Posts tagged ‘Firefly’

Detective 799 – Batman’s plans go very wrong, and Poison Ivy’s plans work out


Gabrych, Woods and Smith open the third act of War Games in Detective 799 (Dec. 04).


Batman now has a desperate Commissioner Akins on his side. All the gangs have gathered in the big arena, with Tarantula looking after the kids in the crowd.  Batgirl, Robin and Nightwing are all stationed outside, with the police armed only with rubber bullets, at Batman’s insistence.


Orpheus takes the stage, and is meant to give a speech that will unite the gangs under him, and thus, under Batman.  But that does not happen.  Because it’s not Orpheus under the helmet, it’s Black Mask (though Batman does not learn that in this issue).


Onyx does find the corpse of the real Orpheus, but too late to warn anyone.


Batman swings down into the arena, attempting to take control of the situation.  But even that goes very wrong.  Firefly hits him with a jet of flame on his way down, and a burning Batman in the midst of dozens of criminals does not inspire terror.


Aside from Firefly, The Electrocutioner, Scarecrow and Tweedledum and Tweedledee appear in this issue.  Some of the gang members come pouring out the arena, and get into a shooting match with the police.  But they have real bullets and the police do not.


By the end of the issue, it is total chaos.  Commissioner Akins has had enough, and issues a shoot to kill order on Batman and his entire crew.

The story continues in Legends of the Dark Knight.


The Riddler’s story also comes to a close this issue, by McCarthy, Castillo and Ramos.


Ivy quickly catches up with the Riddler.  Not much use trying to hide from her in her own jungle.  Although the Riddler is waiting for Ivy to kill him, her intent is more subtle, and she continues to degrade and humiliate him.


In the end, she simply turns her back and contemptuously walks away.  Her goal was to destroy the Riddler, not kill Edward Nigma.  And she has succeeded.

Detective 727 – Nightwing and Robin vs Firefly


Detective 727 (Dec. 98) is the beginning of the three-part Fight or Flight storyline, one of the threads of Road to No Man’s Land, which runs through the Bat-books.  Each book took a different facet of the story to focus on, and Detective Comics sees Nightwing and Robin do their best to protect the city, while Bruce is in Washington, D.C., trying to fend off No Man’s Land.  Chuck Dixon is joined by William Rosado and Stan Buscema for this, the final storyline of his long run on the book.


The Firefly is the main villain in the issue. This seems odd, considering that he was just captured last issue, but reference is made to him escaping 12 hours earlier.


Nightwing and Robin find it hard to take down a villain who cares nothing about being set on fire during their fights.


This storyline also deals with Jim Gordon and Sarah Essen.  With the government discussing sealing off Gotham and letting it die, the Gordons decide to move on, and find employment in a more stable city.


Firefly gets set on fire twice in this issue, but isn’t down for the count until being hit by a cement truck.  Bullock and Montoya are the police given some play in this issue, but only minor roles.

The story continues in the next issue.


Detective 1,000,000 – the super Bat-computer


Detective 1,000,000 (Nov. 98) is part of the DC One Million crossover series, which sees heroes from the 853rd century trade places with theirpresent day counterparts, but the evil sentient sun mess with the plans, releasing the Hourman virus.  Nightwing tries to explain it to Robin, who followed that as well as you did.  Chuck Dixon scripts, with Greg Land on pencils and  Drew Geraci on inks.


That’s Batman One Million (as it’s easiest to call him), in the Batcave to the consternation of Alfred.  He modifies the Bat-computer with his future tech, in order to see if there is a way to deprogram the nanite-based Hourman virus.


The virus drives people into paranoid mania, and Firefly takes advantage of this to lead people into burning their own homes.


The future Batman confesses to Alfred that even with his modifications, no computer with the present technology will be able to “cure” the Hourman virus.


He proves more successful at taking down Firefly, and his suit’s ability to fly makes it even easier.

In the end, he realizes that in order to defeat the future super computer sentient sun Solaris, they will have to create it in the present.

The story continues in JLA 1,000,000.

Detective 715 – John Jones in flames


It saddens me a bit that the image of the Martian Manhunter is on the cover of Detective 715 (Nov. 97).  Yes, he does play a major role in the issue, but Dixon, Nolan and Barreto do such a good job of playing him just as John Jones, there was no need to give it away.


The Firefly never realizes that the man in front of him is a martian in disguise, and is much more interested in trying to kill Batman.  That works to John’s advantage, allowing him to get away, with the aid of Bullock.


There are clear enough hints in the story that Jones is something more than he appears to be, but not enough to make Bullock look dumb for not catching on.


Batman knows who he is, of course, and they meet in Commissioner Gordon’s office to discuss the case.  Gordon is not thrilled to find there is yet another man who can disappear in the middle of a conversation.


Lynns believes that Dalbart has run out on him, and arrives at the sight of their jewel theft, wanting to take vengeance on the imagined slight.  Dalbart has no opportunity to explain what is really going on.


It’s John Jones who explains it all to Batman, after Firefly has been taken down.  Dalbart is a thief from the future, who has mastered control of neutrinos.  He escaped into the distant past.

Dalbart does return again, a number of years down the road, in Booster Gold’s comic.

Detective 714 – John Jones comes to Gotham


Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan and joined by Eduardo Barreto on the inks on Detective 714 (Oct. 97), as John Jones comes to Gotham, in search of a very unusual criminal.


Wiley Dalbart is a thief, and everyone seems to want him.  Montoya and Bullock are in the process of turning him over to the Feds when he simply vanishes in a burst of light.


Dalbart hides out in a rooming house for wanted felons.  Garfield Lynns is staying there as well, and the two conspire on Dalbart’s planned jewel theft.


John Jones arrives in Gotham, hooking up with Bullock, who is surprised that a cop would come all the way from Colorado in pursuit of a thief.


They have no more luck than before, as Dalbart vanishes again.  Batman and Robin join the investigation, and discover that the money left behind by Dalbart is new, but dated years in the future.


But all of them are taken by surprise when they discover the Firefly was working with him.

The story concludes next issue.

Detective 690 – the return of Firebug


Chuck Dixon, Staz Johnson and Scott Hanna conclude the Firefly 2-parter in Detective 690 (Oct. 95).


Firefly looks great throughout this storyline, and I like Dixon’s line about him being a hands-on arsonist.  His true, consuming passion is fire.


A more obscure Batman arsonist, Firebug, also appears in this storyline.  He made a cameo, not in costume, in the previous issue.  He had been Black Mask’s arsonist, replaced by Firefly.  Firebug last appeared in Batman 400, though only in a cameo, and this marks his first post-Crisis appearance.


And his last.  So much for Firebug.  Black Mask definitely traded up, and he was redundant anyway.


Lynns makes a date with the woman he likes, but brings a suitcase of gear with him.  A clear warning sign to the reader, if not the woman in the story.


He reveals his true identity to her, and wants to share his love of fire with her.  It seems pretty clear he envisions burning her as a moment of shared ecstasy.  Batman spoils the mood by bursting in, and Robin douses it completely, driving into Firefly with a truck full of fire retardant.

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.

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