Posts tagged ‘Harvey Bullock’

Detective 758 – the dangers of too much coffee, and Oracle has dinner

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Martinborough and Mitchell rejoin Rucka as a two-part adventure begins, bringing back an old villain with a new twist, in Detective 758 (July 2001).

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Sasha Bordeaux spends the night tailing Batman, trying to figure out how she can possibly function as his bodyguard.  Batman stops a couple of masked hold-up men, who turn out to be Gotham police.  They claim to remember nothing about the thefts, or even being caught by Batman.

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Sasha can barely get up, and yet Bruce is wide awake, to her consternation.  The day does not improve as she is forced to be his caddy as he golfs with another multi-millionaire, subtly encouraging him to build in Gotham.

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The police are puzzled, and cannot figure out if the officers who pulled the crime are just lying, or if something more is going on.  Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya discuss the case in while getting coffee from the nearby vendor, the ever-friendly Fez, who reminds them to bring back a cup for Bullock.

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As evening falls, Bruce tells Sasha to go to bed for the evening, in a way that makes clear he was aware of the previous night’s activities.  He knows she knows, and she knows it.

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And Fez disrobes, revealing himself to be the Mad Hatter.  He places a phone call to Renee and Allen, which activates them as his pawns.

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Akins, the new Commissioner since Gordon’s retirement, uses the Bat-Signal for the first time.  He has discovered a pattern of thefts by police, and is not sure if this is widespread corruption, or someone manipulating things.  Sasha goes home, but passes Renee and Crispus as they don masks, and follows them.

The story continues next issue.

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Oracle has dinner with Renee Montoya, as they discuss Commissioner Akins in this one-shot tale, by Ed Brubaker and Steven Lieber.

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Montoya relates a story Akins told her, of his early days, and a neighbourhood vigilante, the Watchdog, who gained the trust of the community, to the detriment of the police.  A series of child kidnappings went unreported until the fourth case, simply because everyone relied on the Watchdog.

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And the Watchdog wound up dying, killing the kidnappers, but the child was not there, nor was anyone left alive who could tell them where she was.

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Which all circles back to why Akins does not want the police, or the community, to rely on Batman.

It’s a good tale, but there is one problem to it.  It’s Akins use the Bat-Signal which prompts this discussion, and we see it in the distance.  But it’s this same use that happens in the first story, and Renee is with Crispus Allen, under the Mad Hatter’s control, not having dinner with Barbara Gordon!

I credit this as an Oracle story, simply because she is the narrator.  But really, it stars Commissioner Akins.

 

 

Detective 754 – The Interrogation Room, and Leelee finds her husband

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Detective 754 (March 2001) is the sixth chapter in Officer Down, a storyline running through the Batman books this month, in which Commissioner Gordon gets shot, and the regular creative teams get shunted around.

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Nunzio Defilipis scripts, with Michael Collins on pencils, and Jesse Delperdang and Steven Bird on inks, as Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya try to extract a confession from the man they are certain is guilty of shooting Gordon.  He was a policeman in Chicago years ago, and Gordon fired him for corruption.

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The evidence they have is not enough for a conviction, but even with Renee doing all she can as bad cop, the guy never loses his cool.

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Barbara Gordon is sitting vigil with her father, while Batman watches from an adjacent roof.  Harvey Bullock comes by, with a picture of the man, but Gordon did not see his shooter, and cannot identify him.

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Allen nearly gets the confession they want, after threatening the man with Batman, who he fears will kill him.  He actually admits the crime, but modifies his sentence to wheedle out of it.

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They release him, and Batman corners him. But when he finds out that Batman does not intend to kill him, his composure returns, and goes free.

The story continues in the next issue of Gotham Knights.

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Gorfinkel, Johnson and Panosian leave the Jacobian under the sea, as Nereus heads above the waves to attack a city.  Nereus remembers the Jacobian, but it’s not mutual.  The Jacobian recalls none of his abilities, yet retains some, as he and Leelee are able to breathe and talk underwater.

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Leelee is finally able to convince the Jacobian that he is her husband. It’s been pretty obvious for a while now, but he’s suffered numerous memory wipes, and wouldn’t have believed her had she said it at the start.

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The Jacobian makes a deal with the Mahmetchik to restore enough of his powers that he can stop Nereus, which they do.

Detective 749 – Lucius gives a good report,and the Jacobian looks at a map

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Detective 749 (Oct.00) has a really great cover, even if it doesn’t pertain to the Rucka/Hester/Mitchell story about a bomber.

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Commissioner Gordon does appear, along with Bullock, as they find the body at the site of the latest bombing, and swallow the bait, assuming him to be the bomber.

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Gordon goes to check on the man’s background.  He had been an employee of Wayne Enterprises before No Man’s Land, and Lucius Fox explains that he was a software engineer, a model employee and in no way a likely mad bomber.

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Batman tracks the bomber he saw at the rally, and eventually puts the pieces together.  he and Gordon wiretap the contractors, who were raking in insurance money from their bombed sites.  They wait long enough to hear them dis the OGs, and then pounce.

A decent little tale.  I enjoyed how it expanded on Gotham’s new peculiar divide in its citizenry.

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The Jacobian gets some answers in this installment, by Gorfinkel, Jeff Johnson and Dan Panosian.

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He continues to follow his hunches, and they continue to be correct, as Leelee is nowhere near as injured as she was pretending to be.  He gets some answers out of her about the ninjas – the Mametchik.

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Looking at a map, the Jacobian discovers that his travels and those of the ninjas are the same…

Detective 742 – TEC 742

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Greg Rucka, Shawn Martinborough and Steve Mitchell become the new creative team with Detective 742 (March 2000), as the book regains it’s identity.  In fact, under Rucka, the detectives of Gotham would rise to new prominence.

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This issue is all about Commissioner Gordon, returning to work, but still deep in mourning.  Batman follows him, observing, for much of the story, which deals with a murdered police officer.

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Harvey Bullock gets promoted, becoming a lieutenant, and throughout Rucka’s run the actual positions of the various police would become more defined.

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The murdered officer leaves behind a dying clue, TEC 472, written on his hand.  For reasons I have never really understood, the abbreviation for Detective Comics has always been “tec.”  Why it is not “Det,” when Adventure is “Adv” I have no idea, but it isn’t, it’s “tec.” So TEC 472 is not only a clue, but also the way the comic would be indexed, by geeks like me.

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Mackenzie Bock, who is a captain on the force, gets a bit more status under Rucka, appropriate to his position.

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And the new boy, Crispus Allen, becomes Renee Montoya’s new partner.  Though considered prissy by the other cops, he shows his stuff in the interrogation room, getting the location of the killer.

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It’s Gordon’s show all the way, though Batman does participate in the bug bust.  Gordon chases down, and apprehends the murderer, without even firing a shot.

He is not painted as a super-human.  The heroic is simply how he keeps going on.

Detective 729 – Mr Scratch’s plans shot down

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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).

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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 727 – Nightwing and Robin vs Firefly

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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 722 – Robin hunts for lost mother

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Detective 722 (June 1998) is part of Aftershock. Following the events of Cataclysm, Aftershock is not so much a storyline, as the overall title for a collections of stories, in the various Bat-books, that deal with the effects of the earthquake, and tie up some loose ends.  The fact that they did not try to weave it all into one story is likely what made Aftershock tales work so well.

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Chuck Dixon, Jim Aparo and James Hodgkins focus this story on a little girl who cannot find her mother in the devastation left by the earthquake.  Batman and Robin spot her, and feeling that she would respond better to Robin, he takes control of the situation.

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Robin gets little information out of her, and leaves the girl with Bullock and Montoya, while he begins his search.

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One page beautifully illustrates why even Batman finds getting around Gotham difficult now.

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The story also touches on Sarah Essen and Jim Gordon, who had not been in contact with each other since the earthquake struck.  Essen uses her authority to force a civil servant to do his job amid the chaos and lack of command.

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They do get in touch with each other, and re-unite towards the end of the story.

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The mother’s boyfriend is a small time hood, and Robin goes to see the Penguin at his new club, the Glacier Room.  The Penguin seems barely affected by the quake, and the story neatly reinforces the status he holds in Gotham.

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The Penguin gives Robin the information he needs to find the girl’s mother – only to find the mother has no interest at all in the girl, and was planning to abandon her anyway.  Robin picks up on the fact that there is money stashed in the girl’s doll.  Although not re-united with her mother, the girl winds up on a farm with loving grandparents, and a college fund unwittingly donated by her mother.

A great little story.

Detective 715 – John Jones in flames

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

The story concludes next issue.

Detective 697 – Lock-Up

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The mystery man grabbing the villains comes to the forefront in this three-part story by Dixon, Nolan and Hanna, beginning in Detective 697 (June 1996).

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Two-Face is busted out during a prison transfer.  Batman, Robin and Nightwing all gather when Gordon turns on the Bat-Signal (for the first time since regaining his position).  They worry what he might be up to, but their concerns are misplaced.  Harvey Dent is in the hands of Lock-Up, a dominatrix-garbed warden of his own personal prison.  He was the one who grabbed Veezey while Batman was dealing with Poison Ivy, and also grabbed Killer Moth, in the pages of Robin.

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When nothing happens with Harvey, the heroes compare notes on other villains that have gone missing.  But the police are more concerned with the spreading influence of Black Mask, and one of his men turns informer.

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Batman, Robin and Nightwing join the police assault on one of Black Mask’s hideouts.  The leader himself is not around, but there are plenty masked gang members to deal with.

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As it turns out, Lock-Up also had Black Mask on his list, and it turns out to be his misfortune to come across the police.  Montoya takes the big guy down!

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I really like the unusual way the issue ended.  Lock-Up is in police custody, his identity as Lyle Bolton, a wanna-be cop refused because he was considered too violent and disturbed (for Gotham!)  The tables are neatly turned when he points out that no one else knows the location of his secret prison, and those incarcerated will starve to death unless he is freed.

The story continues next issue.

 

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