Posts tagged ‘Catwoman’

Detective 565 – Batman vs the Love Killer, and Steelclaw goes too far

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Moench and Colan put some strain on Batman and Catwoman’s relationship in Detective 565 (Aug. 86), as the horrific murders of the Love Killer grab their attention.

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Colan’s art is used to terrifying effect with this maniac who beheads women.

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As the hunt for him drags on, Batman finds Catwoman getting colder and more distant.  When he raises the subject with her, she finds a lot of excuses, but suggests that the two of them are basically loners anyway.

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Some of the dialogue seems to imply that Catwoman is about to go back to an old boyfriend, but all is made clear when she returns to her pet jaguar as the story ends.

The fight with the Love Killer concludes in the next issue of Batman.

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There’s action aplenty in this Green Arrow installment, by Cavalieri and Stan Woch.

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Steelclaw has pushed everything a bit too far.  His manipulations as the mayor have made the mob distrust Steelclaw, and his arrogance and demands in that position have won him no friends either.  The mob wind up turning on him and killing him.

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Green Arrow and Black Canary are left to take down the rest of the mob’s men, but all that they do with Steelclaw’s body is unmask it.

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And that boy that Onyx has been using in Star City for food, shelter and support finally starts showing some backbone and demanding some answers from her.

 

 

Detective 564 – Circe toys with Two-Face, and Onyx returns

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Detective 564 (July 1986) has the penultimate chapter of the Two-Face saga, by Moench and Colan.

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Circe convinces Two-Face that their mangled visages give them a bond, but it’s fairly clear that she is just using him.  Poor Harvey is too lost in his madness to see it.

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Catwoman is onto her game, though, and takes her place.  The mask being as useful to hide Circe’s scars as to conceal Catwoman’s identity.  Two-Face discovers this, and is not pleased to be played with this way.

The story concludes in the next issue of Batman.

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Cavalieri and Moore bring the Steelclaw story together in this chapter.

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Knowing that Steelclaw is the mayor, Green Arrow and Black Canary head to his estate.  He tries to use his power from both ends, as the mayor and as Steelclaw to have them taken down.

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Some excellent art by Jerome K Moore on this chapter.  The mafia and the heroes converge on the mayor’s mansion as the climax approaches.

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But wait! Look who is back as well!  Onyx!

Detective 563 – Two-Face is lonely, and Green Arrow sets up Champion

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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.

 

 

Detective 562 – Batman and Catwoman vs the Film Freak, and the secret of Steelclaw

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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.

Detective 560 – Robin and Catwoman answer the call, and Green Arrow and Black Canary eat lunch

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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.

Detective 559 – Bruce and Selina and Oliver and Dinah

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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.

 

 

 

Detective 557 – Batman sits in a hospital room, and Green Arrow helps defend the temple

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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.

 

Detective 548 – Batman chases Darkwolf, and Green Arrow vs Vengeance

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Doug Moench and Pat Broederick have a lot of animals roaming Gotham in Detective 548 (March 1985).

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Batman is dealing with a political kidnapper, Darkwolf, but the far more interesting plot line in this issue sees Vicki Vale and Julia Pennyworth out looking for a big panther seen wandering the streets of the city.

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Batman isn’t much impressed by Darkwolf, and it pretty clear he’s a one shot bad guy, put in to give Batman something to do between scenes with the women.

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It takes Julia and Vicki a while before they realize the panther is trained, and therefore a pet.  And once they know that, it’s no big surprise when Catwoman shows up on the last page.

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Green Arrow’s battle with Vengeance concludes in this issue, thanks to Joey Cavalieri, Jerome K Moore, and Bruce Patterson.

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It’s the heavy action part of the story, and the art does it justice.  But it’s just so hard to look at that costume and pretend it’s not the same as

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Onyx, at any rate, doesn’t look like a carbon copy, and shows that she learned an awful lot about how to play guys in her retreat.

Detective 526 – Jason Todd dons the costume

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Celebrating Batman’s 500th appearance, Detective 526 (May 1983) is a forgotten, but worthy, anniversary issue.  Crisis on Infinite Earths would remove this story from continuity, and the origin of Jason Todd radically changed, but this work by Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Alfredo Alcala stands on its own merit.

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The Joker calls together a mass assembly of Batman’s enemies.  Croc is out to kill Batman, but he’s a newbie, and not worthy of the honour, the Joker insists.  So he lays out a plan that will give them all chances of killing Batman that night.

The line-up includes the regulars: Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, and Scarecrow.  Cat-Man, Killer Moth, Mr. Freeze, the Mad Hatter, and Matt Hagen as Clayface had all appeared within the last few years.  The Cavalier had not been seen since an issue of Batman Family in the late 70s.  Tweedledum and Tweedledee had not been seen since the 1940s!  Technically, this is the first appearance of the Earth-1 versions of the characters, but with Crisis looming that scarcely matters.

Some of the newer villains are included as well: Black Spider, Captain Stingaree and the Spook.  Talia is there, without her father being involved in the story, which is rare.

The Gentleman Ghost is a Hawkman villain, but had fought Batman twice in his own book.  This is the only time he appears in a line-up of Batman villains.

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Catwoman watches, but takes no part in the meeting.  Talia also has no interest in killing Batman, but has to fight her way out.

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Both Catwoman and Talia head to the Batcave to warn Batman of the plans against him, but get involved in a cat fight of their own.

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Meanwhile, things aren’t going so well for Dick Grayson.  His great plan to use the Todds against Croc simply put them into his hands, and he has Jason driven to Wayne Manor to keep him safe.

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Barbara accompanies her father as Commissioner Gordon checks out the abandoned theatre where the villains met, and finds evidence pointing to a gathering of their enemies.

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Barbara goes to find Dick, and they suit up as Batgirl and Robin and head out to fight the villains, as Batman does the same, with Talia and Catwoman as back-up.  No one is at home, so Jason is left to explore Wayne Manor, and guess where he winds up?

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The Spook manages to get the drop on Talia, if only for a moment.  But with so many fighting against them, the two women and Batman get taken.

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Robin is the one to find the remains of the Todds, fed to his namesakes by Croc.

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Jason, unawares, has found an alternate Robin costume in the cave, and suited up.  He heads out to join the rest of the heroes.

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Batgirl and Robin fight well together. There is no hint of romance, as there had been in their Batman Family team-ups.  Robin is in a budding romance with Starfire in the pages of New Teen Titans, but their ease with each other reminds one of the bond between them, the best duo of Batman’s supporting cast.

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Jason happens upon  a group of the villains, which gives him the information he needs to find out where everyone else is.

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Finally the big climax, as the Joker gloats over his captured foes.

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Croc had been working behind the scenes with the Joker, using all the other villains to wear Batman down.  He makes his move, but Batman manages to duck at the right time, and Croc takes down the Joker.

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Jason Todd arrives just as Batman has beaten Croc into submission, and delivers the final blow.  Only afterwards does he discover his parents bodies.

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The epilogue sees Bruce sending Catwoman and Talia off together in a car.  Where is he sending them?  Why did he stick these two women in the same car together?  How far did they get before their fight forced the car off the road and into a ditch?

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The issue ends with Bruce and Jason Todd, who is looking relatively ok for a boy whose parents were horribly murdered the night before.  But he is to be the new Robin, and there is a sense of hope.

Which is all kind of weird now, because Jason Todd was given such a different origin, and made such a different character, in the post-Crisis reality.

But for a couple of years, this was the origin of Jason Todd, Robin.

Detective 521 – Catwoman vs Vicki Vale, and Green Arrow begins

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Green Arrow’s series moves from World’s Finest to Detective with issue 521 (Dec. 82).  Along with Aquaman, Green Arrow had series in five of the earliest DC books: More Fun, Adventure, Detective, Action and World’s Finest.

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After her happy, good girl story last issue, Catwoman’s violent attack on Vicki Vale is not the way one would expect this story, by Gerry Conway, Irv Novick and Sal Trapani, to begin.  It turns out to be a dream, and leaves Selina Kyle shaky and upset.

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While the story largely follows Catwoman, Batman is busy tracking and apprehending a gang of hoods who prowl the subway system.

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Catwoman does break into Vicki’s apartment while she is sleeping, and demands that she leave Bruce Wayne to her, but does not physically attack her.

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Spying on them, Catwoman overhears Bruce tell Vicki that Selina is part of his past, and the two embrace, unaware of the angry woman watching.

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Green Arrow’s series brings writer Joey Cavalieri and artist Trevor Von Eeden along with it. Oliver Queen is, at this point in the strip, working as a columnist for George Taylor at Star City’s newspaper, the Daily Star.

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His computer gets taken over by a hacker, called Hi Tek, who demands Oliver break into a computer company.

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He does this as Green Arrow, because he never puts much work into his secret identity.  But Hi Tek shows up on the company’s computers, and uses them to attack him, and alert the police to his break in.

 

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