Posts tagged ‘Commissioner 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 878 – Batman vs Tiger Shark


The original Tiger Shark was a one-shot villain, a pirate with a secret identity, who pretended to be aiding Batman in his fight.  Snyder and Jock introduce an updated version in Detective 878 (Aug. 11), as they conclude their three-parter.


The new Tiger Shark has plenty of oddities.  He wears a wrap around his eyes, for some reason.  And has one of his goons talk for him.  Later, he is shown talking for himself, but I think it might be painful for him.


Look at that tongue.  Ouch.  The things people do to stand out as Batman villains.  Dick manages to get away from Tiger Shark.  But the pirate does not get caught, escaping to fight another day.


A subplot in the last couple issue had Commissioner Gordon approach Dick Grayson about his son.  Gordon does not know whether to trust James Jr or not, and asks Dick for his honest opinion.  Dick meets James, and the two reminisce about the last time they saw each other, on a picnic as kids, when James got beat up by a bully.  He does make a decent impression, mentioning that he ran into the bully earlier in the day, who has matured to a decent person.


Dick give James a thumbs up to his father, but has a harsher tone with Zucco’s daughter.  It took Dick a while, but he finally began to wonder why she sent him against Roadrunner first.  She basically admits to having manipulated him into taking down the two men threatening her, but defends her actions, including moving the whale into the bank to draw his attention, as acting in the cause of justice.  As with Tiger Shark, Zucco’s daughter is basically set up by this story to become a major player later on, but Flashpoint would end those plans.


The story ends on James Jr, torturing and mutilating the man who had tormented him at the picnic as a child.  It’s really extreme, and leaves no doubt that James Jr is evil.  Although that had already been shown in Birds of Prey.

Detective 876 – a whale of a case


Detective 876 (June 2011), sees Snyder and Jock begin a three-part story that will introduce a new version of an old villain.


Remember those whales from a couple of issue ago?  Well, they gain importance now, as one shows up in a bank lobby.


With a dead body inside, nonetheless.  Commissioner Gordon calls Batman onto the case, and they determine the identity of the dead woman, who worked at the bank, which is run by the daughter of Anthony Zucco, the mob boss who had Dick Grayson’s parents killed.


Batman goes to question her.  The woman, who has changed her name to avoid being associated with her mobster father, claims to have no idea about the murder or the whale.  But after Batman leaves, she immediately calls someone, begging him to stop.


Batman, of course, spies on the call, and traces it to a gangster known as Roadrunner.  Investigating his place, a large auto junkyard, used for hiding and rebuilding stolen cars.  But Roadrunner sees Batman, who wanders right into a place for crushing cars, it seems.  Roadrunner has no problem trying to kill Batman when he does something so dumb.

The story continues in the next issue.

Detective 875 – Gordon stresses over his son


James Gordon Jr is once again the focus of the story, as Snyder and Jock deal with murders past and present in Detective 875 (May 2011).


Back when Gordon was still just a captain, and James was young, there was a serial killer of children in Gotham, the Peter Pan Killer.  Gordon was never able to catch the man he thought was guilty, but the crimes have started again.  This is intercut with young Gordon realizing his son is disturbed and dangerous.  One of his friends went missing, and Gordon suspected James.


The two stories are intercut throughout, and climax together, as Gordon discovers that the Peter Pan Killer went to try to kill his son many years ago, but couldn’t get to him, so killed the girl instead, which Gordon had always blamed his son for.

Overall, these stories are meant to show his doubt about his son, and whether to treat him as a criminal or not.  It’s all a bit undercut by events in Birds of Prey, where James is unquestionably evil.

Detective 874 – Gordon and son


Snyder and Jock resolve the back-up story, dropped in the previous issue, in Detective 874 (April 2011).


The story picks up on Commissioner Gordon and James Jr in the restaurant, having their conversation.  James Jr announces that he has come to terms with being a psychopath.  The whole scene is quite tense, and water pools from under a door, as if he possibly did kill the waitress, and was not joking.

But it proves to be nothing other than water, and other than making his father feel scared, James Jr doesn’t actually do anything.


The story weaves off in a weird direction, as Dick and Tim, as Batman and Red Robin, try to deal with the stolen birds.


But the scene itself seems to be more connected to an upcoming story, with the return of Tiger Shark.  But frankly, these last few issue leave me cold.

Oh, and at the end, Gordon finds out that the birds were not released by his son, it was just a prank by a couple of kids.

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 871 – a fake Croc?, and an unwelcome return


Scott Snyder begins his run on Detective Comics with issue 871 (Jan. 11), and his run will last out the remainder of the series. Mark Simpson does the art on this tale.


The story begins as a schoolboy is turned into a Croc-like monster after a dip in the school swimming pool.


When Batman goes to the boy’s home to investigate, only the butler seems concerned about the boy.  The father is nowhere to be found, and the mother seems to have gone completely insane.  She murders the butler (but she’s trying to kill Batman), and then leaps to her death.  Batman discovers one of the Mad Hatter’s tags sewn into her neck.


Batman approaches Commissioner Gordon, and together they find the one police officer with access to the evidence room, where the atavistic serum and tag were kept.  It turns out a number of other criminal “mementos” have gone missing.

Batman questions the policeman, but he dies from a Poison Ivy-like vine attack.

The story continues in the next issue.


Commissioner Gordon is featured in the back-up story, also by Snyder, with Francesco Francavilla on art.  After someone releases all the birds from the zoo aviary, Harvey Bullock calls in Gordon.  Spotted on the surveillance video is James Gordon, Jr, the commissioner’s son, not seen since Batman: Year One.


Gordon goes on the trail of his wayward son, and though we do not find out much about James in this story, there are certainly a lot of hints that all is not right with the boy.


The story continues in the next issue, although James also begins appearing in Birds of Prey, which marks his next appearance.

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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