Posts tagged ‘Jason Todd’

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.

 

 

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Detective 561 – Jason Todd, drugs and romance, and Green Arrow and Black Canary each encounter problems

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Detective 651 (April 1986) is a fairly blatant anti-drug story, but Moench and Colan manage to pull off a tale that has its own merits.

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Jason Todd is the star of this story, as it chronicles his interest in a girl at school named Rena.

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She wants to get Jason to get high with her after school.  She never has, but the “whole gang is doing it.”  But the story keeps it about the kids themselves, and Jason gets Rena fascinated with stories of his circus days.

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With Batman’s help he tracks the source of the drugs, as Rena had told him who was bringing them to school.  And as Robin he busts the big guys, and terrifies the student.

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And as Jason Todd, he gets the girl.  Dick Grayson never pulled off anything this smooth.

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Cavalieri and Moore do an excellent job balancing the roles of Black Canary and Green Arrow throughout this storyline.

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Black Canary is cracking down on some drug smugglers down at the docks, and is doing pretty well until Steelclaw shows up and knocks her out.

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Green Arrow and Champion cross paths at a collapsing construction site. Champion saves an experimental antenna while Green Arrow saves humans, and he is not pleased about that.

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 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.

 

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.

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