Posts tagged ‘Barbara Gordon’

Detective 881 – Batman ends, as does Detective Comics


Scott Snyder and Jock tie up their James Gordon Jr storyline in Detective 881, the final issue of the series.


Commissioner Gordon fills Batman in on his son’s activities.  It never gets known for certain whether he really put anti-psychotics into the formulas of thousands of babies or not, the heroes are left to wonder.


James tortures Barbara, piercing her legs through the arteries, and later removing a knife to drain her blood.


James has a big villain monologue, explaining that he was behind earlier events, such as the dealer at the Mirror House.  I almost expected him to reveal that he was also the masked Tiger Shark, but he refrains from going that far.


The finale gets to a point where it seems like one is reading a Halloween or Friday the 13th comic.  But it’s all superbly rendered.


And Commissioner Gordon does provide and uplifting ending, literally, as he saves James from falling to his death.


I really do not care for ending the story, and the series, on the panel of the possibly psychotic babies.  In fact, it made me glad the series was ending, and we were spared a storyline of crazy babies attacking Gotham.

Flashpoint puts and end to all the DC books, and three months down the road, the New 52 launches.  Detective Comics is part of the starting line-up for that universe, beginning with a new issue 1, and will be discussed in my blog when I reach that point.  Years from now, I expect.


Detective 880 – The Joker claims innocence


Beautiful cover for the second last issue of Detective Comics, 880 (Late Sept. 11), for the story by Snyder and Jock.


Barbara Gordon, the ex-wife of Commissioner Gordon, not the daughter, gets attacked doused with Joker toxin.  She has been appearing in Birds of Prey, but hasn’t been seen, or even much talked about, since Batman: Year One, and occasional flashbacks to those events.


Batman has little trouble tracking, and taking down, the Joker.  Likely because the series was coming to an end and there wasn’t much time.  The Joker quickly convinces Batman that he was not the one who attacked Barbara.


Nope, it was her psycho son, who shows up at Barbara Gordon’s place for a exceptionally well done final page.

The story, and the series, conclude next issue.

Detective 879 – psychos everywhere


Snyder and Jock begin the three-part story that will conclude Detective Comics in issue 879 (Early Sept. 11).  It centres on James Gordon Jr, as much of Snyder’s run has done.  I just don’t like this psychotic son, abruptly shoved into the narrative, which is likely why this final run never grabbed me.


James Gordon is not the only psychotic in this issue, as prisoner transfer is taking place.


Gordon goes to pick up his son from Leslie Thompkins’ clinic, where he has been volunteering, and acting the good boy.


The prisoner turns out to be the Joker, who infects his doctor with Joker toxin simply by touch, through his skin.  The Joker escapes, as he often does.


Commissioner Gordon swiped one of James’ anti-psychotic pills, and gives it to Barbara to analyze.  She discovers that James is apparently a master chemist, as he has reversed the effects of the pills, making them create psychotics, and has possibly been giving them to babies.


Bullock calls Gordon about the Joker’s breakout, but Gordon has his son on his mind.

Lots of very grisly art by Jock in this storyline.  It’s all quite well done, but makes for a very bloody finale.

The story continues in the next issue.




Detective 873 – Batman’s nightmare


The Mirror House story concludes in Detective 873 (March 2011), by Snyder and Jock.


I probably should have mentioned, in my previous entry, that the item being auctioned that night at the Mirror House is the crowbar the Joker used to kill Jason Todd.  I plead carelessness, as the story itself has some gaping plot holes (like, why were the mother and son attacked in the first place?), so I get distracted trying to make sense of it.  Anyway, Dick grabs the crowbar, and uses it to climb to freedom.  He gets out, and passes out.


He wakes to find Barbara Gordon tending him, and discovers that he has lost his legs.  She tells him they were eaten by the people in the Mirror House.


Nope, just kidding,  That was a dream sequence.  Dick’s legs are fine, but Barbara is tending him, and tells him the gas was either one of the Scarecrow’s, or Dr. Death’s, which caused the nightmare.

Dick puts on a armored flying suit, and catches up with Guiborg’s airplane.  Guiborg turns himself into a Man-Bat, but still loses the fight.  Batman jumps to safety as the plane explodes.

An ok story at best.  It reads even more poorly, simply as it comes right after the impostor storyline, and seems to be a variation on the theme.


Detective 872 – entering the Mirror House, and the Commissioner warns Barbara


A nicely creepy cover for Detective 872 (Feb. 11), as Batman continues his investigation of the stolen villain gear, by Snyder and Jock.


Oracle gives Batman the name of a person connected to the Mirror House, which seems to be the source of the stolen items.  The man dies in a car accident as Batman pursues him.  Batman also discovers that Harvey Bullock is now in charge of the case, Gordon being busy with “personal business,” which is related in the second story in the issue.


Batman goes, in disguise as the dead man, to the Mirror House, full of other wealthy Gothamites eager to bid on the stolen villain merchandise.  The guests are all masked, both to conceal their identity, and to protect them from a deadly gas released into the room, as a protection against unwanted intruders.


The man in charge, Etienne Guiborg, has figured out that Batman is impersonating Rhodes, though how he knows this is never explained.  But his apparent hunch is correct.  The mask Batman is wearing is not functional, and he is prey to the gas, and to the room full of people who now want him dead.

The story concludes next issue.


The back-up story, by Snyder and Francavilla, sees Commissioner Gordon invite Barbara for dinner, and to tell her that her brother is back in town.  Barbara actually already knows this, because of events in Birds of Prey, but it is interesting to see how neither of them view James with anything other than fear.


Barbara heads out, and Jim is joined by his son.

The story continues, but skips the next issue, returning in the one following that.

Detective 869 – come to the fun fair


Hine, McDaniel and Owens continue the war of the Jokerz and the Guardian Bats in Detective 869 (Nov. 10).


Winslow Heath, the mastermind of the fake Joker venom, leaves a clue for Batman, a canned laughter device.  But what does it mean?  Not much beyond the obvious, it seems.  Fake laughter instead of real.


Oracle has been doing some digging on her own, and has figured out that Heath is the most likely person to be the Joker impostor.  He has been setting up and promoting a Batholomew Fair for Gotham.


Batman goes to confront Heath, and accuse him of being the Joker impostor, but Heath denies everything.


As Barbara suspected, the Bartholomew Fair is a huge trap, and Heath explodes balloons of Joker toxin, infecting the crowd and turning them all into Jokerz.  It’s not that different from a real Joker plot – except that the Joker would have just killed everyone.


The story ends as a young boy, the little brother of a teenage Guardian Bat, is told he cannot join them because he is too young.  He decides to become a Robin instead, and approaches the Batman impostor to be his sidekick.  Instead, he gets thrown off the roof to his death.

I must admit, this panel made me think that the real Joker was in disguise as the Batman impostor.  Killing Robin and all.  But I was wrong.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Detective 867 – fake Jokers


David Hine, Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens begin a four-part story in Detective 867 (Sept. 10), as impostors prove as troublesome as the original.


A fake Joker shows up in Gotham, causing mayhem and havoc, if not death.  More start appearing, causing major amounts of damage.


One fake Joker does have a version of Joker toxin, but it’s not lethal.  Certainly not as lethal as the guns of the police who kill him.


His death at the hands of the police turns into a big issue, with all manner of people dressing as the Joker in protest – and using this to act crazy and violent.  The media and police are on high alert. Gordon sends some police in to break it up, and the mob turns on them, killing some cops and becoming riotous.


With chaos breaking out, a robotic looking Batman impostor declares his intention to bring order to Gotham.  Dick and Barbara are not pleased.

The story continues next issue.

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