olivia Ortega, which ruined Reeves’ run for mayor.  Thorne has his own game, and everyone else is just a pawn.

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Batman manages to break Mirage’s spell, and brings him down.  When I read this as a kid, I just loved this villain and eagerly awaited his return. Now, I’m not so sure what I liked, aside from the unusual costume.  Mirage would appear again from time to time, usually in groups with other villains.

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The issue ends with Bruce Wayne stepping down as the head of the Wayne Foundation, and appointing Lucius Fox to take his place. That had more or less been being built up since the moment Fox was introduced, and the position has fit him like a glove ever since.

Detective 510 – The Mad Hatter returns, and Batgirl shows brains beat brawn

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Gene Colan and Klaus Janson take over the art as Gerry Conway brings back the Mad Hatter in Detective 510 (Jan. 82)

This is the first major appearance of the Mad Hatter in years, reverting to his original appearance, like the Tenniel illustrations from Alice in Wonderland.

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The mayoral race between Hamilton Hill and Arthur Reeves is heating up.  Reeves tries to publicly embarrass Batman, but it backfires on him.

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Lucius Fox is kidnapped by the Mad Hatter, who plans on using his knowledge and position to raid Wall St.

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Of course, the Hatter’s plans include Batman, and he lets Bruce Wayne know that he has taken Fox.

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At the time I was not happy with Gene Colan taking over the art, I preferred Don Newton.  But I have come to appreciate how moody Colan made this series.

The Mad Hatter proves a fairly easy victory.  He’s rusty after all these years.

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As the story ends, the bigger threat by far is Arthur Reeves.

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Cary Burkett, Jose Delbo and Joe Giella conclude their three-part team up of Batgirl and Supergirl in this issue.

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While Supergirl continues to battle the Anhilliator, Batgirl pays close attention to the effects that her various attacks are having.  Though the villain seems invulnerable, Batgirl has noticed some weakness.

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Batgirl gets Supergirl to freeze the villain once he has been weakened, which causes him to revert back to the scientist he once was.  Then they just don’t seem to care about him anymore.  They don’t take him to prison or anything, just go off their separate ways.

Supergirl and Batgirl’s next time together is int he pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths, a scene expanded on in a DC Comics Presents.

 

 

Detective 506 – The Mannikin debuts, and Batgirl vs Iago

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Gerry Conway and Don Newton introduce a new foe for the Batman in Detective 506 (Sept 81), the Mannikin.

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Hamilton Hill and Arthur Reeves appear on a tv debate, hosted by Olivia Ortega, repeating their positions.  Neither seems like a suitable choice for mayor.

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That night Bruce heads out to a disco, and a massive model approaches fashion designer Kevin Clane, and kills him.

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Batman tries to stop the woman, who is much stronger than him.  Her costume comes off, revealing her to be in a suit of a dress dummy, a mannikin.  The Mannikin escapes.

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Seline Kyle has a nice cameo, as Batman goes to ask for her help in identifying the clothes.  Catwoman recognizes the designer as Haston.

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Batman goes to check on the designer, but the Mannikin is already there.

The story concludes next issue.

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It’s the conclusion of Batgirl’s battle with the little hunchback killer in this Burkett/Delbo/Giella story.

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The creature calls himself Iago, but there is a good deal of the Phantom of the Opera in him, as he is a composer, and believes that in killing women he gains inspiration.

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Batgirl defeats him with the oldest ploy.  Hey, could you play your music for me?  Oh,wow, that’s really good.  Just keep playing and pay no attention as I free myself from my bonds.

Detective 504 – The Joker’s rumpus room, and Gordon finds a crooked cop

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Jim Starlin’s cover is easily the best thing about Detective 504 (July 1981).

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Gerry Conway and Don Newton are the creative team on this story, which sees the Joker commit some crimes and send some clues, all to lead the Batman to a rumpus room of death.

Olivia Ortega, a reporter, makes her first appearance in Detective.  Usually she reports on the Hamilton Hill/Arthur Reeves mayoral race, but in this one she interrupts that to broadcast some clues the Joker sent to her.  Very obliging.

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The rumpus room does not live up to the way it appears on the cover, and it’s just not a big enough threat, not fun enough,to warrant being the payoff for the story.

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Batman buries the Joker in ice cream. Ha ha.  Sigh.

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Paul Kupperberg, Jose Delbo and Joe Giella give another starring role to Commissioner Gordon in this chapter of Tales of Gotham City.

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After a drug bust at a known location turns out nothing, Gordon realizes there must be a cop on the take, and the evidence points to one he has known all his life, the son of a cop Gordon used to work with.

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The boy tries to turn his back on the mob, but that just puts the two of them in deadly peril.  Gordon just keeps guilting him until he gets them out of it.

Commisioner Gordon, with the super-power of guilt.

Detective 503 – the Batman family vs the Scarecrow

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Gerry Conway and Don Newton contribute a full-length story to Detective 503 (June 1981), featuring the Scarecrow.

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Batman gets shot with a dart while making his rounds of beating up the usual Gotham thugs.  It has not immediate effect, but he takes it back to analyze.

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The effects begin to manifest the next day, as people become afraid of him, as both Batman and Bruce.  Commissioner Gordon all but freaks out during a meeting they have with Hamilton Hill.

In both Detective and Batman, there is a running plotline now about the mayoral election, and the rival candidates Hill and Arthur Reeves.  Reeves is anti-Batman, but Hill is not fond of Gordon.

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Even Alfred reaches the point of not being able to be around Bruce, and he cannot function when people run or freeze in terror at the sight of him.  Using Alfred as an intermediary, he gets Robin and Batgirl to help him track down the Scarecrow, who has been running rampant in Gotham.

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They don’t prove to be much help, falling into the Scarecrow’s hands pretty quickly.  But Batman has been working on an antidote throughout this, and of course he finds one.

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It’s ok, but not my favourite Scarecrow story.

 

Detective 464 – Batman vs Black Spider, and the Calculator vs Black Canary

 

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Black Spider’s introductory story concludes in Detective 464 (Oct. 76), in a Gerry Conway story, with art by Chan and McLaughlin.

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Batman does not get hit by the airplane, but Black Spider manages to kill one of the deplaning passengers, and get away.  Batman hunts the streets looking for information on him, and learns the past of a “friend” of the Spider.  A kid who became a junkie and turned to crime to pay for his habit, eventually killing his own father.

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It’s hardly a surprise when Batman unmasks Black Spider, and reveals him to be the junkie, now clean, but determined to do away with those who profited from his addiction.  Black Spider appears to die at the end of the story, though Batman doubts it.  And indeed, he returns a couple years down the road in the pages of Batman.

I should have mentioned that City Councillor Arthur Reeves, who despises Batman, is re-introduced.  He has a small role, complaining to Gordon about Batman, at the start of the previous issue, and conclusion to this one.

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The Calculator returns, this time in Star City, where he faces off against Black Canary, in a story by Bob Rozakis, Mike Grell and Terry Austin.

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His plan is to steal the city’s Founder’s Day, by creating a deadly heat wave – one made worse by Black Canary every time she uses her sonic cry.

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She wins by pushing things as far as she can with her cry, which causes the Calculator’s device to melt and short out, but not before he presses his special button!

 

Detective 399 – Batman meets Arthur Reeves

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Commissioner Gordon is in danger in Detective 399 (May 1970), in a story by Denny O’Neil, with Bob Brown and Joe Giella art.

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This story also introduces Arthur Reeves, a city councillor who despises Batman, and the feeling is mutual.  Reeves would appear in a few stories in the 70s, but become more important in the early 80s.

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Batman spends the first chunk of this tale attempting to protect Gordon, before discovering that he had already been kidnapped, and an impostor was taking his place.

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It’s another servicable Robbins detective tale.  Not great, not even really memorable, but satisfying while reading.

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