Posts tagged ‘Hamilton Hill’

Detective 546 – Hamilton Hill raises the stakes, and Onyx debuts

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Things are spiraling downward quickly for Hamilton Hill in Detective 546 (Jan. 85), as Doug Moench and Gene Colan detail the mayor’s desperate actions.

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After a confrontation with Batman, and in danger of having his schemes exposed, Hamilton Hill calls a press conference to announce that Batman attacked him for no reason, and orders the police to arrest him.

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So Batman is once again forced to battle the police.  He’s used to it, and good at it, but it’s never the ideal situation.

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The Night Slayer continues to use the blind girl, Tina, who still thinks he is Batman.  Nocturna takes Jason Todd out, and attempts to justify her life of getting men to steal for her, but her tortured reasoning does not impress the boy.  Her guilt trips and tears are more effective.

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After another sniper takes a shot at Harvey Bullock, he goes to confront Mayor Hill on his games and lies.  Hill pulls out a gun and shoots Bullock.

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Jerome K Moore and Bruce Patterson join Joey Cavalieri on this tale, which sees Olive Queen attending a high school reunion.

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He feels very awkward and out of place until a vigilante bursts in, aiming to kill one of the alumni with criminal ties.  Oliver defeats him, but once cannot help but notice how very similar the character’s costume (and motivation) are to the recently introduced Vigilante, Adrian Chase.

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Be that as it may, the more important thing in the story is the final page, which introduces a young woman in a place of retreat.  One of her mentors is dying, but before he does, he gives her the codename Onyx, and the mission to find Oliver Queen.

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 528 – the Savage Skull returns, and Green Arrow v Ozone

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Doug Moench continues the return of the Savage Skull, the cop killer who had only appeared in Batman up to this point, in Detective 528 (July 1983), with art by Gene Colan and Klaus Janson.

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Mayor Hamilton Hill brought Harvey Bullock back onto the force in the last Batman, and Commissioner Gordon goes to complain to him in this story, not realizing that the reason the mayor brought Bullock in was to annoy Gordon.

Bullock is quite a bit different than his first appearance in these pages in the mid-70s.  While his anti-Batman attitude is intact, he is slovenly, and does not appear a completely honest cop.

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The mayor’s task is made easier when more dead police show up, despite Gordon, and Batman, insisting the Savage Skull was dead.  Harvey goes to track him on his own, and finds the killer.

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Harvey is almost killer by the Skull, but Gordon intervenes and saves him.  Gordon had not trusted Bullock, and had been following him.  Batman also shows up, on the trail on his own, and defeats the Savage Skull.

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Things seem patched up between Bullock and Gordon, until Bullock holds a press conference, lying about the capture of the Skull and denouncing Gordon.

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Green Arrow shoots his way out of this deadly situation with a rope arrow, thanks to Joey Cavalieri, Paris Cullins and Pablo Marcos.

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Green Arrow discovers that Ozone is somehow connected to a secret government science agency, Z.Z.Z.  Rick knows more about this organization than Oliver, although how much he is connected is not clear.

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Ozone continues on his merry way, stealing at will.

The story does continue.  Just in case you thought it ended that way.

 

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 513 – A Two-Faced Batman

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Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Frank Chiaramonte conclude a Two-Face story begun in Batman in Detective 513 (April 1982).

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Batman, captured by Two-Face, has been missing for days. Vicki Vale goes to Wayne Manor, revealing her belief that Batman is Bruce Wayne to Alfred and Dick, who just sort of look embarrassed for her, and she leaves.

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Batman’s absence has the city in a panic.  Hamilton Hill goes to consult with Boss Thorne, but he is not at all upset or concerned, happy to have him out of the way.

On the other hand, he is not happy to start seeing Hugo Strange’s ghost again.

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Everyone is wondering where Batman is. Even Jim Gordon, who has taken to hanging out on park benches now that he has resigned as commissioner.  Barbara tries to convince him to do something other than feed birds.

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And where is Batman, anyway?  Being held in a cage by Two-Face.  He is content to keep him there, no torture or anything, and his people provide food.

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Robin gets the action in this one, tracking Two-Face down.  But bythe time he arrives Batman is already free, thanks to Two-Face himself. Batman has used the food he has been given to make a mask for himself, expecting it to freak out Harvey.  Two-Face breaks the glass to free his double, and Batman takes him down.

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.

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