Posts tagged ‘Damion Scott’

Detective 741 – the bloody finale to No Man’s Land

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There is no real victory to be had in Detective 741 (Feb. 00), the final chapter in Endgame, the final storyline in No Man’s Land.  But there is a huge creative team, and a large cast of characters as well.  Greg Rucka and Devin Grayson are the writers, Damion Scott and Dale Eaglesham the pencillers, while the inks are divided between Sean Parsons, Sal Buscema and Robert Hunter.

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It’s Christmas, and a huge celebration is being planned by Lex Luthor, which the Joker is out to destroy.  The Huntress barely survives an attack by the maniac at the start of the issue (the conclusion of the previous chapter). She gets rescued by Nightwing, and even earns a word of praise from Batman.

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The Joker has had his men steal all the babies – all the children born during No Man’s Land.  Batman and crew are not sure what he plans to do with them, but don’t wait to find out.  Oracle co-ordinates as people spread out across the city, trying to find the children, but often finding caches of exploding dolls.

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Azrael and Batgirl (Cassandra Cain now) confront Mercy at Luthor’s huge christmas tree.  Mercy tries to get rid of them, but is lucky they were there to spot the dolls on the tree, which explodes real good, though all three survive.

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Batman has been chasing the Joker, but along the way notices the overtly acrobatic style, and is not at all surprised to discover that it’s Harley Quinn he has been chasing, in disguise.  She does give him the Joker’s location, but really, that’s only a sign that it’s too late to stop him, isn’t it?

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It’s Sarah Essen who confronts him, surrounded by babies, in the basement of the police headquarters.  She cannot shoot, and the Joker knows it full well.  He has no such qualms, and murders Sarah Essen.

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He then calmly walks out of the police station, and surrenders.  The scene almost dares Gordon to kill him, and Batman makes no move to stop it.  Gordon instead chooses to kneecap him, leaving the Joker lame (though unfortunately that just sort of gets forgotten).

A horrible, but perfect, note to end the storyline on.

And to give them credit, there really was never another attempt to recreate No Man’s Land, or hasn’t been to date.  It would be almost impossible.  The current series Batman Eternal is driving huge changes in the Batman world, but doing it in an entirely different way.

 

 

Detective 739 – Two-Face prosecutes Jim Gordon

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Two-Face is at the heart of this 2-parter, by Greg Rucka, Damion Scott and John Floyd.  Detective 739 (Dec. 99) rounds out the publishing year as No Man’s Land nears its finale.

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This issue consists almost entirely of the trial that Two-Face puts Jim Gordon on. He accuses Jim of making a deal with Two-Face, and then reneging on it when Two-Face called on him for help.  Speaking of Two-Face throughout as if he were a different person, Harvey Dent goes on to show that, due to Gordon’s actions, Renee Montoya and her family were held captive for 5 months. Renee herself is forced to testify.

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It’s an insane, but masterful prosecution, and Gordon looks despondent.

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Renee then forces Harvey to act as Gordon’s defense. Part of the deal he made with Renee to get her to be part of the trial was to promise to turn himself in if Gordon was acquitted, so Harvey is fighting for his life, against himself.

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His inner sense of justice prevails, and Two-Face declares Jim Gordon innocent, and allows Renee to take him to jail.

Nevertheless, the bond created between these two would play out big time in this book, over the next couple of years.

Detective 734 – Batman and the Cains

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Detective 734 (July 1999) concludes a two-part story by Kilian Plunkett, Damion Scott and John Floyd, which introduces David and Cassandra Cain, a father and daughter assassin team.  This story falls during the No Man’s Land period.

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Cain has come to Gotham to fulfill a hit on Jim Gordon.  Barbara has gotten wind of it, and notified Batman.  Cassandra waffles on her loyalties, but chooses to help Batman and stop her father.

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We get a little of her backstory.  She has never been taught to speak, and apparently hasn’t figured it out on her own.  She speaks only a “language of violence” taught her by her father.

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Not being able to speak doesn’t cause her much trouble, and it does make the stories she appears in pretty quick reads, but the pair of them have always felt like the father and daughter Al Ghul’s, done lite.

Even still, she prevents Two-Face from doing anything about his plans to have Gordon killed.

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She also gets between her father and Batman, preventing them from killing each other.  David Cain escapes, largely because Batman has too much else on his plate to go after him.

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The story ends with Oracle thanking Batman, and Cassandra.  There is a bit with Barbara passing a photo of Batgirl to Cassandra, which is meant to convey Barbara’s acceptance that Cassandra will become the new new Batgirl.

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