Posts tagged ‘Julia Pennyworth’

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 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 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 547 – Batman and Night Slayer trade costumes, and Onyx arrives in Star City

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Ok, first off, nothing even remotely like the image on the cover occurs in Detective 547 (Feb. 85).  Doug Moench, Pat Broederick and Klaus Janson tell a story that is very much just another chapter in Batman’s soap opera life.

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Julia has warmed up enough to Alfred now that she tells him she is changing her last name to Pennyworth.

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Nocturna and Robin are out on patrol together, and run into the Night Slayer, wearing Batman’s outfit.  Batman is running around in the Night Slayer costume.  That all happened in the pages of Batman.  Overall, it seems that, during this period, most things begin, end, or happen, in the pages of Batman, as Detective stories carry the plot from one event to another.

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Cavalieri, Moore and Patterson continue their story about Vengeance, the man who looks and acts just like Vigilante, in this Green Arrow story.

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Onyx arrives in Star City, and shows herself capable of surviving the streets of the big city.

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The “crime” that Vengeance is out to avenge deals with events back from the VietNam War, and a messed up, guilt-ridden vet is the target.  So we definitely side with Green Arrow.

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 538 – is the Cat-Man costume magic?, and Green Arrow, three years ago

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Doug Moench and Gene Colan take the second half of this Cat-Man 2-parter in an interesting direction in Detective 538 (May 1984).

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Thomas Blake, the Cat-Man was defeated by Batman in the first half of this story, but the news was spread that he had won, because of his costume.  This is all done in order to get a fellow con to lead Batman to where he stored his loot.

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Thomas Blake has a small role, in protective custody with Harvey Bullock, but the man in cat suit for this story is Collins.

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With Batman tailing, Collins breaks into Blake’s apartment, steals the suit, and heads out for his loot.  he takes crazy risks, because he believes in the suit’s magic, and Batman has to save his life, repeatedly, without being spotted, to keep the con going.

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Collins leads Batman to his loot, in a cave, but a collapse opens a tunnel and Collins winds up in the Batcave.  He and Batman fight on the dinosaur and giant penny, as Alfred tries to explain the sounds to Julia, who has recently moved into Wayne Manor.

Collins is captured, and Batman explains the con, but Collins still believes it was the suit that saved his life, and lead him to the Batcave.

Thomas Blake returns as Cat-Man in a couple of years.  Collins is not seen again, doubtlessly shanked in prison by Blake.

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Shawn McManus is now on the pencils for Green Arrow, with Pablo Marcos doing inks, and just in time as Joey Cavalieri tells a poignant story, reflecting back on a dead friend of Oliver Queen.

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The story is split on each page, with the present, as Green Arrow hunts and captures gun runners, on the top.  On the bottom is the story of Oliver and his pop star musician friend.

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When I first read this, when it came out, I couldn’t see any connection at all between the two stories, and it sort of irritated me, until I hit the page above, and realized that the pop star was meant to be John Lennon, and the upper story about the ease with which illegal guns are available in the US.

 

 

Detective 536 – Julia and Deadshot, down in the sewers

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As with last issue, Moench and Colan conclude another 2-parter in Detective 536 (March 1984), this one with Deadshot as the villain.

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The story also serves as part of the build-up of the new villain, Dr. Fang.

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Alfred’s daughter Julia is at the centre of this story, and her relationships with Alfred and Jacques Reamrque, the man who raised her, and who is now in danger. Deadshot was caught last issue, but breaks free and makes another attempt on Remarque in this story.

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Julia heads down into the sewers in search of Jacques, but simply becomes a hostage for Deadshot.  Colan is the perfect artist for creepy sewers.

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Batman comes to the rescue, of course, jamming Deadshot’s gun with a really impressive throw.

I should maybe mention that Green Arrow’s back-ups have continued through these past issues.  For three of them he dealt with survivalists on a rampage, and for the last few issues was dealing with punk bikers, as well as the return of Ozone and the end of the Z.Z.Z. story.  Rick shows up for the climax of that plot.

It’s all very mediocre though, and the villains look like they are dressed for a night of clubbing.  A low point for the character.

 

Detective 532 – The Joker’s theme park

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The middle chapter to a three-part Joker story, Detective 532 (Nov. 83) is still an enjoyable read, with Batman and Vicki Vale at the Joker’s mercy, by Doug Moench and Gene Colan.

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The Joker has joined forces with Central American revolutionaries, although he treats them no better than any others he works with.

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He has grand plans to turn the entire nation into a murderous theme park, but has already begun construction, on a smaller scale.

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The story cuts back to Gotham for a scene, as Alfred brings dinner to Julia Remarque, who has finally been told that she is really Alfred’s daughter.  Their relationship had continued tense until now, but gets warmer and more familial.

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Batman gets strapped to a Joker-rollercoaster of death.  This is an excellent example of a great Joker trap.  Crazy, scary, and with his face plastered on it.  Batman manages to survive, of course, but it makes it fun to watch.

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And once Batman gets Vicki Vale untied from the tracks, she shows herself no mere hostage, grabbing one of the revolutionaries guns and going to town.

The story began int he previous Batman, and ends in the succeeding one.

Detective 502 – big news for Alfred, and Batgirl vs Dr Voodoo

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Gerry Conway and Don Newton conclude their revelatory story in Detective 502 (May 1981), as we learn what really happened to Mademoiselle Marie.

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Batman discovers a woman who nursed Marie after she got shot, and we learn that Julia is her daughter, she was pregnant by some mysterious man.  But as she lay in her stupor, she kept repeating Alfred’s name.

And that has been used by a man Julia knew since childhood as proof that Alfred was the one who betrayed Marie.

What?  I mean, really?  I can think of a far different reason Marie would be saying his name, but I guess we are meant to understand that Julia has been told this her entire life.

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Anyway, once the cat is out of the bag, Batman has little trouble convincing Julia that she has been lied to, and that that the traitor was the man who told her Alfred was guilty.

Lucius stands around a lot in this one, largely irrelevant as the story played out.

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And Julia is left wondering why Marie kept calling Alfred’s name.  Sigh.  Alfred clearly knows.  Batman knows.  I know.  YOU’RE HIS DAUGHTER!.

Geez.

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Batgirl’s fight with Dr. Voodoo concludes in this story by Cary Burkett, Jose Delbo and Joe Giella.

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Batgirl gets free from Dr. Voodoo’s trap, but his men have kidnapped Tracy (hostage girl, as I like to call her).  Batgirl has to find Voodoo’s lair.  Which isn’t too hard.

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And she does, and whups Voodoo, and frees Tracy, who is so used to this now she wasn’t even scared.

I recall lamenting as a teen that of all the Batman Family series, this was the one that got kept when Detective shrank back to normal size.

 

Detective 501 – the shared secrets of Alfred and Lucius Fox, and Dr. Voodoo returns

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When I first saw the cover for Detective 501 (April 1981), I thought it was silly.  Alfred had been around forever, Lucius Fox had only been introduced a year earlier.  But Gerry Conway and Don Newton took the story somewhere I never expected.

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Both men receive letters that leave them shocked – and both when Bruce Wayne is there to see it. Making lame excuses, both men leave and fly off to France, with Batman following.

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We discover that both Alfred and Lucius were involved with the French underground, Alfred through British intelligence, and Lucius as an American soldier.  They both worked with Mademoiselle Marie.

A French resistance fighter, Mademoiselle Marie had  had a short-lived series in Star-Spangled War Stories in the late 50s, and from then on was a regular guest star in the various DC war books.

Marie had died towards the end of the war, betrayed to the Germans.

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Julia Remarque leads the group of aging fighters and their children, who accuse Alfred of being the traitor.

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Dr. Voodoo returns in this Cary Burkett/Jose Delbo/Joe Giella tale, and it’s much better than his first outing against Batgirl.

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Dr. Voodoo is out for revenge against Batgirl, and uses magic, as well as physical violence, to mess with those close to her.  He blows up (but does not kill) poor Jeff from the garage where she stores her bike.

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He also uses his magic to make Jim be difficult and insulting to Barbara on the phone.  Finally, after stressing her to the max, Voodoo attacks Batgirl.

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