Posts tagged ‘Lori Elton’

Detective 483 – Maxie Zeus debuts, Human Target begins, Batgirl goes on a date, the Demon returns to Castle Branek, Robin wipes up MAZE and a kangaroo race

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Denny O’Neil and Don Newton bring back Leslie Thompkins in this follow-up Crime Alley story, which also serves to introduce the new villain Maxie Zeus.

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It’s once again the anniversary of the deaths of his parents, and Batman heads to Crime Alley, where he once again comes to the aid of Leslie Thompkins.  This story is the first to raise the notion that the deaths of the Waynes affected the entire city, sent it into a decline.

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Batman gets word that crime boss Maxie Zeus is having men spread poison gas through an entire apartment building in Crime Alley, just to kill one man, and Batman sets out to stop them.

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He does so, saving the innocents, as well as the man Zeus intended to kill.  Leslie still hasn’t pieced together that Batman is Bruce Wayne, but her dialogue hints that she isn’t too far from the secret.

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The ending warns Maxie Zeus that Batman is coming for him, which happens next issue.  Although not much is done with Maxie Zeus in this first story, it helps build him as a powerful threat to be faced.

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Christopher Chance, the Human Target, has his back-up series move from the Brave and the Bold to this book,a result of the DC Implosion.  Christopher Chance works as a bodyguard/impersonator.  If someone has threatened your life,he will take on your identity and flush out the wannabe killer.

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In this story, by Len Wein, Howard Chaykin and Dick Giordano, he takes on the identity of a Hollywood actor, after a number of incidents on a film set lead him to believe someone is trying to kill him.

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It’s not hard to solve this one, there is really only one viable suspect, but the story is fun is the art is great.

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Batgirl faces off against some homegrown terrorists in this story by Bob Rozakis, Bob Oskner and Vince Colletta.

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After rounding up part of the gang, she gets asked out on a date by a soldier, who had first met her when she battled Madame Zodiac in the Pentagon, in a late issue of Batman Family.  Barbara agrees, but the date quickly turns into a farce.

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The evening lurches from disaster to disaster, and though it is terrible for the two on the date, it’s certainly entertaining for the reader.

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Just as the silliness threatens to outlast its welcome, Batgirl is reminded of something the terrorists said, and realizes they are going to attack Washington Monument that night.  She and her soldier boy wind up working together to round up the remainder of the gang, so the date is a success after all.

What I really appreciate in this story is that, with the date plot, it’s basically a romantic story, but it does not weaken Barbara, or put her in a subservient position to the soldier in any way.

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Steve Ditko takes over the art for the rest of Len Wein’s Demon story, as Etrigan faces off against Baron Tyme.

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Baron Tyme fills in his story between the events of Man-Bat and now.  When he vanished in that book, he was drawn into a nether realm, which allows him great knowledge, but is a torture to his body, which is trapped between dimensions.  With the Eternity Book, he intends to open Merlin’s tomb in Castle Branek, and use him to return completely to this world.

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The story brings back the town’s inspector, who looks straight out of a Frankenstein movie.  The Demon attempts to reach Merlin’s tomb before Tyme does, but does not succeed.

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Tyme uses the Eternity Book to force Etrigan to transform back into Jason Blood, and then traps him, as he prepares to open the tomb.

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Robin’s long battle with MAZE comes to an end in this story by Bob Rozakis and Kurt Schaffenberger.

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The leader of MAZE has brought all his members together, which turns out to be a good thing for Robin and the police, as they bust in.  Raven flees, and Card Queen shows her true colours, betraying MAZE and helping to bring them down.

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Card Queen is revealed to be Duela Dent, in yet another identity.  This (and last issue) are her first appearances since the break-up of the Teen Titans.  She would not appear again until the wedding of Donna Troy in New Teen Titans.

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But the story is not yet over. Dick confronts Lori Elton and her new boyfriend, who Dick reveals to be the Raven. As the guy tries to fight back, and loses, Dick goes on to explain a number of dangling plot threads, bringing this long tale to a satisfactory, if sad, conclusion.

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The final, silent, page is quite powerful.  Lori attempts to return to Dick, but he rebuffs her.  As he walks away from the rest of the students, he looks stronger, and more like a man, than at any time before.

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The final story in this issue, by Denny O’Neil, Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin, was intended to be one of the “Public Life of Bruce Wayne” stories that ran in the back pages of Batman, until the DC Implosion ended that.

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It’s silly, but entertaining, and sort of clever.  Knowing that an Australian hit man has come to Gotham, Bruce Wayne finances a kangaroo race in the city, in order to draw him out.

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Once he has spotted the man, he follows him as Batman, finds the men who hired them, and rounds them all up.

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There is also a nice pin-up on the back page of the current Batman family, with Batgirl, Robin, Alfred and Commissioner Gordon.

 

 

Detective 451 – Molly Post returns, and Robin ends

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A great Giordano cover for Detective 451 (Sept. 75), although not really connected to the Denny O’Neil/Ernie Chan story.

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Molly Post, the professional skier who aided Batman against Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassins in the pages of Batman a few years earlier returns. Her experiences have left her traumatized, and incapable of handling violence – which manifests by having her whack Batman over the head with a champagne bottle while he is fighting with an actual criminal.  It’s really a shame.  Molly was a strong character reduced to a whimperer in this tale, champagne bottle notwithstanding.

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As it turns out, she is also the intended victim in the criminal plot. Good thing she didn’t hit Batman too hard, cause he’s the one who saves her.

This is Molly’s last appearance, which is probably a good thing.

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Bob Rozakis, Al Milgrom and Terry Austin conclude Robin’s series, and the Parking Lot Bandit story, in this issue.  Robin and McDonald lay a trap for the bandit.

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And he falls into it.  With him out of the way, Robin nails the man who framed him, having his own secretary robbed, so that he could steal money from his company’s safe.

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The case solved, Dick Grayson and Lori Elton ride off on his bike.  She asks what he wants to do that evening.  And the last panel is an inset close-up of Dick’s face.  Now seriously, there is really only one thing Dick is thinking about, right?  And are we meant to read this ending as just sexual frustration?  No, this is included, therefore significant.

Which means, as far as I am concerned, that Dick Grayson loses his virginity (aside from some likely fooling around with Betty Kane) to Lori Elton following this story.

His series also moves to Batman Family, bringing Lori and Chief McDonald with him.  Dick and Lori’s relationship would last the duration of that book, and they would return to the pages of Detective when the two series merged after the DC Implosion.

Detective 450 – Batman gets waxed, and Robin chases the Parking Lot Bandit

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There is one really great moment in the Batman story from Detective 450 (Aug. 75), but despite Walt Simonson’s art, Elliot S! Maggin’s story is not structured as well as it might be.

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A professional hit men gets hired to acquire Batman’s cape and cowl, not to kill him, and we follow how he lures Batman to a wax museum and into a pouring chamber.

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He explains to Batman that he has no interest in Batman’s identity, he simply wants the cape and cowl and will allow him to leave safely.  Remarkably, he gets the garb he wants.

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Bringing it back to the man who hired him, he asks what the man wants it for.  The man insists he will trade for that, demanding to know how the hit man pulled off a recent murder.  After that, we discover, in the best moment of the tale, that Batman was the one who hired the hit man to get his cape and cowl, it was all a big set-up.

But then the story has a few more pages of them fighting, which seems extraneous.  The revelation scene was strong enough to be the ending to the story.

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Dick Grayson’s girlfriend, Lori Elton, is introduced in this story about a serial thief who prays on people in parking lots, stealing their keys and then robbing their homes.

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Bob Rozakis, Al Milgrom and Terry Austin are the creative team on this story, which takes an interesting twist.  Robin is working with police chief Frank McDonald on the case, and almost captures the thief, when his wig falls off.

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Because the thief was not wearing a wig in an earlier encounter, Robin is inclined to believe the note he receives at the end of the story, from the Parking Lot Bandit, insisting he is being framed for a robbery he did not commit.

The story concludes next issue.

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