Posts tagged ‘Dinah Lance’

Detective 567 – Batman by Harlan Ellison, Green Arrow ends, and so does this blog

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Acclaimed science-fiction writer Harlan Ellison scripts the Gene Colan Batman story in Detective 567 (Oct. 86), the final issue to deal with the pre-Crisis Batman.

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It’s a hilarious read.  We follow Batman on an untypical night.  A night in which shopkeepers and old ladies are able to defend themselves.  A night where a potential mugging in a park is really just some kids running around after a concert.

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Every “crime” Batman spots turns out to be something else, and the most use he proves during the evening is holding a flashlight for a repairman.

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What I find very interesting, though, is his comment to Alfred on the last page about it being a bad night.  Usually Batman defends his eternal mission by saying that he is trying to being peace to Gotham.  But in this story, when he is not needed to do that, instead of rejoicing, relaxing or celebrating, he is miserable and depressed.

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Joey Cavalieri and Stan Woch bring Green Arrow’s series to a conclusion in this issue, as the mystery villain unmasks.  His identity is no clearer for that, but he does look scary.

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Understanding that his skull is not instantly recognizable, he helpfully explains that he was the one behind the assault on the temple, who seemingly died when he found the Book of Ages.

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But he didn’t die. He’s back.  And he’s calling himself Barricade now, for no particular reason.  Who cares, he looks cool and this final story is a big fight scene, as he takes on Green Arrow, Black Canary and Onyx.

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And that kid who had been putting up with Onyx for far too long finally looks about to get some action out of it.  Although it is odd that the series ends on these two, instead of on Oliver and Dinah.

Of the three, Black Canary is the next to appear, almost immediately, in the pages of the crossover miniseries Legends, which leads into the new Justice League.

Green Arrow does not appear at all for almost a year.  A future version of him shows up in Batman – The Dark Knight Returns, and a few months later he gets his own miniseries, the Longbow Hunters, which launches his own book.

Onyx does return as well, but not for an awfully long time.  I’m not 100% sure where and when she does return, though I will find it, but by the time of War Games, she is part of the Batman universe, working with Orpheus.

And that ends this blog!  Not that it ends me writing about DC Comics, but the media library is 97% full.

I chose to cut it off here as the next issue is a Legends crossover, and part of the post-Crisis universe.  This story falls sort of between the pre- and post- Crisis worlds, but contained the end of the Green Arrow run.

So I am starting a new blog, Babblings about DC Comics 2.  I will finish off covering Detective, and then move on to Action Comics. That had even more issues than Detective, so I am not certain I will get all the way through it in the second blog, but I’m hoping to.

 

Detective 554 – Black Canary changes clothes

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Detective 554 (Sept. 85) features a cover based on the one that introduced the original Black Canary back in 1940s in Flash Comics, which was in turn based on the cover of Detective that introduced Robin, this time debuting a new costume for Black Canary

And not much is missed by not featuring the Batman story on the cover.  It’s a run of the mill piece, dealing with smugglers.

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Joey Cavalieri, Jerome K Moore and Burce Patterson even give Black canary top billing in this story.  She deserves it, but it’s still a shock, considering that she often gets no billing for her appearances in Green Arrow.

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In perusing her mothers notes on her cases, Dinah realizes that her reaction to Bonfire was based on her mother’s reaction in a similar case, and that the imprinting of her mother’s memories onto her had been controlling her choices and actions.

This pertains to the recent revelation in Justice League that Dinah was the daughter of the Earth-2 Black Canary, not the same woman, as she had believed since coming to Earth-1 in JLA 75.

To help distinguish herself from her mother she adopts a new costume.  Not a bad idea, and the costume does look much better in the issue itself than on the cover, but it sure became unpopular very fast.

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No longer feeling hampered by her mother’s past, Dinah seeks out Bonfire, and defeats her using her sonic cry, her own personal power, one that her mother never had.

Detective 553 – Batman vs Black Mask, and Black Canary gets burned

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It’s another middle chapter in Detective 553 (Aug. 85), as Doug Moench and Klaus Janson continue the first appearance of Black Mask.

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Roman Sionis is Black Mask, and runs a gang of criminals called the False Face Society.  Sionis places great importance on masks, and the freedom of action they allow.  As much as he is a gang leader, he is almost as much a cult leader, with the way he preaches to his men, and the sick, defacing things he has them do to themselves.

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Roman’s lover, Circe, is as much a victim of him as anyone else. I am fairly certain this relationship inspired the one between the Joker and Jerry Hall in the first Batman film, as he mars her face and makes her wear a mask, just as Sionis does with Circe.

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Even the style of mask he has her wear resembles the one from the film.

The story concludes in the next issue of Batman.

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The strip says Green Arrow, but this story belongs to Black Canary.  Cavalieri, Moore and Patterson give her a two-parter that leads to her very unpopular costume change.

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Black Canary is feeling really down on herself after losing a fight to Bonfire, an arsonist who produces her own flames.

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Green Arrow looks at the motivation behind the fires, suspecting that they have been arranged by the slumlords who own the buildings, to get the insurance.

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This half concludes with Dinah reviewing a scrapbook of her mother;’s achievements as Black Canary, and ends with her making a surprising discovery.

Detective 552 – Julia writes a story, and Dinah organizes a prison break

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Alfred is pleased as punch when Julia gets a front page story published in the newspaper, and Detective 552 (July 1985) shares her piece at length, courtesy of Doug Moench and Pat Broederick.

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It begins with a huge old tree being cut down so that a highrise can be constructed.  Julia’s investigation uncovers corruption within the construction firm behind the development.

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The story is a pretty basic one at it’s core, but the conceit of it being a newspaper article works well, and Broederick takes some dynamic risks with the art.  The fight in the cemetery works very well.

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And you have to smile at the end.  The construction project is called off after Batman busts the bad guys, and though the tree is already gone, the stump is sprouting new life.

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Oliver Queen sits in a camp with illegal immigrants as this Green Arrow chapter opens, by Cavalieri, Moore and Patterson.

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It’s a more impressive outing for Dinah Lance, actually, as she pretends to be his lawyer, smuggles in some rudimentary equipment in her clothes, and then provides the getaway vehicle.  Oliver’s driving skills seem to show that she should have been behind the wheel as well, but they get away.

The sad thing is, they really don’t achieve anything positive for the immigrants they were trying to help.

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We discover that Onyx has been trailing Oliver Queen, and his figured out that he is Green Arrow.  Because she is not a blind idiot.  People mock Clark Kent’s glasses, but Green Arrow’s beard pretty much defies the concept of a secret identity.

Detective 551 – Calendar Man aims to kill Robin, and Green Arrow gets rounded up

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Moench and Broederick contribute the middle chapter to a very good Calendar Man story in Detective 551 (June 1985).

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The Calendar Man is made a far more serious villain in this story than he had been in either of his previous ones. He has been hired, through the Monitor, to kill Robin, but is making that the climax of a series of holiday-themed crimes.

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Batman plays a nice, interactive game with Alfred and Jason, working with them to figure out what the holidays might be that Calendar Man is going to base his crimes on, but he refuses to let Jason accompany him as Robin when they go out, insisting it is simply too dangerous.

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As always, Calendar Man alters his costume and weaponry to match his crime, leaving Batman always unprepared for what the villain will throw at him.

The story concludes in the following issue of Batman.

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No costume, but at least Dinah Lance gets a supporting role in this Green Arrow story by Cavalieri, Moore and Patterson.

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The story deals withe plight of illegal immigrants from Mexico, which seems a timeless issue in the US.  They are being hidden in the basement of a church in this story, and Oliver Queen goes to help, and write about, them.  But as it turns out, that just means he gets rounded up with the rest of them when the border police come.

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Meanwhile, Onyx wonders if she can trust the guy who has been bringing her food, and hiding her and keeping her safe.  This woman has issues.

 

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