Posts tagged ‘Oliver Queen’

Detective 567 – Batman by Harlan Ellison, Green Arrow ends, and so does this blog

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Acclaimed science-fiction writer Harlan Ellison scripts the Gene Colan Batman story in Detective 567 (Oct. 86), the final issue to deal with the pre-Crisis Batman.

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It’s a hilarious read.  We follow Batman on an untypical night.  A night in which shopkeepers and old ladies are able to defend themselves.  A night where a potential mugging in a park is really just some kids running around after a concert.

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Every “crime” Batman spots turns out to be something else, and the most use he proves during the evening is holding a flashlight for a repairman.

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What I find very interesting, though, is his comment to Alfred on the last page about it being a bad night.  Usually Batman defends his eternal mission by saying that he is trying to being peace to Gotham.  But in this story, when he is not needed to do that, instead of rejoicing, relaxing or celebrating, he is miserable and depressed.

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Joey Cavalieri and Stan Woch bring Green Arrow’s series to a conclusion in this issue, as the mystery villain unmasks.  His identity is no clearer for that, but he does look scary.

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Understanding that his skull is not instantly recognizable, he helpfully explains that he was the one behind the assault on the temple, who seemingly died when he found the Book of Ages.

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But he didn’t die. He’s back.  And he’s calling himself Barricade now, for no particular reason.  Who cares, he looks cool and this final story is a big fight scene, as he takes on Green Arrow, Black Canary and Onyx.

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And that kid who had been putting up with Onyx for far too long finally looks about to get some action out of it.  Although it is odd that the series ends on these two, instead of on Oliver and Dinah.

Of the three, Black Canary is the next to appear, almost immediately, in the pages of the crossover miniseries Legends, which leads into the new Justice League.

Green Arrow does not appear at all for almost a year.  A future version of him shows up in Batman – The Dark Knight Returns, and a few months later he gets his own miniseries, the Longbow Hunters, which launches his own book.

Onyx does return as well, but not for an awfully long time.  I’m not 100% sure where and when she does return, though I will find it, but by the time of War Games, she is part of the Batman universe, working with Orpheus.

And that ends this blog!  Not that it ends me writing about DC Comics, but the media library is 97% full.

I chose to cut it off here as the next issue is a Legends crossover, and part of the post-Crisis universe.  This story falls sort of between the pre- and post- Crisis worlds, but contained the end of the Green Arrow run.

So I am starting a new blog, Babblings about DC Comics 2.  I will finish off covering Detective, and then move on to Action Comics. That had even more issues than Detective, so I am not certain I will get all the way through it in the second blog, but I’m hoping to.

 

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Detective 558 – Nocturna’s deadly spell, and Green Arrow gets dumped on by an angry parent

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The red rains buffet Gotham in Detective 558 (Jan. 86), as the Crisis stories come to a close, and a number of people hunt for Nocturna.

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Batman brings the Night Slayer’s reign of terror to a close, finally.

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But Moench and Colan spend far more of this story on the night watchman seduced away from his wife by Nocturna, who roams the city searching for her, as does Robin.  Harvey Bullock is also on the hunt, though the watchman himself is Harvey’s goal, after meeting his tormented wife.

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Seeing Nocturna’s damaged balloon hanging from the spire of Gotham’s version of the Chrysler building, he climbs to the top and sends it flying away.  Although Batman and Robin try to save him, he falls and disappears into the red rains, and Bullock is left to try to explain things to the man’s wife.

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The story ends with Batman being called by Commissioner Gordon about the Joker’s escape from Arkham, which leads Batman into the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths 2.  But not before he and Catwoman profess their love again.

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Dean Traven and Trevor Von Eeden helm this entertaining little story.

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Green Arrow hears the words of a wounded man just before he passes out, and, interpreting them as a clue, seeks out those who attacked him.

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By far the best page of the story is a bit of a digression.  Olive spills a child’s ice cream, and when he tries to pay for it, is attacked by the boy’s mother as a molestor.  The page almost feels like Giffen, and the Ambush Bug reference makes me certain that was the intent.

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The ending brings a laugh as well.  Green Arrow visits in the man in the hospital, explaining his mistaken interpretation of his words, and how he really found the attacker, all the while devouring the man’s candy.

 

Detective 555 – Batman vs Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang, and Green Arrow loses the rent

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Oh, my gosh, it’s the second half of a two-part story!  Who would ever have expected such a thing in Detective 555 (Oct. 85)?

Doug Moench and Gene Colan conclude the Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang’s crime spree in this issue.

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Despite the two Flash villains, it’s really Harvey Bullock who steals this story.  Right from the get-go, as he accidentally breaks the Bat-signal.

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Mirror Master uses a hypnotic lens on Bullock, and the villains take him with them as a hostage.

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But Bullock was only feigning, and when Batman and Robin show up, joins the fight against the bad guys, whipping Boomerang’s weapons back at him.

Technically, the next appearance of the villains is in Crisis on Infinite Earths 5, as this must happen before Mirror Master’s death.  But later continuity would make this the first outing of the second Mirror Master, Evan McCulloch, trying to pass himself off as the original.

 

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Elliot S Maggin, Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano contribute a Green Arrow story that looks and feels left over from the 70s, although not in a bad way.

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Heading out to pay his rent, Oliver Queen discovers that his money has been stolen.  Getting into Green Arrow gear, he finds some thieves, and stops them from getting away with their stolen goods – which does not include his money.

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To his good fortune, as he is booking the men he brought in, a policeman arrives with a pickpocket, who has Oliver’s stolen money.

Simple, fun, and effective.

 

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 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 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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