Posts tagged ‘Harvey Bullock’

Detective 533 – Barbara saves her father

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In Detective 533 (Dec. 83), Doug Moench and Gene Colan give Barbara Gordon her best, non-costumed, role to date.

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Commissioner Gordon is in the hospital after suffering a heart attack a couple issues earlier, in the pages of Batman.  It was brought on largely by thirty years of smoking cigars, but happened while he was arguing with Harvey Bullock, so Bullock blames himself.

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Four ex-cons decide to invade the hospital and murder Gordon.  Barbara contacts the police, who alert Batman, but spends much of the story hiding her father, and doing her best to keep him safe and alive.

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Yes, Batman beats them up, and Bullock helps as well, but Barbara is the unsung heroine of the story.  It’s kind of sad that she is given far more emotional and impressive action in this story than she had in her own back-up series.

 

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 441 – Batman faces judgement, and Manhunter goes to church

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Jim Aparo does the cover again, for Detective 441 (June/July 1974), but the Archie Goodwin Batman story inside has art by Howard Chaykin.

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This story also features the debut of Harvey Bullock, a Gotham police lieutenant who is not impressed with Batman or his methods at all.  His role is quite small, just at the top of the story, the set-up that leads Batman to the house where he faces Robin’s kidnapper.  Bullock would not appear again for almost 10 years, but eventually become a solid supporting cast member for Batman.

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The bulk of the story has Batman in a trap-filled house, facing a self-appointed judge who has passed sentence on Batman, blaming him for his daughter’s blindness as the result of a mugging, which he failed to prevent.

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The daughter does not blame Batman, and tries to stop her father.  Unwittingly, she succeeds when her blindness leads her in to one of the traps, which kills her.  Heart-broken, her father gives up to Batman.

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This issue contains absolutely the best chapter of Goodwin and Simonson’s Manhunter saga, taking place entirely within a crumbling church in Istanbul.  Every person I know who loves this series, picks this chapter as the high point.

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Using information from Damon, Paul Kirk and Christine St. Clair come to Istanbul to infiltrate a gathering of the Council, but what makes this tale great is the American tourist family, exploring the same church at the same time, completely oblivious to the other plot.

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We see that all is not well with the outer members of the Council, who find there always seem to be reasons to keep them out of the precious inner circle.  Christine St. Clair’s father is also introduced, a high ranking member of the outer circle, encouraged to stop his daughter’s investigations.

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Of the tourist family, only the boy sees the battle that occurs between Manhunter and his clones.

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The story has such a great ending, as the boy saves Paul with his toy gun, and his clueless parents drag him away, complaining that all churches are the same.

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