Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and David Roach launch a highly entertaining, three-part story that has the Riddler and Cluemaster together for the first time, beginning in Detective 705 (Jan. 97).
The story also brings back Query and Echo, the Riddler’s sidekicks from his Year One origin in last year’s annual.
Nigma is in the hospital, and we see how his broken arm int he previous issue was intended to get him to where he wants to be.
As Query and Echo rampage through the city, they also break Arthur Brown out of prison. At first, he is not recognized by the police, who believe the girls have a hostage. Sergeant William Pettit makes his first appearance in Detective. A trigger-happy cop, he was introduced the previous year in the Man-Bat miniseries.
Query and Echo bring the Cluemaster to the roof of a building, which the police have surrounded. Their plan seems to make no sense, and things look bleak when Gordon realizes that they are holding Cluemaster, not believing that this is all happening without his consent.
The roof escape is great. Huge and garish, suiting the two villains, as the radio tower is blown up and used as a bridge to the next building.
Cluemaster is not surprised that the Riddler is none too fond of him, and I do enjoy how Nigma contrasts the two men, who methods seem so similar. For Nigma, the riddles are part of the entire meaning of his existence. For Brown, they are just a gimmick.
So the Riddler puts Cluemaster in the centre of his new caper, strapping a bomb to him, and making him solve the riddles he usually sends to Batman.
The story continues in the next issue.