Posts tagged ‘Abbot’

Detective 859 – Kate meets Renee, and the Question needs an ally

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Rucka and Williams III continue with the origin of Batwoman in Detective 859 (Jan. 10).

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This issue is almost entirely flashbacks scenes, although Batwoman does have an encounter with Abbot, in which he confirms that the Crime Bible prophecy about the “twice-named daughter of Cain” was interpreted by them to mean twin girls, and they knew that Alice was her sister.

But onto the backstory.  We see Kate graduate at the top of her class from the Marine academy.  But on the same day, she is accused of being a lesbian, which at that time meant you could not serve in the US army.  She will not lie, so she winds up leaving the force.

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She descends into a rich girl life of drunken parties, until she gets stopped, in every way, by Renee Montoya.  Their relationship is tempestuous, and they break up.

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And that’s when we get the one bit of her origin that we have already seen, the attempted mugging that she fights off, only spotting Batman’s presence after it’s over.  He commends her and leaves.  She has found her calling.

The story continues in the next issue.

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The Question continues to pursue the people behind the human smuggling operation in this story, by Rucka and Hamner.

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Tot does research into the organization, which is huge, and operates globally.  Renee decides she will need help.

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And gets it, from the Huntress.  It’s a pretty good team.  Question has less trouble with the Huntress than pretty much any other her.

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And it’s good that Renee found someone to help her, because the bad guys hire one of Batman’s foes, Zeiss.

The story continues in the next issue.

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Detective 857 – Batwoman jumps, and the Question chats

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Batwoman’s first fight with Alice concludes in Detective 857 (Nov. 09), by Rucka and Williams III.

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Abbot lets Kate know that Alice has plans to bring an end to Gotham, with chemical warfare.  Kate figures that Alice is likely to attack a military base, and contacts her father.  But Alice answers the phone…

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It’s a good, suspense-y issue. as Abbot flies after Alice’s plane, and Batwoman jumps from one to the other.

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Their fight occurs, though it’s entirely possible to fall into the artwork and not even notice.  Alice falls as well, from the airplane, letting go of Kate’s hand, and saying “you have our father’s eyes.”

Not quite up there with “Luke, I am your father,” but good enough to give Kate some sleepless nights.

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Renee Montoya is getting pissed as this chapter of the Rucka/Hamner Question series begins.

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She meets with Tot over the internet, and they share information, as she gets the address of the next man up the chain.

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She uses her usual charm and tact, bursting into his home to confront him.  This time, it is clear that his bodyguards are not really working for him, and killing him has been ordered to ensure his silence.  Things don’t look good for Renee!

The story continues in the next issue, although the Question also appears in the Annual, which comes first.

 

 

Detective 856 – Batwoman runs with the wolves, and the Question won’t be unmasked

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Batwoman continues in Detective 856 (Oct. 09), by Rucka and Williams III.

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Some of the art by Williams is just so amazing.  In fact, I find the art at times overshadows the story, but that’s about my only critique of it.  The monster turned out to be Abbot, once a devotee of the Crime Bible, he and others have turned against Alice, as she takes over the organization.  They get to safety, and her father tends to her wounds and poisoning.

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Kate is back up on her feet in time for a big party by her step-mother that night. We finally get to see Bette Kane, who had been mentioned in earlier issues.  She is Kate’s niece, giving her the same relationship to Kate Kane as Betty Kane had to Kathy.  She is the same woman who has been appearing as Flamebird in Titans stories since Crisis, a sidekick without a hero.  The Batwoman series brings her in slowly.

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On the other hand, there is nothing slow int he romance between Kate and Maggie Sawyer.  They talk about their exes, but the spark between them is clear.

Perhaps I should have mentioned when this changed format, that currently not only does Detective Comics feature two series starring women, both women are lesbians.  Kate and Renee had once been a couple.

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And as for Renee, Rucka and Hamner have her being questioned by Vargas, who is not able to remove her mask (it’s chemically bonded to her skin.)

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She gets free, and another name on the chain, and Vargas gets shot by his own men, who apparently have more gusto than aim.

The story continues in the next issue.

 

 

 

Detective 855 – Batwoman vs Alice, and the Question shows her stuff

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Rucka and Williams III continue the Batwoman storyline in Detective 855 (Sept. 09), as she and Alice go head to head.

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Alice is so clearly psychotic that it takes Kate a while to pick up on the fact that she speaks solely in lines from the Alice books.  But then, Kate was a soldier, so one can forgive her not catching literary references right away.

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Alice resorts to that good ole poisoned razor in the mouth gag.

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Kate flees, but the poison makes her hallucinate, and again we see images of children being taken hostage.  Batwoman’s father, Jake Kane (I should have properly introduced him last issue) gets an alert, and goes out to help her.

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Alice turns on the coven, killing them, before heading out after Batwoman.  Her father finds her first, with Alice close behind.  And then some scary monsters come out of the woods.

This continues (better than it might) in the next issue.

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Rucka and Hamner continue the Question’s quest (I’ll never do that again, I promise), as she faces off against them men who had been running the porn apartment.

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Renee proves herself more than a match for the three men, and gets the name of their boss.

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She proves more than a match for the receptionist as well, talking her way into the office, although she does get tasered.

The story continues next issue.

Detective 750 – Batman cures Whisper A’Daire, and the Jacobian hears about the Moment

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I took a ridiculous amount of screen shots for Detective 750 (Nov. 00), but I do like both stories in it.

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Greg Rucka, Shawn Martinborough and Steve Mitchell are the team as Whisper A’Daire returns, catching up with the now one-eyed Abbot.  She gives him the serum to restore his powers, so Ra’s Al Ghul can make use of him again.

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Batman has begin actively searching for Ra’s, and though he claims he is just catching up on his hunt for Whisper, Oracle knows this has to do with events from JLA – the Tower of Bable storyline, in which Talia stole Batman’s plans to use against the other members of the team, and Ra’s executed the plans, almost killing the other Leaguers.  Batman was expelled from the League shortly before the events in this story.

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Ra’s has been searching for Talia, who split from him towards the end of Tower of Babel.  Whisper has found her, and Ra’s demands she be brought to him.

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Talia is in Gotham, so it’s no surprise that Batman finds her as well, and there’s a rematch for Batman and Abbot.  Whisper shoots Talia before Batman takes her down, and Abbot flees with Al Ghul’s daughter. tec_750_006

And Ra’s is all angry at Talia, for betraying and deserting him, yet again.

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Batman holds Whisper, and gets information by “torturing” her, pouring out all her serum. Love this page, so well done.

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Batman also gives her the antidote, freeing her of her addiction, and removing her cobra tongue.

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Silly Batman.  Whisper was not a victim of Ra’s, but a willing follower, and she returned to him, and is back on the cobra juice.  Everyone is gathered for Ra’s latest big evil destructive plot.  He orders Batman killed, but Talia begs to be allowed to plead with him.

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Which, as always, leads to his escape. What makes me fascinated with this story is that Ra’s expects it, watches it.  He even gives up before Batman returns to attack, knowing that it is over, as it always is.  There is an odd fatalism to it. tec_750_011

There is an extra-length Jacobian story in this issue, by Gorfinkel, Johnson and Panosian.

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The Jacobian hears about a hero from the past, the Moment, and the woman he tried to train as a sidekick.  He was about getting out of the moment, or into the moment.  Being of the moment and what it can free you to do.  Gorfinkel writes it all waaaay better than I do.

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And this chapter is really fun, with the art altering to convey the different takes on reality that the Moment and the sidekick-turned-villainess can create.

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And all the while reading it, one cannot help but feel there is a connection between these two characters, and the Jacobian and Leelee – which is confirmed by the art towards the end.  Gotta love parallel structure.

Detective 746 – Whisper A’Daire falls, and the Jacobian begins

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Detective Comics gains a back-up series, after over a decade without one, in issue 746 (July 2000).

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Rucka, Martinborough, Watkiss and Mitchell being this first Whisper A’Daire storyline to a close in this issue.  With Tzu dependent on her, Whisper becomes openly dismissive of the gangsters she has cultivated.  Never good to piss off those who your rise depended on.

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Abbot confesses his failure to kill Batman, and for that gets punished with some cobra spit. That takes him pretty much out of the action, although he will return a few issues down the way, with only one good eye.

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When Batman busts up Whisper’s attempt to get the Galante family hooked on her serum, she makes Tzu transform and fly her to safety.

Or at least, that’s the plan.  But Tzu has far more respect and regard for Batman, even though he is an enemy, and he lets Whisper drop, and turns himself in.  Whisper’s body is not found, just another shed skin, and she will be back in a few months.

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This issue also sees the launch of an unusual detective strip, The Jacobian, by Jordan Gorfinkel, Jeff Johnson and Aaron Sowd.  We get little information about the hero in this first chapter, which begins mid-stream, as he races to find a kidnapped baby.

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A cloaked sniper is causing him problems,  but turns out to be completely unrelated to the kidnapping case.  This is the tease for the bigger storyline.

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The Jacobian relies on hunches, putting himself in “the moment,” and trusting that his actions will be right. In this case, he has to pick the correct infant out of a dozen or so, all gathered by his client’s bitter ex-wife, to show how the man neglects his kids.  Extreme parenting, but the Jacobian’s hunch proves correct.

 

 

 

Detective 744 – Whisper A’Daire spits

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A gang war erupts in Detective 744 (May 2000), by Rucka, Martinborough and Mitchell.

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While Crown is looking for revenge for the bombing of the youth centre, Tzu’s wife gets murdered, and he blames rival gangs as well.

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Whisper A’Daire presents herself to Tzu, offering to help against the other gangs.  This seems a bit less absurd after she sticks out a forked tongue and spits acid into the face of one of his men.

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Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon, as well as Mackenzie Bock, getting his first taste of the rooftop Bat-Signal meetings.  All three men agree that the war is being provoked by a third party.  Batman does suspect Ra’s Al Ghul, but dismisses him as it not being his style.

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Abbot rounds up members of the Escobedo family, being blamed for the murders of Tzu’s wife, which Abbot himself committed.  He kills them, as a show of “good faith” to the Tzu family, on behalf of him and Whisper.

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Whisper confirms most of Batman’s suspicions, content in the cards she is holding, as Batman cannot see the endgame she is playing towards.

 

 

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