Posts tagged ‘Pat Broederick’

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 550 – a tale of woe, and a tale of vengeance

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Doug Moench and Pat Broederick venture into the background of a criminal in Detective 550 (May 1985).  This type of Batman story goes all the way back to the 40s, and are clearly cautionary tales for the kids reading the books.  Even still, when done right, they work.

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Many of the usual scenes are given, abusive and negligent parents, isolation, poverty.  But the story also pretty clearly shows that it is the boy’s choices, not just his situation, that has lead him down this dark path.

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Broederick’s art works well on Batman, particularly on the last two issues, which were more about gritty reality than evocative moods.

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The story does not shy away with it’s ending. The boy chooses to jump to his death, rather than be caught by Batman, and the story follows him to hell, which is inhabited by giant spiders, it seems, and represented on the cover, sans Batman.

I probably could have done without the giant hell spiders, but otherwise a good tale.

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Arrow-Man shoots Black Canary right at the top of the second half of Alan Moore and Klaus Janson’s story.

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Green Arrow gets her to a hospital, and then spends the rest of the story tracking, and catching, the shooter.  The Olympics metaphor in the narration doesn’t work quite as well as in the first half.

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The final scene is in the hospital with Dinah, although the mentally disturbed felon from the first story makes a funny cameo.  I’m glad Black Canary got some action in the first half, as the second reduces her to just the injured girlfriend.

Detective 549 – Harvey Bullock gets the spotlight, and Black Canary finally appears

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Detective 549 (April 1985) gives Harvey Bullock a starring role in a one issue tale by Doug Moench and Pat Broederick.

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Bullock is a fan of classic movies,he has his apartment decorated with posters of them.  He envisions himself as a tough guy hero,along the lines of Bogart.  He narrates the story in a reflection of this.

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He had been in minor confrontations with some punks who hung out on his street, but when he discovers that they broke into his place, and spray painted the walls, and the posters, he goes ballistic.

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Batman is drawn by the street fight, and helps Bullock.  It’s a nice male bonding moment for the two men, pounding the crap out of some kids.

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Alan Moore scripts a 2-part Green Arrow story, beginning in this issue, with art by Klaus Janson.  The narrative voice for the two issues compares the situations occurring to events in an Olympics. It’s a good story, but not one of Alan Moore’s greats.

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Green Arrow stops a thief who seems to have some major psychological problems, which keeps him busy.

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Black Canary, making her first appearance in Green Arrow’s series since it moved to Detective, isn’t even recognized by the men she takes down.

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The villain in the story isn’t named. But as he’s an obnoxious, treacherous, murdering bastard, who doesn’t want to be called Arrow-Man, I am going to call him Arrow-Man.

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The first part ends as he sets his sights on Green Arrow and Black Canary.

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 491 – Maxie Zeus and the Golden Fleece, the origin of Jason Bard, Robin has a tail, Black Lightning shorts out, and a new job for Barbara Gordon

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The split cover for Detective 491 (June 1980) might be considered a metaphor for the variable quality of the stories it contains.

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Denny O’Neil and Don Newton contribute an excellent Maxie Zeus story.

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It begins with a Wayne Foundation scientist showing Bruce Wayne some actual gold cloth he had created – before gunmen burst in, kill him and steal the cloth.  Bruce does his best to pursue them, but most of them get away.

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Batman impersonates one of Maxie Zeus’s captured men, and goes to see him at Arkham.  Batman slips up, not knowing the plans, and Maxie knocks him out, and escapes.

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The story takes a surprising turn, as we discover that Maxie’s plan for the cloth was to give it to his daughter, Medea, as a gift.  Batman has the grace to stop this, but provide a different gift for the girl.  This is Medea’s first appearance, but she would become an integral element of Maxie Zeus’ world.

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This gets followed by another great scene.  Batman and Maxie leave the home where Medea is being raised, and have a calm conversation about Maxie’s plans, and the fact that the murder was not part of the scheme – and all the while Batman is fighting Maxie’s men.

Batman solves the murder mystery, a rival co-worker, but it’s the scenes with Maxie Zeus that stand out so much.

Maxie Zeus returns in an issue of Batman later in the year.

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Jason Bard stars in this chapter of Tales of Gotham City, as we learn his sad background, from Mike W Barr and Dan Spiegle.

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We learn that Jaosn grew up in a small town, the son of an alocholic, abusive, criminal father, and a long-suffering mother whose suffering was cut short when the father killed her.

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After being discharged from the army because of his wound, Jason became a detective, in the hopes of one day finding and apprehending his father.  He does find him, and the man is even worse than Jason remembered.  Still, he is not pleased when his father dies in a shoot out.

A really good background story for this character, and Dan Spiegle’s art is perfect for it.  I wish he had done more Jason Bard stories.

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On the weaker side of the issue, we have the Robin story, by Jack C Harris, Alex Saviuk and Vince Colletta.

I should have mentioned in the last post, that starting with the last issue, Robin notices that he, and Dick Grayson, are being followed by a mysterious man in black.  He will pop up in each story until his character is explained.

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This story deals with a killer on campus, and evidence that points to a black basketball player with anger management troubles.  Robin realizes the guy is just being framed, and finds the real killer.

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Black Lightning wakes to discover himself powerless in this second half, by Marty Pasko, Pat Broederick and Frank McLaughlin.

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I remember reading this as a kid, and expecting that this story would see the boy he was trapped with gain his powers, but nope, nothing like that.  We do learn that the voodoo queen’s big plan was this spell, that would make her son and Black Lightning equal in power.  But the spell did not give her son powers, just removed those of the hero.

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Black Lightning isn’t even very stressed about the situation, figuring that he became a hero before he got his powers anyway.

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The Batgirl story in this issue, by Cary Burkett, with art by Jose Delbo and Joe Giella, would have repercussions that lasted through Crisis on Infinite Earths and beyond.

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Crime boss General Scarr debuts, upset that Batgirl has returned to Gotham, and figuring that she will be a menace to their plans.  Apparently Batman doesn’t bother him at all, but whatever.  He has brought in a hired killer, Cormorant, to kill Batgirl.

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Meanwhile, Barbara Gordon has started a new job, as the head of social services, for the Human Research and Development Centre, which sounds very vague yet progressive.  She meets a couple of her co-workers, a handsome but rude man, Richard Bender, and an unattractive but pleasant and brilliant one, Roger Barton.

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Cormorant lures Batgirl to the roof of a building by dangling the dummy of her from a flagpole, as seen on the splash page.  He holds a little girl hostage, demanding she stand out in the open and allow herself to get shot.

We appear to see her fall to her death at the end of the story.  Obviously not, and it continues next issue.

 

Detective 490- Batman relaxes in a garden, Batgirl learns to dance, a snowy encounter, Robin takes a test and Black Lightning takes a shower

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Denny O’Neil and Don Newton being their League of Assassins war storyline to a conclusion in Detective 490 (May 1980), although it’s a bit less confrontational than the cover implies.

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Batman fights Lurk for the second time, following their encounter in a DC Special from a couple of years earlier. Lurk looks almost identical to Ra’s Al Ghul’s earlier sidekick, Ubu.  In later years, it would be established that Ubu is more of a title than a name, so Lurk would be the second Ubu, really.

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Working with the seismologist Batman freed last issue, he determines that the League’s plan is to cause an earthquake.  Checking the fault lines, Batman figures out that the goal must be a high level peace conference being held in an estate on the line.

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Batman has to fight his way in, and warns the men to leave before the earthquake hits, and is less then impressed with one religious leader who refuses to go, saying it would be bowing to terrorism.

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Ra’s Al Ghul, the Sensei and Talia only show up for the last few pages.  Talia shoot Batman with a tranquilizer, and takes him away, as his father and the Sensei have their standoff in the mansion.  It gets destroyed in the earthquake.  Though the implication is that both men have died, Ra’s Al Ghul shows up in Batman not too long down the road.  The Sensei, however, may well have died, as his next appearance is in the Deadman mini-series, set years earlier.

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The story concludes as Batman and Talia relax in a garden as she tends to his wounds.  The big battle with a bit of a let-down, but the ending is strong, if only because it is such an untypical, happy ending.

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Batgirl’s story, by Mike W Barr, John Calnan and Joe Giella, has her on the trail of someone who is trying to kill a b=famous ballet dancer.

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In order to keep an eye on the potential victim, Barbara goes undercover as a ballerina.  Probably wise, as the murder attempts just keep coming.

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The story has a sadly ironic resolution, as the wannabe killer is revealed as the ballet master’s son, who felt his father was keeping him out of the spotlight.  The father is devastated – he was planning to retire that night, and make his son the main dancer.

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Bob Rozakis and George Tuska craft an excellent Tales of Gotham City in this issue.  There is no talking, but the narrative relates a radio interview with a policeman about how women need to keep safe and know how to protect themselves.  As we read this, we watch a woman struggling to drive during a snowstorm.  Her car gets stuck, and she sees a shadowy man approach.

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The story has a happy ending – the man is a police officer – but it’s great to see that the woman is shown capable and prepared to defend herself.

So a good story, if not a really “Gotham”-y story.

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Jack C Harris, Alex Saviuk and John Calnan put Robin into the middle of an exam nightmare in this issue.

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After a teacher finds evidence that some students had the exam questions before the test, he announces that there will be second exam, the first was invalid.  Jennifer comes to tell Dick, and almost catches him in his Robin gear.  Perhaps he should change out of it before sleeping.

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The professor himself turns out to be the bad guy, selling the exam results for extra money.  Perhaps not a ground-breaking story, but certainly a realistic, university-based tale.

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Black Lighting, who had not been seen since an issue of World’s Finest the previous year, begins a short run in Detective with this issue.  Marty Pasko, Pat Broederick and Frank McLaughlin are teh creative team as high school teacher Jefferson Pierce dons his costume again to help another student.

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The story is a curious one.  It begins with the student kidnapped out of the school showers.

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The trail leads him to drug dealing gangs, and an aging voodoo queen, but even still, Black Lightning cannot make any sense of their actions.

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But the voodoo queen knows what she is doing, even if no one else does.  The story ends with an electrocuted Black Lightning and the student trapped together.

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