Posts tagged ‘Lieutenant Kitch’

Detective 729 – Mr Scratch’s plans shot down


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).


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.


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


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


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


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.


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 694 – Poison Ivy out for vengeance


Dixon, Johnson and Hodgkins conclude their Poison Ivy two-parter in Detective 694 (Feb. 96).


Harold proves his worth yet again, as the Batmobile survives the plunge into the harbour with its impressive airbags.  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang would be impressed.


Sarah Essen discovers that, as a parting gift from Mayor Krol, she has been ousted as Commissioner, and replaced with an incompetent.  The man barely has time to get behind his desk before Kitch and Bullock are bringing him crises.


Essen heads straight for mayor-to-be Marion Grange, and makes a deal with her, that will see Jim Gordon returned to the Commisoner’s job.


Poison Ivy, Mr. Veezey, Batman and Robin all head for the largest park not yet attacked, the obvious next target.  Poison Ivy uses her pheremones on the man, putting him under her spell quickly. He’s lucky Batman shows up so fast, Ivy was ready to kill.


While Batman fends off Ivy’s advances, the man himself is grabbed my a mysterious costumed figure.  This person had appeared the previous month in Robin, also carting away a villain.  Who is he? Wait and find out.  Or look at my tags on this story.

Ivy gets captured, but is released (though not in this book) and used as an agent by Batman in Contagion, which starts the following month.


Detective 681 – the return of Azrael?


Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Klaus Janson bring the Prodigal storyline almost to a close in Detective 681 (Jan. 95).


A number of mobsters have been killed, and when Batman and Robin interview one of the survivors, Dick believes the man’s description indicates that Azrael has returned, while Tim thinks it might be somebody else.


Mackenzie Bock joins the police force, expanding the line-up, and adding a black cop to the roster.  Bullock, Montoya, and Kitch are all on the scene for his introduction, while the friction between Sarah Essen and Jim Gordon is affecting the department.


Dick pursues the trail of Jean-Paul, but finds him in a homeless shelter.  He is seriously disturbed,but clearly not a threat.  Returning to the cave, he finds Bruce there, prepared to retake the role of Batman.


It’s Robin who winds up facing the killer.  A new enemy, called Steeljacket. Their battle takes place in the issue of Robin which follows this, and concludes the Prodigal storyline.

Detective 673 – The Joker figures it out


Dixon, Nolan and Hanna bring the Joker’s movie to its grand finale in Detective 673 (April 1994), another chapter in Knightquest: The Crusade.


The Joker pits Batman against a roomful of hoods.  He got the hoods into the room by giving them guns, but loaded them with blanks.  He wants footage of Batman fighting, but wants to save the death scene for himself.


As he watches the fight, the Joker realizes that the man in the new costume is not the same Batman he has known and fought for so long.


And while it’s fun to see him finally get so pissed off by the two critics that he shoots them, to me, the story goes wrong as the Joker goes on with the film.  Somehow, having figured out it was not the same man, I wanted, needed, a bigger reaction from him.  Like maybe giving up on the film entirely.


I can’t fault the great musical setting for the big finale, but it just becomes another fight scene.


Jean-Paul does, perhaps, almost kill the Joker.  Certainly Kitch felt it necessary to put a rifle to his head.  Once again the story ends with the police stopping him from killing a bad guy, and Harvey and Montoya feeling that this is not the Batman they know.

The next two issue pit Batman against two gun nuts, Gunhawk and Gunbunny (did I need to mention they were gun nuts?)  The stories really add nothing.  Jean-Paul continues to feel tormented, and act overly violent, and the cops continue to get suspicious.

Detective 672 – The Joker calls cut


The Joker’s movie storyline continues in Detective 672 (March 1994), as Dixon, Nolan and Hanna continue with Knightquest: The Crusade.


Once again, Batman does not behave as the Joker expects, when he sees the falling Robin dummy, and the Joker’s planned shot goes awry.


And I have to say, I think I like the Joker’s poster for this storyline better than the storyline itself, which frankly goes on longer than the story merits.


Jean-Paul is not nearly as much fun to watch in the traps, which he has nothing but irritation for.


This issue has the Joker decoying the police to one location, while luring Batman to his real film shoot.  Bullock, Montoya and Kitch have small roles in the issue, following the false trail, but it’s all sort of filler.

The story concludes next issue.

Detective Annual 6 – Geist, the Twilight Man debuts


Detective Annual 6 (1993) is part of the Bloodlines crossover, running through the DC annuals this year. I hated Bloodlines.  I don’t know anyone who liked Bloodlines.  A bunch of aliens come to Earth and kill people. But some of the people they kill do not die, instead gaining super-powers.  Chuck Dixon, Jim Balent and Gary Fernandez do an ok job on this issue a short-lived and forgettable hero, Geist.


Those who survive the alien attack suffer memory loss, so this guy is given almost no backstory.  Which is fine, as it’s not needed.


Oh, look, the aliens got him.


And he wakes up, and discovers that he is invisible in the light, but can be seen in darkness.


For some reason, he figures this merits becoming a hero, and he makes himself a costume, and starts calling himself Geist, the Twilight Man.


And so, later on, when Harvey Bullock, Lieutenant Kitch and Renee Montoya are being menaced by another alien, Geist comes along to help.  As does Batman.  It’s Jean-Paul Valley in the costume, but he gets so little time in the issue, one could almost miss that.


Geist does prove himself useful, making Renee Montoya invisible as well, saving her from being killed by the alien.


The final page does give Jean-Paul the opportunity to show what a jerk he is, although I suspect Bruce Wayne would have been equally dismissive of this hero.

Geist returns in the Bloodlines finale.

Detective 659 – Batman vs Amygdala


Chuck Dixon and Norm Breyfogle helm Detective 659 (Early May 1993), the second part of Knightfall.  Much of this years run would be devoted to this storyline, which sees Bane push Batman to his breaking point.


The issue begins as felons flee from Arkham Asylum, after Bane breaks it open.  Maxie Zeus makes it no further than the nearest tree, but in the background one can see the Ventriloquist making a sock puppet, to replace his missing Scarface.


The other villains are simply cannon fodder for Bane, and Lieutenant Kitch discovers the corpse of Film Freak, murdered by Bane.


Amygdala, recently introduced in Shadow of the Bat, partners up the the Ventriloquist.  His sock puppet is not an adequate subtsitutue for Scarface, and he decides to find his lost friend.


Robin keeps spotting a circling falcon, and takes off from Batman to follow it, correctly assuming it to be connected to Bane.


Batman has been tracking the Ventriloquist, and manages to defeat Amygdala, but Arnold Wesker gets away during the battle.


While Batman deals with Amygdala, Robin faces Bird.

The story continues in the next issue of Batman.

Detective 619 – the Obeah Man draws blood


Steve Mitchell rejoins Grant and Breyfogle on Detective 619 (Early Aug. 90), the second part of Rite of Passage.


As with the last story, the young boy whose father works for the Obeah Man fantasizes about the hidden baka, worrying and fretting about it.


Batman joins Commissioner Gordon and Lieutenant Kitch to watch a tape sent by the Obeah Man, demanding a ten million dollar ransom for the Drakes, and killing their assistant.


Examining the tape closely, Batman spots a caterpillar, and off of that figures out what island the Drakes are on.  Tim is distraught.  But he wanted to be Robin.  Is this the cost?


Impressively, the issue ends with Tim and Alfred discussing that head on, the deaths of Dick Grayson and Jason Todd’s parents.  And though they try to keep the view that the death is not needed, the reader knows that yes, it is.


Detective 606 – the return of Robin?


Detective 606 (Early Oct. 89) contains the penultimate chapter of the Mudpack, by Grant, Breyfogle and Mitchell.


Payne is out robbing another bank, and the real Batman shows up this time. He is taken aback when Robin shows up.  This is the first mention in the pages of Detective of the death of Jason Todd. It happened almost a year earlier, in the pages of Batman.  Even though Batman quickly realizes that it is Sondra Fuller impersonating Robin, it still throws him enough that the Clayfaces are able to get the better of him, and they capture him.


Karlo plans to drive Batman crazy, and straps him to a chair in the theatre.  He forces Batman to watch his old horror films, but Sondra uses Looker’s psychic powers to make the terrors personal.


The real Looker arrives in Gotham, and also finds a disbelieving Kitch and accepting Gordon.


With Payne sleeping, Karlo drugs Sondra, and then reveals his true plan, to steal their powers for himself.  He takes blood from both of them, which also brings in Matt Hagen in a way, as Payne had used Hagen’s blood to give himself his powers as well.  It’s quite the Clayface cocktail.


The other two Clayfaces awaken to discover that Karlo has abandoned them, but in the best twist of the story, the two find  the love and acceptance they had long been seeking in each other.  I just love the heart shaped panel.

The story concludes next issue.


Detective 605 – The Mudpack frame Batman


Grant, Breyfogle and Mitchell continue the Mudpack storyline in Detective 605 (Late Sept. 89).


Karlo sends Preston Payne out to commit a bank robbery.  Batman shows up, but takes Clayface’s side against the police.  Of course, this is because it is not Batman, but Sondra Fuller, and she escapes with Payne.


Using her powers when in Looker’s form, Sondra is able to keep Payne under control.  She reflects on her life, being transformed into Lady Clay by Kobra, and able to take any form, but displeased by the people who respond only to fake beauty.

Batman contacts the real Looker in this issue, and has to deal with angry police, personified by Lieutenant Kitch, though Gordon retains his faith in Batman.

The story continues in the next issue.

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