Posts tagged ‘Killer Moth’

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 780 – An offer the Charlatan can’t refuse, and Spore ends

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Catwoman gets featured on the cover of Detective 780 (May 2003), so one might think Brubaker, Castillo and Von Grawbadger have given her a significant role in this issue.  But one would be wrong.

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The Charlatan poisons the Mad Hatter, having tied up and impersonated a guard to get in.  Scarecrow is a couple seats down, but still shows no fear.  The Hatter is rushed to the infirmary, and is in critical condition.

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Catwoman gives Batman the location where the Riddler is hiding, in fear of his life.  She offers to come along, and be worthy of the prominence she is given on the cover, but he demurs, and that’s it for Catwoman. One page.

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Batman gets some answers from the Riddler.  He learns how Joker, Riddler, Scarecrow, Penguin, Mad Hatter and Killer Moth had a plan, but felt they could not pull it off without Two-Face.  So they approached Sloan, and offered him the role of his life.  Batman does not recall any plot by these men to kill him, and Riddler tells him in never got pulled off, but there is clearly more to the story.

Which is why it continues in the next issue.

But Spore does not, as Gagne and Gagne bring it to an end.

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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 777 – The Charlatan makes his move, and Spore

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Ed Brubaker begins his run on Detective with issue 777 (Feb. 03), re-thinking a classic story, and sequelling it, with Tommy Castillo and Wade Von Grawbadger on the art.

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A nobody little hoodlum comes across Killer Moth’s suit, and decides to use it to commit crimes.  Turns out that was a bad idea, as he gets murdered, despite professing that he was not the original.  Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya are the cops investigating, and get what little info they can from the one witness, an older man.

Next to the body, they discover a two-headed coin, but both sides are scarred.

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The news of the coin circulates quickly in the underworld.  The Riddler comes to tell the Penguin about it, and it disturbs both men greatly, though we do not know why.

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Batman, and the police, determine that the coin does not belong to Two-Face.  He would be the obvious suspect, except for the double scarring.  Batman questions the widow of the victim, but learns little, other than that the man that was questioned by the police apparently does not exist.  Heading to the crime site, Batman finds the remains of his disguise, and realizes that Charlie Tann was really the Charlatan.

The story continues in the next issue.

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And I continue my silent summary of Spore, by Gagne and Gagne.

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Detective 699 – Lock-Up opens the cells

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Dixon, Nolan and Hanna conclude the introduction of Lock-Up in Detective 699 (Late July 1996).

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Lock-Up brings Tim Drake back to his prison.  Tim is still in contact with Nightwing, and informs him that he believes they are on, or near, water.  But then Lock-Up tosses him into the delousing tank, and his mike shorts out.

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With hoods about to shoot him, Matches Malone (Batman in his underworld identity) fights back in close quarters, causing a car accident, spectacularly illustrated by Nolan and Hanna.  Batman manages to crawl out and get away.

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Lock-Up takes Tim’s fingerprints, to determine who he is.  Some quick thinking, and hacking, by Oracle provides him with a fake identity and rap sheet, so Lock-Up has no idea who his new prisoner really is.

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Nightwing keeps searching, eventually finding the prison.  He is interested in freeing Tim and getting away, to return with Batman later.  But Lock-Up opens the cells, and starts flooding the prison.  Nightwing has to deal with Two-Face and Killer Moth, both as interested in vengeance as escape.  Two-Face has already figured out that Tim must be Robin, simply because of Nightwing’s interest in him.

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Batman shows up just in time, and the flooded villains, Lock-Up included, are taken away.

Lock-Up would return, and for a while actually become a sort of ally.

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One other significant thing does happen in the issue.  Armand Krol, hanging on to the bitter end of his term, collapses and dies.  He had survived the Clench, but it seems to have returned.

This is a set-up for next issue, and the Legacy storyline.

Detective 698 – Lock-Up has a key

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Dixon, Nolan and Hanna continue the introduction of Lock-Up in Detective 698 (Early July 1996).

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Two-Face, Killer Moth and Veezey are all concerned when Lock-Up does not return.  They are not his only prisoners, but the only ones of note.  Killer Moth’s inhuman new appearance is a result of his deal with Neron in Underworld Unleashed.

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The police refuse to make the deal and release him, but this is not of much concern to Lock-Up.  He swallowed a handcuff key, which he brings up.  He takes out the guards, steals a uniform and walks right out the front door.

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The heroes decide to split up, each keeping watch on one of the three men they feel most likely to be Lock-Up’s next target.  Batman goes into his Matches Malone disguise, but things do not work out well for him.  Nightwing gets busy, when he discovers his subject has kidnapped a child.

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Tim turns out to have the right target, but winds up getting captured by Lock-Up himself.

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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