Posts tagged ‘Croc’

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.

 

 

Advertisements

Detective 819 – more dead villains, and Jason Bard looks for answers

tec_819

Robinson, Kirk, Clarke and Faucher deliver chapter 5 of Face to Face in Detective 819 (July 2006).

tec_819_001

Orca, one of Batman’s more recent enemies, has gone missing, and the police and Batman believe her to be a possible victim of whoever is killing the villains.  They go into the sewers to hunt for her.  But the sewers are Croc’s territory, and Batman has to handle him first.

tec_819_002

Batman does find Orca as well.  Dead, with two bullets to the head.

tec_819_003

As all evidence continues to point to Harvey, even he begins to doubt himself.  More dangerously, he begins to talk to himself.  Or more specifically, to his other face, as he can now see Two-Face in the mirror.

The story continues in the next issue of Batman.

 

tec_819_004

Jason Bard’s story once again builds directly out of the events in the Batman story from this issue, and once again has the same creative team.

tec_819_005

Jason goes to question Orca’s husband.  The story gives an unusual glimpse into the everyday life of a Batman villain, and her significant other.  It’s all so downplayed and normal, which makes the man’s comments about how Firebig makes a good cup of coffee all the funnier.

tec_819_006

More significantly, Jason learns that Orca and the other dead villains had been approached by Harvey Dent, to work undercover as his spies.

tec_819_007

But that’s all the Jason can learn, before the widower joins his wife in death, thanks to the new Tally Man, in his debut.

Detective 810 – Why the Joker is pissed, and Croc ends

tec_810

War Crimes, by Gabrych, Woods, and Bergantino, continues in Detective 810 (Late Oct. 05).

tec_810_001

Batman finally figures out that Aaron Black is Arthur Brown.  Now, to be fair, the Cluemaster had supposedly died in the debut issue of the Suicide Squad revival a year or so earlier.  So Batman didn’t know he was alive.  But really, Aaron Black?  And so concerned about Spoiler?

tec_810_002

Black Mask has been impersonating Batman, framing him for a series of murders, and he attacks Stephanie’s mother on live tv.

tec_810_003

Batman shows up in time to save the woman, but after the feed is cut, so people will not know he was not the attacker.

tec_810_004

Black Mask gets away, simply by putting others in danger.  But he runs afoul of the Joker.  As far as the Joker is concerned, killing Robins is his shtick, and Black Mask had no right to hone in.

The story concludes in the next issue of Batman.

tec_810_005

Croc’s story comes to a bitter ending, by Gabrych, Castillo and Rick Purcell.

tec_810_006

The doctor tries a number of potential cures on Croc, and one even changes him back to a form he was comfortable in, but the Hush virus is too strong and mutates him again.

tec_810_007

Regretfully, but hungrily, he eats the doctor.  His more bestial state appears permanent.

Detective 809 – War Crimes begins, and Croc needs help

tec_809

Andersen Gabrych and Pete Woods return, with Javier Bergantino on inks, for War Crimes, a four part sequel to War Games, beginning in Detective 809 (Early Oct. 05), and continuing though the following issue, and the two issues of Batman the same month.

tec_809_001

The question of blame for the events in War Games is central to this storyline.  Batman takes down the head of the Vosovs, but even she blames Batman for the revived warring.

tec_809_002

Bruce Wayne is sent the tape of a tv show, in which a heavily scarred survivor, Aaron Black, is interviewed, and talks about the torture and death of Stephanie Brown at the hands of Black Mask.  He reveals her identity as Spoiler, and as Robin as well.

Batman goes to see Leslie Thompkins, only  to find that she has left Gotham completely.  And Stephanie’s medical records have been stolen as well.

tec_809_003

Batman runs into Aaron Black, and has the guts to stand up to him and defend his position, but gets a bit more scared when the Joker shows up.

The story continues in the next issue of Batman.

tec_809_004

Gabrych also scripts the Croc story, with Castillo and Ramos on the art.

tec_809_005

As dangerous and threatening as he is, Croc still maintains enough sanity to not eat the doctor, who he is relying on to cure him from the virus Hush injected him with.

tec_809_006

The last page of the story makes one wonder about the doctor’s motives, but that’s just for the cliff-hanger.  She stays true to her oath.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Detective 808 – Robin protects the Ventriloquist, and Croc haunts the sewers

tec_808

City of Crime, by Lapham, Bachs and Massengil, continues in Detective 808 (Sept. 05).

tec_808_001

Robin sits guard over Arnold Wesker, and the Scarface doll.  It’s a good thing he is there, as the mud people are trying to get in and kill the Ventriloquist.

tec_808_002

Meanwhile, Batman spends his time in his new identity, making friends, and even moving in, with other longshoremen.

The story pauses after this issue, resuming after War Crimes.

tec_808_003

Croc begins a three-part story in this issue, by Andersen Gabrych, Tommy Castillo and Rodney Ramos.  The story does not take place before War Games, but after it!  Wow!  And though it touches on War Games, it really is more of a sequel to Hush, which saw Croc get altered to a more bestial form.

tec_808_004

Black Mask’s men are sent out to get him, and bring him under Black Mask’s control.  That fails significantly.

tec_808_005

Croc has his own agenda, and seeks out a doctor who dealt with him in earlier days.

The story continues in the next issue.

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.

 

Detective 775 – a new life for Sasha Bordeaux, and The Hunt ends

tec_775

Greg Rucka’s run on Detective Comics comes to an end with issue 775 (Dec.02), as he joined by Rick Burchett and Jim Royal, bringing Sasha’s storyline to a close.

tec_775_001

Batman has been interfering with Checkmate operations in Gotham ever since hitting a brick wall in his search for Sasha.  Checkmate does not want to get into a war with Batman, he is too vital to the city to take down.  Jessica Midnight is ordered to resolve the situation, and convinces Sasha to meet with him.

tec_775_002

Alfred challenges Bruce on his reasons for not giving up the search.  Bruce claims that Sasha knows too much about them, and needs to find her for his own safety, but Alfred points out that she has not talked in all this time, and is not likely to.  Bruce must have a different reason.

tec_775_004

So they meet.  It does not start well, as Sasha finally gets to vent all the frustration she has felt for her months behind bars.

tec_775_005

But once the anger and suspicion have passed, the truth comes out.

tec_775_006

Still, it’s not a happy ending.  Sasha’s life was destroyed, and she cannot go back to it.  Bruce admits setting her up to find his weaponry, to bring her into his world.  And then to making it all about the costume and the rules, to control her and keep her at a safe distance.  They did love each other, but neither could act on it at the time, and now it’s too late.

Sasha leaves, and Greg Rucka takes her along as he moves to to develop Checkmate, first in The O.M.A.C. Project miniseries.

tec_775_007

The Hunt, by Moore, Hoberg and Gaudiano, also comes to an end in this issue.

tec_775_008

It’s set in Arkham Asylum, as the scary beast man hunts for his latest prey.  Loads of cameos by inmates in this story – the Ventriloquist, Clayface, Calendar Man, Zsasz and Croc.  The creature does not kill his enemy, instead leaving him trussed up, with a note detailing his crimes, for Montoya and Allen to find.

Is this a new vigilante on the scene, or something else?

tec_775_009

The final panel just adds to the mystery.  We see that the beast is a man in a costume, and part of a much larger game.

This is really all a teaser for the Batman: Family miniseries, which begins this month, and reveals the beast to be called Tracker.

Tag Cloud