Posts tagged ‘Bruce Wayne’

Detective 544 – Nocturna makes an offer

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Doug Moench, Gene Colan and Alfredo Alcala continue the twisted romance tale that Detective Comics has become with issue 544 (Sept. 84).  The Night Slayer does appear in it, attacking Batman because of Nocturna’s interest in him, but he is not the focus of the issue, just the cover.

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Nocturna continues her play for Bruce Wayne, now knowing that he is Batman.  She offers to be his partner in both guises, still holding Jason Todd out as the cherry on the cake.

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This issue does have a bit more action, when the romance needs a breather, but it’s still more soap opera than super-heroics.

Part of that means that things are moving slowly, and with the story jumping back and forth between books, it repeats itself, almost to the point of tedium.

This is not my favourite era for Batman.

 

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Detective 543 – Nocturna needs a new guy

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Moench and Colan are joined by Alfredo Alcala on Detective 543 (Oct. 84), and though the cover doesn’t convey it, love is in the air throughout Gotham.

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The Thief of Night has escaped prison, and made it back to Nocturna, only to discover her with another man, Hellstrom, who has been stealing to provide for her.

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Angered, the Thief takes off.  His real name is Anton Knight, and by the following issue of Detective, his rage has lead him to murder, and his code name changes from the Thief of Night, to the Night Slayer.

Meanwhile, Hellstrom has also taken off, feeling that Nocturna is using him. Which, you know, she is.  So she decides she needs a new man to support her, and sets her sights on Bruce Wayne.

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She goes to visit Jason Todd at the orphanage as well, playing with the boys affections as part of her larger scheme.

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Julia takes advantage of Vicki Vale’s busy schedule, scoring a date with Bruce.  There is mutual attraction, but Bruce avoids taking things further.

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If anyone is the major villain in this issue, it’s Hamilton Hill, the mayor.  Furious that his sniper has been caught, he nonetheless doubles down, ordering that Bruce Wayne’s adoption of Jason Todd be halted by any means.

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There is a little bit of action, Batman tracking and capturing the hapless Hellstrom.

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Nocturna’s plan becomes apparent on the final page.  She applies to be Jason Todd’s legal guardian, and informs Bruce Wayne that he can continue to raise Jason, as long as he marries her.

 

 

Detective 542 – Jason gets taken, and Green Arrow cons a killer

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The Batman titles really become pure soap opera at this time.  Villains become secondary to Bruce Wayne’s relationships, and his difficulties in getting guardianship of Jason.

The stories are not awful, it’s still Moench and Colan, but it feels a bit more like Dallas than Batman.

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Harvey Bullock accompanies the woman from child welfare, as she comes to take Jason away from Bruce.  I don’t know if they were expecting Bruce to pull out a gun or something, bringing Bullock seems excessive, especially as all Jason does is cry.

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Bruce calls a meeting of the Wayne Foundation board – which means Lucius Fox and some unnamed others – and gives them a big speech about how getting Jason Todd back must be the main focus of the company.  They all look stunned, as they well might.

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Jason, in an orphanage, sees the Bat-signal, and goes into action as Robin.  He catches up with Harvey Bullock, just in time to save him from a sniper.  Hamilton Hill, upset that Bullock became friends with Gordon rather than driving him out of the force, has hired a hit man to get rid of Harvey.

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Batman is late to join the party, but he captures the sniper.  Jason tells him that they might split up him and Bruce, but no one can break up Batman and Robin.

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Joey Cavalieri and Shawn McManus bring the Death Dealer story to a clever resolution in this issue.

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Oliver gets the dj to start playing a pre-recorded show of his, and that makes the Death Dealer think that they put out the fire.  He returns to the studio, and when he opens it to enter, sees Green Arrow, who he believes managed to enter somehow.  Thanks to the recording, and the Dealer’s confusion, his surprise at seeing Green Arrow,and not connecting him to Oliver Queen, is actually plausible.

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The explanation to the events is a bit lame though.  The dj in the witness protection program happened to work at a station run by ANOTHER guy in the witness protection program, who blamed the dj for him having to go through that.  And though the one recognized the other, neither was, apparently, being monitored in any way at all, to prevent them coming into contact.

Detective 541 – Batman chases the Penguin to the north pole, and Green Arrow gets trapped by the Death Dealer

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It’s yet another second half by Moench and Colan in Detective 541 (Aug. 84), as Batman pursues the Penguin, who has stolen plans for an advance warning system in the arctic (early bird), and plans to sell them to the Russians.

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Batman’s chase after the Penguin has negative repercussions he is unaware of at the time.  The child welfare agency tries to call Bruce Wayne that night, and even though Alfred explains that he is taking care of Jason, the powers that be are not impressed.

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I do like Colan’s rendition of the Penguin.  And you gotta like any story in which he uses real penguins to delay Batman.

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In the end, this story has more deception than one would think possible.  The Penguin had fake plans to sell, he had no intention of betraying his country.  But the”real” plans the Penguin stole were fakes as well, disinformation leaked by the government.

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Green Arrow begins a 2-part story pitting him against a hit man with a card fetish, the Death Dealer, in this story by Joey Cavalieri and Shawn McManus.

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The Death Dealer is hunting down a man in the witness protection program, currently working as a radio dj, and not overly concerned about hiding his real identity.  Cause that’s why they spent millions to give you a new id.  So you could not care.

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Oliver Queen goes to check on the dj at the radio station, and discovers that the Dealer has locked them both in, and set fire to the place.

 

Detective 534 – Poison Ivy’s plant men

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Poison Ivy makes her first appearance in this book in Detective 534 (Jan. 84), nearly 20 years after the character was introduced.

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Doug Moench, Gene Colan and Alfredo Alcala helm this tale, continued from the pages of Batman, that sees Ivy kidnap a number of men, using them to power her hybrid plant men.

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Alfredo Alcala, who does the inks on this story, also was one of the artists on Swamp Thing from this period, so the plant men look as good as they should, reminiscent of the swamp creature, but different.

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Jason Todd is allowed to join Batman in battle in this story, and as Batman holds off the plant men, Jason takes down Ivy.

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The story ends with a cute scene as Bruce and Jason try to come up with a code name for him.  Until Dick adopted the name Nightwing, Jason was stuck being almost-Robin-but-not-quite.

Detective 530 – Batman climbs on Nocturna’s balloon

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A great cover for new villain Nocturna on Detective 530 (Sept.83).  Doug Moench, Gene Colan and Dick Giordano bring her introductory story to a close in this issue.

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Nocturna meets Jason Todd in this issue.  He is, indeed, running away to (re)join the circus, but encounters the mysterious alabaster lady and her night flying balloon in the misty forest.  She advises him to return home.

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Bruce is having more troubles trying to become the legal guardian of Jason Todd than he did with Dick Grayson.  It doesn’t help that he keeps running out to try to catch the Thief of Night and/or Nocturna, who work together.

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Once again, Colan’s art is simply perfect for this story.  Batman causes Nocturna’s balloon to crash, and haul both her and the Thief of Night away to jail.

But neither is done, both will be significant players over the next couple of years.

 

 

Detective 529 – the Thief of Night debuts, and Green Arrow makes Ozone explode

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In Detective 529 (Aug. 83), Doug Moench, Gene Colan and Dick Giordano introduce the Thief of Night, and Nocturna, both of whom will play major roles in this series over the next couple of years.

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The Thief of Night is garbed completely in black, not even his face is visible, and for this debut, we only see him unmasked on the last couple of pages.  He is better at eluding Batman than fighting him.

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Colan’s art is perfect for this character.  Jason Todd appears, eager to go into action, but told he will not be allowed to.  Bruce Wayne winds up ditching Vicki Vale in the middle of a date to pursue the Thief of Night, but doesn’t manage to catch him.

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On the last page, we see the Thief unmasked, and the white hand of Nocturna.  We also see a really pissed off Vicki Vale, and Jason Todd threatening to run away back to the circus.

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Joey Cavalieri, Paris Cullins and Frank Giacoia conclude the Ozone story in this issue.

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Rick reveals how much he knows about Z.Z.Z., the secret government science organization, and the destructive things they have created – such as Ozone’s weaponry.  He is the son of the founder of the group.

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Green Arrow defeats Ozone with a high pressure arrow that causes all of his spray cans to explode.  Remarkably, as they are hanging from his belt, this does not seriously maim, or kill him.  But Green Arrow has little trouble with him after that.

 

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