Posts tagged ‘Dr Simpson Flanders’

Detective 740 – Bane vs the Joker


Greg Rucka, Sergio Cariello and Mark Buckingham bring the two-part Shellgame storyline to a close in Detective 740 (Jan. 00), as No Man’s Land draws to a close.


The issue, which scans over a large group of people and places, begins with Oracle musing over Lex Luthor’s reconstruction of Gotham, and how he has played the media to make himself the golden boy hero of the city.


Batman and Robin have been monitoring Pettit and the Huntress.  Their region has held off everyone, including all aid, and the people are starting to flee.  Pettit demands that no one be allowed to leave, as it will weaken them.  The Huntress tries to reason with him, but fails.


Luthor gets frustrated at how his equipment and crews keep getting sabotaged and killed by the Joker, and enlists Bane to guard them.  The Joker brings Harley Quinn to help him, but Bane also has Mercy at his side, and fends the Joker off.


We even catch up with good old Dr. Simpson Flanders, back on tv, hawking his new book about life in No Man’s Land.


With Luthor’s rebuilding indicating a power shift in Gotham, the Penguin makes his move, with a large group of men, to demand his cut of the action.  Mercy takes out the Penguin’s men without even breaking a sweat.  Luthor gives the Penguin nothing but his own life.


The issue has lots of ominous foreboding, but ends on a happy note, as Lucius Fox takes the airwaves to announce that the government has rescinded the No Man’s Land proclamation, and Gotham is open again.

But the story is not yet over…

Detective 729 – Mr Scratch’s plans shot down


Fight or Flight, Road to No Man’s Land, and Chuck Dixon’s run on this book all come to an end in Detective 729 (Feb. 99).


Gordon and Sarah return to Gotham, and he finds a core of the police force also willing to defy the government and stay on their posts. Bullock, Montoya, Bock and Kitch are all there.


As the military close the bridges, a hooded man leads a crowd of stragglers, demanding to be let out of the city.


Despite Robin and Nightwing’s efforts, Mr. Scratch’s men blow the bridge.


They do rescue the hooded man, revealed to be Simpson Flanders, who has certainly seen better days.


Mr. Scratch’s plans come to an abrupt halt, when the Joker single-handedly wipes out his men.  He has no interest in any newbies claiming Gotham.


Nightwing and Robin discover Wayne Manor gone, plowed into the cave.  The Return of Bruce Wayne storyline, much more recently, would amend this, that only one wing of the manor was destroyed at this point.  But that clearly goes against what is shown here, so I view that as being the result of Superboy punching a wall.

Don’t get the reference?  Stick around, I’ll get to it one day.




Detective 689 – Firefly falls in love


The Firefly returns in a two-part story, by Chuck Dixon, Staz Johnson and Joe Rubenstein, which begins in Detective 689 (Sept. 95).


Garfield Lynns makes an impressive escape from Blackgate prison, starting a fire, and then using the updrafts to carry his balloon up and way.


Once back in Gotham, he gets himself put onto Black Mask’s payroll, becoming the mobster’s arsonist on demand.  He does not, however, get to meet the big man himself, which irks Lynns.


Dr.Simpson Flanders makes a cameo appearance, as we discover that he was hired by Blackgate after the events of Knightfall, and his lax recommendations for the prisoners resulted in Lynns’ escape, as well as other problems. Zehrhard, the warden of Blackgate, fires him.


Batman and Robin discover that the Firefly is working for Black Mask, after Batman adopts his Matches Malone disguise and gets the buzz from the underworld.


But what they do not know is that Lynns has fallen for a woman who lives in the same building he does, and has started romancing her.

The story concludes next issue.

Detective 662 – the Riddler goes on tv


The 8th chapter of Knightfall is contained in Detective 662 (Late June 1993), by Dixon, Nolan and Hanna.


Batman spends his time in this issue fighting, and finally defeating, Firefly.  Even still, many areas of Gotham remain on fire.


Desperate for attention, the Riddler hijacks a tv show, on which Simpson Flanders is being interviewed.  He holds them hostage with a bomb, as he delivers his riddles.


Robin gets to the station and tackles the Riddler.  Bullock is furious with him, insisting that the police had him surrounded, and the bomb could have gone off and killed everyone. Even when Montoya informs them that the bomb was a fake, Bullock remains angry.


The Huntress also appears in this issue, fighting some of the street gangs seeking to take advantage of the chaos.

The story continues in the next issue of Batman.


Detective 660 – Robin gets captured


Knightfall has its third chapter in Detective 660 (Late May 1993), in a story by Chuck Dixon, Jim Balent and Scott Hanna.


Bird returns to Bane with news of Batman, and the many villains still terrorizing the city.  Robin has been following, at Batman’s orders.


Throughout the Knightfall series, we occasionally see scenes with Dr. Simpson Flanders, a feel good psychiatrist, appearing on various tv shows to promote his book, and explain that the inmates rampaging through the city are really the victims of society.  While his name clearly derives from the tv show, the character, and the tv spots, are inspired by Dr. Benjamin Wolper from Frank Miller’s Batman – The Dark Knight Returns.


Against Batman’s orders, Robin decides to follow Bane after his meeting breaks up.  He doesn’t realize that Bane knows he is there, and gets taken by surprise.


Bane binds Robin, and challenges him to a fight on a precarious beam in the sewer system. It would have been bye bye Robin, had not Croc intervened.  Croc is much more interested in taking down Bane than in Robin, but the resulting fight sends all three of them plunging into the sewer system, and carried away.

The story continues in the next issue of Batman.

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