Posts tagged ‘Shayera Hol’

Detective 500 – 4 Batman stories, two of them team-ups, scads of detectives, and Elongated Man and Hawkman end

tec_500

Many anniversary issue build themselves up as being something really special, but few live up to their promise.  Detective 500 (March 1981) is one of the rare ones.  It’s not all gold, but enough of it is.

tec_500_001

The first story, by Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano, bring us to a parallel world, where a new Batman is about to be born.

tec_500_002

The Phantom Stranger brings Batman and Robin to this world, seemingly so that Bruce will have the opportunity to prevent his parents’ deaths.

tec_500_003

They find this world similar, but different.  James Gordon is still just a lieutenant, and Barbara , though a librabrian, is his fiancee, not his daughter.  Bruce is hunting for information on Joe Chill, while Dick discovers that this is a world with no heroic legends, no caped heroes, nothing to inspire heroism.

tec_500_004

Observing the Waynes, we see that Bruce is hardly a baby hero, more like a rich spoiled brat, but Batman is blind to this.

tec_500_005

Batman’s pursuit of Joe Chill, who on this world is not even from Gotham, and just arriving in the city, brings him into conflict with Gordon, but Batman manages to convince him that they are friends on another world.

tec_500_006

His search for Chill has raised such flags that the man is murdered by the Gotham mobs.  Batman learns that the planned murder of the Waynes is happening sooner than he expected – he had not counted the extra days from leap years.

tec_500_007

Robin, who has been watching the Waynes, sees the murder about to occur, and struggles within himself, thinking that is might be meant to be; but Batman swoops in saves the day, his parents, and himself.

tec_500_008

The Phantom Stranger takes the heroes back to their own world, and they are left to wonder what will become of Bruce, but the reader gets to see the impact the attempted murder had, and that even with his parents alive, young Bruce is on the road to becoming Batman.

Sadly, this is not a parallel world we ever visit again.

tec_500_009

Slam Bradley gets the billing, but this story, a re-write of a Batman tale from the 40s, by Len Wein and Jim Aparo, is pretty much a free for all with a vast line-up of detectives.

They are all at a celebration for an older detective, who gets murdered in front of them.

tec_500_010

The original version of this story has Batman working with a number of detective based on famous fictional ones from the era.  This story brings Slam Bradley, Jason Bard, Captain Compass, Mysto, Pow-Wow Smith, the Human Target and Roy Raymond together on the case.

For Captain Compass, Mysto, Pow-Wow Smith and Slam Bradley, this the first time the character appeared since the end of their own series.

tec_500_011

There are leads in a number of directions, which allow the detectives to split up and pursue them in smaller groups.  The story gives everyone at least one moment to shine, and they wind up stopping a number of bad guys.

tec_500_012

Slam suspects there is more to the case, and it’s Roy Raymond who provides the real solution, that this was an elaborate suicide, designed to prompt the men to tidy up some hanging cases of his.

tec_500_013

Jason Bard and the Human Target both return in the pages of Detective within the next couple of years, while Roy Raymond pops up in DC Comics Presents.  Many of the rest have their next, and final, appearances in Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Slam Bradley returns a little after Crisis, returning to the pages of Detective for one story.

tec_500_014

The next story in the issue is a wonderful 2-pager, by Len Wein and Walt Simonson, that uses Snoopy’s “It was a dark and stormy night…” as it’s text.  Clever, and visually gorgeous.

tec_500_015

The Elongated Man gets his final solo story in this book, by Mike W Barr and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.  As well as being a decent mystery story on its own, it delves into the facts around the death of Edgar Allen Poe.

tec_500_016

Chiefly, the identity of the mysterious “Reynolds” that Poe called out for shortly before dying.  The story has to do with a letter explaining who Reynolds was, and leading to an unpublished magazine by Poe.

tec_500_017

Garcia-Lopez’s art is great, and Ralph and Sue are always fun to read about.

tec_500_018

One of his best mysteries, this is also the Elongated Man’s last solo story until his miniseries in the 90s.

tec_500_019

On the downside of the issue, there is this text story by Walter Gibson, with some scattered art by Tom Yeates.  I recall reading this as a kid, but not finding it particularly memorable.  And I dislike text stories like this in comics.  If I’m going to read a book, I’ll read a book.  I read comics for the visuals.

tec_500_020

Hawkman also has his last solo story in Detective in this issue.  Well, kind of a solo, really he and Hawkgirl get equal roles.

tec_500_021

Paul Levitz and Joe Kubert helm this tale, that sees Katar and Shayera trying to solve the mystery of the death of a scientist many years earlier.

tec_500_022

There’s some great Kubert art, and the story itself is not bad, but it’s a bit of a tease.

tec_500_023

At the end, Hawkman reveals that the scientist whose death they were investigating was Dr. Erdel, who had died after bringing the Martian Manhunter to Earth.  J’onn had blamed himself, and Hawkman wanted proof that it was not J’onn’s fault.

Hawkman’s next solo outing is the Shadow War of Hawkman miniseries.

tec_500_024

The final story in this issue was also a let-down to me.  Even moreso, as it’s a Batman/Deadman team-up, and those had been above average stories, on the whole.  But Carmine Infantino’s art is not what it was, and Cary Bates’ story doesn’t help much either.

tec_500_025

Pursuing some criminals, Batman gets killed.  Sort of.  Almost dead.  Robin is really stressed, but Deadman shows up and decides to inhabit Batman’s body to bring his killers to justice.

tec_500_026

Oops, someone spilled a plate of scrambled eggs on the comic.  Oh, wait, that’s Infantino’s art for showing Batman and Deadman conversing on the astral plane.

tec_500_027

Deadman moves Batman around and catches the bad guys, and doing so ignites the spark that brings him back to life.  A shame this story closed the issue.  It would have done less damage buried in the middle.

Advertisements

Detective 452 – Batman vs the Crime Exchange, and Hawkman vs Konrad Kaslak

tec_452

452 (Oct. 75)  was my first issue of Detective Comics, and I would have just turned 10 years old when this came out.  The story, and its cliffhanger ending, captivated me so much I actively hunted for the follow up issue, the first time I had done that, I think.

tec_452_001

David V Reed, Ernie Chan and Mike Royer craft this 2 part story, in which a well organized criminal outfit provides contacts, clients and information for Gotham’s gangs. Batman captures one of the killers who work for them, impersonates him, and attempts to infiltrate the organization.

tec_452_002

He gets exposed, surrounded, and challenged to defend himself with a gun.  But Batman doesn’t use gun!  What will he do?  At 10 years old I had no idea and was deeply concerned until the next issue came out.

tec_452_003

And at 10 years old I really hated the unusual Hawkman logo that was used for this story – and I still hate it now.  The actual tale, by E Nelson Bridwell and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, is pretty good though.  Hawkman has a lot of trouble against an evil magician and his thieving raven.

tec_452_004

Shayera has a small role in this one, which also sees the return of Big Red, Hawkman’s bird sidekick, not seen since the mid 60s, in Hawkman’s old book. Hawkman realizes the magician is a distraction, the raven is the actual culprit, and Shayera informs him that Konrad Kaslak, one of their earliest enemies from back in Brave and the Bold, is out of prison.

tec_452_005

Big Red swoops in for some bird on bird action, and Kaslak reverts to human form, and is simply no match for Hawkman.

This is the last appearance of Konrad Kaslak until the Hawkworld series in the 90s.  Big Red returns in Super Friends a few years down the road.

 

Detective 446 – Sterling Silversmith debuts, and Hawkman returns

tec_446

The Bat-Murderer storyline continues in Detective 446 (April 1975), with a Len Wein/Jim Aparo tale that introduces a new villain for Batman.

tec_446_001

Sterling Silversmith has dreams of conquering the silver market, and a belief that gold will lose it’s value, and silver become the more precious metal.  His economic theories aside, Silversmith is extremely callous, and cares nothing about killing anyone who gets in his way, or using any means possible to acquire his silver.

tec_446_002

Only the beginning and ending of this issue reflect the larger storyline.  Otherwise, Batman’s battle with Silversmith could have occurred in any other issue.  While I like the fact that they extended the storyline by showing how it affects Batman’s other cases, I wish they had showed a bit more of an effect.

tec_446_003

Still, the ending, with the cop unable to shoot Batman after he drops off Silversmith, is a good scene.

tec_446_004

Hawkman returns to the pages of Detective with this E Nelson Bridwell story, with art by Rich Buckler and Klaus Janson.  Between this story and his last appearance in these pages, Hawkman had resigned from the Justice League, and returned to Thanagar with Shayera.  The equalizer plague struck the planet, and Hawkman returned, bringing Shayera, now both exiled from their world until a cure could be found.

tec_446_005

The story here is a simple one, dealing with thieves that possess a remote control that can send a car, or Hawkman, hurtling into the sky.  They had made the mistake of storing their stolen loot in Carter Hall’s apparently abandoned car.

 

Tag Cloud