Posts tagged ‘Olivia Ortega’

Detective 511 – Batman battles Mirage

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Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Frank Chiaramonte provide a full-length story in Detective 511 (Feb. 82), introducing a new villain, Mirage.

The story takes place in the immediate aftermath of the mayoral election. Hamilton Hill won, after Arthur Reeves faked photos of Batman were exposed.

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Mirage is a thief, armed with some wrist weaponry that causes hallucinations in any who look at him. He can affect individuals, or large crowds.

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Vicki Vale is at a racetrack he robs, and takes photos of him.  His effects do not show up in the pictures, an important clue for Batman to protect himself from Mirage’s powers.

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Robin is a supporting character again, giving university another shot as Dick Grayson.  But classes fail to be as interesting as the exotic woman he runs into, Dala.

Fans may recognize this name as the female accomplice/victim of the Monk back in very early Batman stories.  A number of early villains would be re-introduced in the next year.

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Arthur Reeves, upset about losing, goes to the man who backed his campaign and gave him the fake photos – Boss Thorne, recently released from Arkham.  Thorne also reveals that he leaked the undoctored photos to Olivia Ortega, which ruined Reeves’ run for mayor.  Thorne has his own game, and everyone else is just a pawn.

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Batman manages to break Mirage’s spell, and brings him down.  When I read this as a kid, I just loved this villain and eagerly awaited his return. Now, I’m not so sure what I liked, aside from the unusual costume.  Mirage would appear again from time to time, usually in groups with other villains.

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The issue ends with Bruce Wayne stepping down as the head of the Wayne Foundation, and appointing Lucius Fox to take his place. That had more or less been being built up since the moment Fox was introduced, and the position has fit him like a glove ever since.

Detective 506 – The Mannikin debuts, and Batgirl vs Iago

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Gerry Conway and Don Newton introduce a new foe for the Batman in Detective 506 (Sept 81), the Mannikin.

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Hamilton Hill and Arthur Reeves appear on a tv debate, hosted by Olivia Ortega, repeating their positions.  Neither seems like a suitable choice for mayor.

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That night Bruce heads out to a disco, and a massive model approaches fashion designer Kevin Clane, and kills him.

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Batman tries to stop the woman, who is much stronger than him.  Her costume comes off, revealing her to be in a suit of a dress dummy, a mannikin.  The Mannikin escapes.

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Seline Kyle has a nice cameo, as Batman goes to ask for her help in identifying the clothes.  Catwoman recognizes the designer as Haston.

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Batman goes to check on the designer, but the Mannikin is already there.

The story concludes next issue.

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It’s the conclusion of Batgirl’s battle with the little hunchback killer in this Burkett/Delbo/Giella story.

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The creature calls himself Iago, but there is a good deal of the Phantom of the Opera in him, as he is a composer, and believes that in killing women he gains inspiration.

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Batgirl defeats him with the oldest ploy.  Hey, could you play your music for me?  Oh,wow, that’s really good.  Just keep playing and pay no attention as I free myself from my bonds.

Detective 504 – The Joker’s rumpus room, and Gordon finds a crooked cop

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Jim Starlin’s cover is easily the best thing about Detective 504 (July 1981).

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Gerry Conway and Don Newton are the creative team on this story, which sees the Joker commit some crimes and send some clues, all to lead the Batman to a rumpus room of death.

Olivia Ortega, a reporter, makes her first appearance in Detective.  Usually she reports on the Hamilton Hill/Arthur Reeves mayoral race, but in this one she interrupts that to broadcast some clues the Joker sent to her.  Very obliging.

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The rumpus room does not live up to the way it appears on the cover, and it’s just not a big enough threat, not fun enough,to warrant being the payoff for the story.

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Batman buries the Joker in ice cream. Ha ha.  Sigh.

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Paul Kupperberg, Jose Delbo and Joe Giella give another starring role to Commissioner Gordon in this chapter of Tales of Gotham City.

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After a drug bust at a known location turns out nothing, Gordon realizes there must be a cop on the take, and the evidence points to one he has known all his life, the son of a cop Gordon used to work with.

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The boy tries to turn his back on the mob, but that just puts the two of them in deadly peril.  Gordon just keeps guilting him until he gets them out of it.

Commisioner Gordon, with the super-power of guilt.

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