Posts tagged ‘Barbara Gordon’

Detective 881 – Batman ends, as does Detective Comics

tec_881

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

tec_881_001

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.

tec_881_002

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

tec_881_003

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.

tec_881_004

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.

tec_881_005

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

tec_881_006

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

tec_880

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

tec_880_001

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.

tec_880_002

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.

tec_880_003

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

tec_879

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.

tec_879_001

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

tec_879_002

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

tec_879_003

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.

tec_879_004

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.

tec_879_005

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

tec_873

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

tec_873_001

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.

tec_873_002

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.

tec_873_003

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

tec_872

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

tec_872_001

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.

tec_872_002

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.

tec_872_003

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.

tec_872_004

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.

tec_872_005

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

tec_869

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

tec_869_001

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.

tec_869_002

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.

tec_869_003

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

tec_869_004

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.

tec_869_005

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

tec_867

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.

tec_867_001

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

tec_867_002

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.

tec_867_003

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.

tec_867_004

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.

Detective 862 – Bette joins the fight, and Oracle helps out

tec_862

Rucka and Jock continue the Cutter storyline in Detective 862 (April 2010).

tec_862_001

The missing girl that Batman is pursuing turns out to be a different case than the one Batwoman is on.  Add to that the missing girls in the Question’s Pipeline story arc, and that’s a lot of missing women.

tec_862_002

Bette has a conversation with Kate about letting go of the past.  Kate is thinking of her sister, and the kidnapping, and does not clue in that Bette is referring to her career as Flamebird.

tec_862_003

The story climaxes as Bette and a friend are heading home, and Cutter attacks.  Batwoman intervenes, but Bette’s friend is killed, and Bette gets taken by Cutter.

The story concludes next issue.

tec_862_004

The Question and Huntress need someone to replace Tot as their human computer in this story, by Rucka and Hamner.  Helena takes Renee to Oracle, but introduces her as Barbara Gordon.  Renee knows her, of course, and thinks it’s crazy to trust their case to the police commissioner’s daughter, but Huntress is just amused.  Sooo many secret identities.

tec_862_005

Barbara gives them the name of the company that runs the Network.  The Question plans to use stealth to learn what they want, but Huntress prefers a more direct approach, and makes that happen.

tec_862_006

Following the trail, the woman head to Oolong Island, where they are promptly arrested.

The story continues in the next issue.

 

 

Detective Annual 11 – Azrael causes problems, the Riddler goes for an old standard, and Oracle teams with Looker

tec__a11

There are three stories in Detective Annual 11 (2009), the first, which is also the longest, being a continuation of a story from this year’s Batman Annual.

tec__a11_001

The story, by Fabian Nicieza and Tom Mandrake, deals with another secret society, this one out to raise a demonic spirit through the seven deadly sins, and the sacrifice of children descended from earlier cult members.

tec__a11_002

Batman and the Question work on it together from their side.  Azrael has his own agenda, and Robin has gone in disguise as one of the children, and already been kidnapped.  Renee does not take long to realize that it is Nightwing now wearing the Batman costume.

tec__a11_003

Azrael learns that the sacrifice depends on the children being of the blood of the earlier ones, which of course means that, should Robin get sacrificed, the spell will not work.

tec__a11_004

Damian does break free, and his identity as Robin is exposed.  The evil cultists try to lure him back.  I’m not sure that sending an aggressively naked older woman is the best way to lure a 10 year old boy, even if it’s Damian.

tec__a11_005

But it’s Azrael to the rescue anyway, and he joins with Robin as they take down the cultists, in a manner as overtly violent as only Damian and an Azrael can be.

tec__a11_006

Batman and the Question are rushing to the scene.  The cultists are in a penthouse, and the story gets a moment of levity as Batman sends Renee up to the roof quickly.

tec__a11_007

Frankly, this story failed to grab me, even with Mandrake’s art.   I do like Harvey Bullock’s crude way of explaining how he knew Renee was the Question, and there are some other good moments.

tec__a11_008

The story ends with both the villains and the heroes angry with Azrael.  I have never liked any version of that character, which probably explains why I don’t care for a long story featuring him.

tec__a11_009

There is a very cute 2-page “L’il Gotham” story, by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen.  Not much in the way of plot, the Riddler does a variant of the St. Ives riddle song, though calling it Poison Ives.  A staggering amount of cameos in this, for only being two pages.  Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Commissioner Gordon, Batman, Batwoman, Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, as well as the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, Clayface, Mad Hatter, Joker, Scarecrow, Black Mask, Croc, Hush, Ra’s Al Ghul, and even the original Ventriloquist, Arnold Wesker, with Scarface.

Of the three stories in this issue, it’s sad that I enjoyed this 2 page piece more than the others.

tec__a11_010

The final story in the issue, by Amanda McMurray and Kelly Jones, features a team-up between Oracle and Looker.

tec__a11_011

There is a bad guy who thinks he is a vampire, but isn’t, and who is obsessed with Barbara Gordon, though we never find out why.  Looker is unaware that Barbara is Oracle, and is kept in the dark. Looker has become a vampire herself during her time with the Outsiders, so she is the perfect one to take down a faker.

tec__a11_012

The ending of the story leaves more questions than answers, and was clearly intended to be followed up.  As far as I know, it never was.

 

 

Detective 800 – fallout from War Games, and a teaser for City of Crime

tec_800

Andersen Gabrych, Pete Woods and Cam Smith end their run on this book with an epilogue to War Games, in Detective 800 (Jan.05).

tec_800_001

Batman finds himself on the wrong side of the law once again.  Akins is still out to get him, and the police blame him for the deaths of many of the comrades during War Games.

tec_800_002

With her Clock Tower base destroyed, Barbara decides to leave Gotham, and set up as Oracle somewhere else – corresponding to events in Birds of Prey.  And with Barbara gone, Jim Gordon also feels it is time to move on.

tec_800_003

Orpheus turns out to be a more successful martyr than hero, and Onyx leads his old followers, and new devotees.

tec_800_004

There is a kidnapping in this story, and some action.  Batman tracks down the kidnapper, the Mad Hatter, who is using a mind-controlled Croc as his muscle.

tec_800_005

But the real goal is not the kidnapping, but luring Batman, so that Black Mask can gloat, and show off the degree of control he now has, thanks to Batman.

tec_800_006

About his only friend left is Catwoman, who learned his identity during Hush, and can still can break through his dispassionate shell.

tec_800_007

The second story in the issue is a teaser, or a prologue, for City of Crime, which will run in this book over the next year.

tec_800_008

David Lapham is the writer and artist.  The story, if there is one, is not very clear, but certainly sets an evocatively threatening mood.

tec_800_009

The art is great, but the lack of focus or direction left me concerned.

 

Tag Cloud