Posts tagged ‘Pablo Marcos’

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 528 – the Savage Skull returns, and Green Arrow v Ozone

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Doug Moench continues the return of the Savage Skull, the cop killer who had only appeared in Batman up to this point, in Detective 528 (July 1983), with art by Gene Colan and Klaus Janson.

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Mayor Hamilton Hill brought Harvey Bullock back onto the force in the last Batman, and Commissioner Gordon goes to complain to him in this story, not realizing that the reason the mayor brought Bullock in was to annoy Gordon.

Bullock is quite a bit different than his first appearance in these pages in the mid-70s.  While his anti-Batman attitude is intact, he is slovenly, and does not appear a completely honest cop.

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The mayor’s task is made easier when more dead police show up, despite Gordon, and Batman, insisting the Savage Skull was dead.  Harvey goes to track him on his own, and finds the killer.

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Harvey is almost killer by the Skull, but Gordon intervenes and saves him.  Gordon had not trusted Bullock, and had been following him.  Batman also shows up, on the trail on his own, and defeats the Savage Skull.

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Things seem patched up between Bullock and Gordon, until Bullock holds a press conference, lying about the capture of the Skull and denouncing Gordon.

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Green Arrow shoots his way out of this deadly situation with a rope arrow, thanks to Joey Cavalieri, Paris Cullins and Pablo Marcos.

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Green Arrow discovers that Ozone is somehow connected to a secret government science agency, Z.Z.Z.  Rick knows more about this organization than Oliver, although how much he is connected is not clear.

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Ozone continues on his merry way, stealing at will.

The story does continue.  Just in case you thought it ended that way.

 

Detective 527 – Man-Bat attacks, and Green Arrow meets Ozone

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Doug Moench begins his run on Detective Comics with issue 527 (June 1983).  Dan Day does the pencils, with Pablo Marcos on inks.

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Day’s art is exceptional, and I wonder why he didn’t do more that I know of.  Kirk Langstrom has gone back to work at the natural history museum, but gets so into his job that he forgets to take the medication that prevents him from turning into Man-Bat.  So guess what, he does.

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In his Man-Bat state, he imagines Batman to be responsible for his daughter, Rebecca, having inherited his sonic senses (Man-Bat logic is not too far from Bizarro logic), and seeks him out.  Not finding him in the Batcave, he heads up the stairs and into Alfred, who has a brief but enjoyable fight with the creature.

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Later, Batman gets involved in the fight, as does the chandelier.

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The fight keeps going, back down the stairs and into the cave.  Jason Todd leaps in, providing a convenient victim for Man-Bat to fly away with.

The next couple of years will see a huge degree of integration between Detective and Batman, so many stories, like this one, will only have one part in Detective, and the other in Batman.  Which is to say, I won’t be covering the resolution to this story in my next post.

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Paris Cullins and Pablo Marcos  go all 80s in this Joey Cavalieri Green Arrow story.

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The villain, Ozone, has a variety of spray cans that facilitate his thefts and escapes, and a style that went out before it was ever in.

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Rick comes to visit Oliver Queen at the Daily Star, bringing him a police band radio he built, which conveniently broadcasts Ozone’s latest crime.  Oliver makes  Rick a copy boy, so that he can continue to give him wonderful toys.

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Ozone’s spray cans usually stray out something destructive or escape enhancing, but they seem to be pretty powerful on their own, as Green Arrow discovers.

 

Detective 522 – Batman chases the Snowman, and Hi Tek toys with Green Arrow

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Gerry Conway, Irv Novick and Pablo Marcos bring back the Snowman, Klaus Krispin, in Detective 522 (Jan. 83).

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Krispin had appeared in an issue of Batman a couple of years earlier. Batman believed him dead, but Bruce sees a picture of him in the Himilayas, while visiting Vicki Vale at her new job as editor at Picture News.

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Batman is on his trail, but so are others.  And to Batman’s surprise, Krispin not only shows no interest in trying to kill him, he actually saves Batman’s life at one point.  Still, Batman keeps on his trail.

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It’s only in the last few pages that Krispin changes into his Snowman form, and battles Batman.  He is heading home to die, and will not let Batman stop that.

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A sad story, but good to see the character brought back, if only to be killed off.

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Some excellent art by Trevor Von Eeden on Joey Cavalieri’s Green Arrow story in this issue.

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Hi Tek has Green Arrow running rampant, but although the villain seems immensely powerful, he doesn’t seem to have any clearly defined goals.

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Tracing his signal back, Green Arrow discovers that Hi Tek is actually a 15 year old boy.  He’s more of a wanna be do gooder with a sense of fun than a villainous hacker, and Arrow immediately takes to the boy.

Detective 461 – Captain Stingaree, part 2, and Tim Trench ends

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While the Batman story in Detective 461 (July 1976) is not bad, there simply isn’t much to this middle chapter in the Bob Rozakins/Mike Uslan/Ernie Chan/Frank McLaughlin saga.

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With no explanation about the captured Batman from the end of last issue, this story again has Stingaree’s men luring Batman into a trap.  Batman and Stingaree fight.  There is a space of time between Batman being defeated, and Stingaree approaching his body.

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And another unmasking, and again, it’s not Bruce Wayne.

The story concludes next issue.

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Tim Trench gets his second, and final, case in this story by Denny O’Neil, Pablo Marcos and Al Milgrom.

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It’s another story straight out of a film noir, with Tim being asked to guard some money, and winding up with a corpse on his hands.

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There’s some creativity with the violence in this one, but otherwise, it just feels old and characterless.

While Tim Trench would never again get a series, he would make rare appearances over the years.  He next pops up during Mark Millar’s run on Swamp Thing in the 90s.

Detective 460 – Captain Stingaree and Tim Trench debut

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Captain Stingaree is introduced in an unusual three-part story, by Bob Rozakis and Michael Uslan, with art by Ernie Chan and Frank McLaughlin.

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Stingaree opens the trilogy by explaining, to a roomful of dummies, that Batman is really three men working together.  Since we readers know he is wrong, the roomful of dummies just helps emphasize how nutty he is.

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We, and Bruce Wayne, get to see the Captain in his civilian life as well.  He wears the same outfit, as he operates a club on a restored old pirate ship.

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Stingaree has a squad of hoodlums working for him, and they lure Batman.  Stingaree and Batman fight, both getting knocked out by sleeping gas.

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As the story ends, Stingaree revives, and binds the still sleeping Batman.  He unmasks him – and it’s not Bruce Wayne.

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Tim Trench, a minor supporting character from Wonder Woman a few years earlier, gets his own series with this issue, by Denny O’Neil, Pablo Marcos and Al Milgrom.

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Trench is operating out of St. Louis in this story, and seems far more down on his luck than he did a couple of years earlier.  The story is very film noir, with a shady dame and diamond.

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The story is tight, the clues are there.  But there really isn’t much to the detective.  Tim feels fairly generic.

Detective 459 – a mystery writer’s murder, and Man-Bat ends

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Marty Pasko and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez craft a decent whodunnit in Detective 459 (May 1976), but unfortunately it really has little connection to Ernie Chan’s cover.

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The story deals with a successful mystery novelist, whose books always have a trademark “clue before dying.”  He is wealthy, successful arrogant, hated, and fairly obviously going to be the victim.

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His body is found, along with a clue left before dying.  But was the clue really his, or a distraction by the killer?

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Some good action scenes, and a solid mystery that plays fair.

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The concluding half of the Man-Bat story, also by Pasko, with art by Pablo Marcos, has the villain trying to draw supernatural energy off of Man-Bat and She-Bat.  Up to now, there had never been anything supernatural ascribed to them, and though by and large the Man-Bat stories would stay in the realm of the scientific, occasionally he would be portrayed as something magical.

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Much of this story has Kirk fighting the bad guy, both in human form, and as a demon.  It’s not clear which of the two forms is the villains true nature.

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Kirk manages to defeat him, and frees Francine, restoring her to human form.  The Langstroms return a year down the road, when Man-Bat gets a series in Batman Family.

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