Posts tagged ‘Harvey Dent’

Detective 820 – a tragic return, and Jason Bard vs the Tally Man

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The seventh chapter of Face to Face, by Robinson, Kirk and Clarke, is the final installment to run in Detective Comics, in issue 820 (Aug. 06).

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Batman and Robin are in the midst of battle with the Scarecrow. He has created a gas that makes the heroes believe they are battling with their own terrors.  Batman faces his own father, in his bat-costume, which Robin first deals with an alternate reality version of himself, and then Superboy-Prime.  Both manage to shake off the gas’ effects, and take down the Scarecrow.

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There is a great scene between them, as Batman points out that both he and Robin have been through so much horror in their lives, that nothing the Scarecrow can throw at them is worse than what they have already triumphed over.

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We also learn that Jamie Harper is descended from Jim Harper, who was the Guardian in the 1940s.  Batman explains that the reason he has been brusque with Jamie is that too many relatives of heroes don costumes without being prepared, often with tragic consequences.  Jamie insists that the only legacy of Jim Harper’s she intends to follow on is his legacy as a good cop.

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Examination of the gun used for the murders shows that it has been tampered with, which is enough to clear Harvey Dent.  Gordon, Batman, Robin, and even Alfred are happy about this – but their joy is quashed when they see the news that Harvey has made himself into Two-Face again.

The story concludes in the next issue of Batman.

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Jason Bard’s series comes to an end in this issue, although it seems it was not intended to.

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The story in this issue is almost entirely a fight scene between Jason and the Tally Man.  But it’s well told, with the art reflecting Jason’s messed up vision, a result of Tally Man’s gunshot.  Jason also uses his cane in this story, looping it around Tally Man’s leg to bring him down.  Aside from that scene, we barely see it in their brief run.

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And he sure doesn’t seem to have much leg trouble anymore.

The story ends with a “to be continued” blurb, but Jason’s series ends here.  He does continue to appear in the Batman books over the next year or two.

 

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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

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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 818 – the death of Scarface, and Jason Bard begins

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Robinson, Kirk and Clarke continue with Face the Face, part 3, joined by Wayne Faucher, in Detective 818 (June 2006).

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Magpie, a minor villain, is the latest one found dead, again with two bullets to the head.

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All the evidence is pointing towards Harvey Dent being the killer, but Batman simply does not want to believe that.  He also realizes he needs a daytime operative to function when he is not able to.

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The Mad Hatter pops up, but no one tries to kill him before Batman can take him down.

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On the other hand, the Ventriloquist does not fare as well, as Arnold Wesker gets gunned down.  Scarface attempts to write a clue in Wesker’s blood.

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But Scarface gets shot as well.

The story continues – partly in the next issue of Batman, and partly in the second story in this issue.

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Jason Bard’s series returns to the pages of Detective, and even retains it’s old title: The Crime File of Jason Bard.  Robinson, Kirk, Clarke and Faucher are the creative team on this story as well.

Jason Bard had not appeared very much in the last decade. His most recent appearances had been in the pages of Birds of Prey.  In this story, we see that he is back as a private eye in Gotham, working on a case of a murdered husband while sleeping with the widow.

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Batman comes by to enlist him as his personal investigator, making him an offer he cannot refuse.  Worth noting are the other two detectives that Batman credits as capable – Ralph Dibny, and Roy Raymond.  Ralph was currently appearing in 52, thus the vague comment about him being unavailable (in fact, he was dead by this time).  Batman dismissing Roy Raymond as wasting his skills on daytime television speaks volumes about Batman.

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Jason accepts, and casually asks Batman to take the not-so-grieving widow with him to the police station, as she killed her husband.  Hiring Jason was just part of her cover-up plan.  He had figured it out, but she was still worth the sex before turning her in.

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Oh, Jason.

The story continues in the next issue.

Detective 817 – One Year Later

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After the conclusion of Infinite Crisis, the entire DC line jumped ahead one year, with the skipped year’s events detailed in the weekly miniseries 52.  James Robinson scripts an 8-part storyline, Face the Face, covering Batman’s return to Gotham after a year’s absence, running through both this book and Batman, starting in Detective 817 (May 2006).  Leonard Kirk does the pencils, and Andy Clarke on inks.

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Harvey Dent, his sanity restored along with his face, back during Hush, has been appointed by Batman to tend to Gotham while he was gone.  The storyline opens as Harvey takes down the KGBeast.  It’s an intense and brutal fight, ending with the KGBeast falling from the rooftop.  But when the police find the Russian murderer, he has been killed, shot twice through the head.

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And Harvey seems a bit less than pleased when Batman shows up, to take his city back.  Although Batman has nothing but admiration and gratitude for Harvey’s efforts.

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Jim Gordon is back in the Commissioner’s job again.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  This issue also introduces a new police officer, Jamie Harper.

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Poison Ivy does not make an actual appearance in this story, but her actions are certainly dramatic.  Enough to prompt Gordon to turn on the Bat-Signal.

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So this first chapter concludes as Gordon introduces Batman and Robin to Officer Harper.

Many of Batman’s villains appear in this storyline, but most have small roles.  It’s part of James Robinson’s style of writing, and I have to admit I do enjoy it, even though some get short-changed, like Ivy, who is taken down between this issue and the Batman story that follows it.

 

Detective 782 – Batman vs the Charlatan, and those darn roses

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Brubaker, Castillo and Von Grawbadger bring their Charlatan story to a close in Detective 782 (July 2003).

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We finally get to see that the Penguin is alive.  I knew he was.  He’s been in hiding the whole time, whining about it making life miserable for Montoya.

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Batman visits Crane while he’s at Arkham, and gets the last piece of the puzzle.  The Scarecrow used Sloan for his experiments, and wound up blocking his ability to feel fear in any way.

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Then it’s off to try to find Two-Face before Sloan kills him.

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Batman does catch up to him, only to find that he was the target all along, and Harvey Dent that bait, just as the plan had been eight years earlier.

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It’s a big, burning finale.  A flip of the coin determines Two-Face’s side, and he leaves Sloan to Batman.

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Sloan survives, and is visited by his fiancee in the hospital.  I called her his wife in an earlier blog.  My mistake.  She just so fills the role of Gilda Dent that I think of her as the wife.

Great mask, but this is the final appearance of the character to date.  I hope.  Certainly that I know of, and I hate being wrong on this.

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The back-up story in this issue, by Jason Hall, Craig Rousseau and Dan Davis, reminds me of a Tales of Gotham City from twenty years earlier.  No specific story, just the style, which centres on a street cleaner, who has noticed the roses that Batman drops off every year.  He has become obsessed with finding out who leaves than, and plans to stake it out that night.

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Alfred overhears, and of course Bruce is impossible to talk to, so he turns to Oracle, who enlists Robin, Nightwing and Batgirl to decoy the man.  Tim pretends to be a lost boy.

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And then Cassandra pretends to be mugged by Dick.

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All of which delays him just long enough to miss Batman leaving the flowers.

I wonder what happened the following year?

Detective 781 – The Joker fills in the gaps, and Gottismburgh

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Batman has to beat the truth out of the Joker in Detective 781 (June 2003), because that’s the way the Joker likes it, according to Brubaker, Castillo and Von Grawbadger.

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The Joker tells Batman how Sloan got so into the role of Two-Face that he would start fighting with the other villains, the ones he was terrified of as himself.  The Riddler, Penguin, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter and Killer Moth all get cameos in the flashbacks.

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Sloan decided to pull a job as Two-Face, on his own, to prove he could act the role.  Batman’s remembers, and how he suspected something was wrong when Two-Face hesitated after a coin toss, before shooting a victim.

The Joker also tells Batman that he was the one who phoned in the anonymous tip about the theft that night.  He scuttled his own plans, and pulled in Sloan only to pull him down.

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The robbery was blamed on Two-Face, who was furious at being impersonated, kidnapped Sloan, and tortured him for days.  The Scarecrow pronounced him dead, and took away the body.

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The Joker concludes his run of info by telling Batman that Sloan had told him much of this, only the day before, and wanted him to tell Batman, in order to delay him.

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Two-Face escapes from Arkham, after meeting with a lawyer.  Batman joins Renee Montoya at the scene, and sees that the drawing of the lawyer looks just like Harvey Dent.

The story concludes next issue.

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I suppose this was intended to start off a Batman Elseworlds serial in these pages.  The story as it stands, by Jon Lewis and Stefano Gaudiano, certainly doesn’t feel like it reaches its ending.

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The story deals with child factory workers in an Industrial Revolution era world.  Batman exists a legend, the Bat King, in the forest.  There is a prince, who some kids think might be the Bat King.

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The forest is filled with little Robins everywhere, and the Prince turns out to be a dick, and not likely the Bat King.

And then….

Nothing.  End of story, never followed up again, so far as I know.

Nice art, though.

Detective 778 – Two-Face says no, and Spore (says nothing)

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Brubaker, Castillo and Von Grawbadger continue the story of the Charlatan in Detective 778 (March 2003).

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Jim Gordon is now lecturing at a university.  Most of the students simply want to ask questions about Batman.  One brings up Two-Face, and then pulls out a gun.  Gordon defends himself, tearing the mask of his assailant, who runs off, leaving behind another double scarred coin.

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Batman goes to see Two-Face, in solitary in Arkham.  He asks him about the double scarred coin.  Harvey is reluctant to answer, except that he is upset about the way Jim Gordon was dragged into it.

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It was a scheme Harvey wanted nothing to do with, and refused to take part in.  The Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Scarecrow, Killer Moth and Mad Hatter were all involved.  But as he didn’t participate, he doesn’t know the whole story, and sends Batman to the Penguin.

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The Penguin has already fled.  Consulting with Oracle, Batman scours the city until she feeds him a report about the  Penguin’s car having crashed.

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Batman finds the Penguin hanging, and there is another coin in his hand.  Is he alive or dead?

The story continues in the next issue.

And now, more Spore, by Gagne and Gagne.  Hah!  Broke my rule there and listed the artist first and the writer second!

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Detective 755 – Bruce Wayne parties it up, and the Jacobian takes a trip

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Greg Rucka, Shawn Martinborough and Steve Mitchell are back as Commissioner Gordon retires after recovering from being shot, in Detective 754 (April 2001).

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The story is largely narrated by Sasha Bordeaux, as she observes the odd behaviour of Bruce Wayne.  The notion that Wayne is a combination of Cary Grant and Jim Carrey is brilliant.

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In fact, much of this story plays out as light comedy – the terribly awkward silence after Bruce introduces Sasha around at the party, and no one has anything to say.  Nice to see Shotgun Smith there, and Barbara’s presence is a given.

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Sasha notices that, despite Bruce’s behaviour, he is not drinking alcohol, nor has she ever seen him do so.

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Things get a bit more serious when arm armed man bursts in to kill Gordon.  Well, not on this page, which makes it clear he has no chance.

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But amidst the chaos and comedy, Sasha notices something. And Bruce notices something.  And Sasha notices that the lazy playboy, with a hard as rock body, has noticed what she has noticed.  And once again he disappears on her.

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Following him into the men’s room, she delivers a stern lecture to the one occupied cubicle, only to find that Bruce was not inside it – Two-Face was.

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Two-Face takes the podium, as Batman pulls Sasha to safety.  But instead of some deranged attack, it’s Harvey Dent who speaks, giving a testimonial to Jim Gordon as if the years, and the acid scarring, were erased.

An excellent story.  A lot of fun, some good surprises, and Bruce has no idea how close Sasha is to figuring things out.

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Gorfinkel and Panosian bring the Jacobian story towards its conclusion in this chapter.

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The Mahmetchik are bringing the Jacobian and Leelee to their secret temple, on board a flying slave ship thing.

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As they arrive, they face Kobi.  I have a hunch that Kobi is the same boy who was the general a few issues ago. And in this series, hunches are what you go on.

Detective 753 – Two-Face creates a comic book, and the Jacobian goes under the sea

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Detective 753 (Feb.01) was part of a sort-of crossover idea that ran through the Bat-books this month.  “In this issue – Batman dies!”  Except, you know, he didn’t.  Most of the stories (but not all) have some sequence in which the villain imagines killing Batman.  And that’s supposed to be enough to justify it.  It wasn’t.

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Greg Rucka doesn’t even bother with the Batman dying part, as he is joined by four artists for the story – Steve Manion, Bradley Raider, Hilary Barta and John Lowe – as we read a comic book, written and drawn by Harvey Dent, as part of his program at Arkham.

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The comic story is fairly simple. Harvey Dent is a heroic detective, fighting his evil side, which is it’s own persona, Dr. Janus.  Batman is Janus’ muscled goon, and Renee Montoya is made into a helpless damsel.  Can’t imagine she would have enjoyed this rendition of her.

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But it’s all for nothing, as budget cuts end the program. And Batman doesn’t die, in the comic, or even in the comic within the comic.

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There is a bit of a change of pace in this installment of the Jacobian, by Gorfinkel, Johnson and Panosian.

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The Mahmetchik are in focus in this one, as well as a child, Kobi.  We see their hidden temple.

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And Kobi spies, as one of them is sent to retrieve the Jacobian.  This chapter puzzles me a bit, it doesn’t tie in well, and I’m not sure of the identity of the one being sent out.

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The end of it jumps back to following the previous issue, as the Jacobian and Leelee find themselves under the sea, with Nereus.

 

 

Detective 747 – Happy Birthday, Renee Montoya, and the Jacobian gets a case

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William Rosado joins Greg Rucka and Steve Mitchell on Detective 747 (Aug. 00), which puts the spotlight on Renee Montoya.

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It’s her birthday, but all that seems to mean in her neighbourhood is that everyone hassles her about not being married with children.

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At work, she discovers a bouquet of flowers, and an unsigned card.  Her partner Crispus Allen is curious, but isn’t even aware that it’s her birthday.

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Commissioner Gordon knows what day it is, but his attempt to bring some birthday cheer turns into a shoulder for Renee to dump her troubles on.

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With no pressing cases, Renee investigates the mystery of the flowers.  Tracking down the florist, she discovers that they were ordered by Bruce Wayne, and goes to confront him.  Hr confirms her suspicions, that the actual sender was Harvey Dent.  He had contacted Wayne to send the flowers, counting on their old friendship.

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So her birthday party winds up consisting of shared cupcakes in the prison visiting room, with the man who held her captive.  It’s sad, and touching.

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There is an uplifting moment at the end, as Batman leaves her a birthday card, thanking her for her kindness towards Dent.

Not a big story, no huge drama.  But it sure hits you.

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The Jacobian faces the sniper in this installment of his series, by Gorfinkel, Johnson and Sowd.

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The Sniper is a woman, Leelee, and quickly moves from attacked to client, as she asks the Jacobian to find her husband, though she has no idea who he is, or where he might be.

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The one clue she can provide winds up leading him to his old friend, Farouk, as well as a group of assassins, dressed just like Leelee.

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