Posts tagged ‘Knightfall’

Detective 666 – the new Batman faces Bane

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Knightfall has its penultimate chapter in Detective 666 (Sept. 93), by Dixon, Nolan and Hanna.

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Commissioner Gordon has his suspicions confirmed, that someone new is in the Batman costume, in a nicely done scene.  Gordon’s proof is simply that Batman did not vanish in the  middle of the conversation, waiting to see if Gordon had anything more to say.

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Bird, Trogg and Zombie gets busted out of prison, and head for Bane, who they think was behind the breakout.  In fact, it was one of Jean-Paul’s more intelligent moves, as he expected the henchmen to act exactly as they did.

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So it’s rematch between Batman and Bane, but with a new Batman.  Jean-Paul has added some ridiculous hi-tech gloves to the outfit, but still fails to take down Bane.

The story concludes in the following issue of Batman.

Detective 665 – Jean-Paul becomes Batman

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Jean-Paul Valley dons the Batman costume in Detective 665 (Aug. 93), as Dixon, Nolan and Dick Giordano bring Knightfall closer to it’s conclusion, with chapter 16.

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While Jean-Paul does not find it difficult to intimidate or beat up criminals, Robin finds him extremely difficult to work with.

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We catch up with Tim’s father, Jack Drake, and his doctor, Shondra Kinsolving.  Jack has moved into the mansion next door to Wayne Manor.  Both Bruce and Tim realize that, as Bane knows Bruce’s identity, he must also know Tim’s, making Jack Drake a target.

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Sadly, this does not occur to either of them before the night that Bane sends men to kidnap Drake and Dr. Kinsolving, although Bruce wheels over in his chair, attempting to stop them.

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And Tim is far too busy watching Batman’s back, as Jean-Paul tries to determine Bane’s location by beating it out of anyone he can find.

The story continues in the next issue of Batman.

Detective 664 – Broken Bat

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Things are looking really grim in Detective 664 (Late July 1993), the 12th chapter of Knightfall, by Dixon, Nolan and Hanna.

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Having broken Batman’s back, Bane tosses the hero down into the street.

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Alfred and Jean-Paul show up, as ambulance drivers, taking Batman away before anyone else can.  Fortunately for them, Renee Montoya had been keeping back the curious crowds.  Alfred refuses to allow Jean-Paul and Tim to take Bruce to a hospital, and does all he can for him.  Robin and Azrael make an emergency run to get a drug, decadron, that is needed for his spine.

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Meanwhile, the Joker turns on the Scarecrow, ending their alliance and taking the Scarecrow down.

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While the Ventriloquist finds that Scareface simply cannot share him with the other puppets.  The argument turns into a gunfight.  Brilliant and crazy, and it adds a lighthearted note to an otherwise heavy issue.

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At this point, Knightfall kinds of spreads out, with the next chapter taking place in Showcase 93.

Detective 663 – Batman comes face to face with Bane

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Things continue to fall apart in Detective 663 (Early July 1993), the 10th chapter of Knightfall, by Dixon, Nolan and Hanna.

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Batman saves Mayor Krol from drowning in the sewer, leaving the mayor much more impressed with Batman than he had been.

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The Ventriloquist finally gets Scarface back, but is reluctant to give up his other new puppets, leading to conflict between them.

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With many of the villains now captured, Batman has to face Bane’s men, and spends much of this issue fighting, and defeating, Trogg, Zombie and Bird.

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Batman returns home, finding Alfred unconsious, and Bane ready for their big fight.

The story continues in the next issue of Batman.

 

Detective 662 – the Riddler goes on tv

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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 661 – Gotham in flames

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In Detective 661 (Early June 1993), Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Scott Hanna provide chapter 6 of Knightfall.

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Things have fallen into chaos in Gotham.  The Joker and the Scarecrow, working together, have kidnapped Mayor Krol, and are tormenting him for their own amusement.

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Garfield Lynns, the Firefly, who had been a minor villain for thirty years, gets his best outing to date in this story, as he sets fire to large swaths of Gotham, with Bane’s blessing. His new costume really helps make his character more menacing.

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The Ventriloquist has been adapting to a variety of puppets, as he continues to search for Scarface.

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And the Riddler sends off clues to his latest caper – but amidst all the madness, no one in the force bothers to read his letter.

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The Cavalier makes, I believe, his final appearance to date in this issue.  And even then he is dismissed by Batman as barely a menace.  He had last appeared in an issue of Justice League America a couple of years earlier, losing his sword in a poker game.

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The issue closes on the Firefly, as Batman prepares to confront him.

Although this issue jumps around all over the place, it’s really not the weakness that it might be.  It helps convey the multitude of threats the city is facing at once, and each of the individual scenes is well done.

The story continues in Batman.

Detective 660 – Robin gets captured

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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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