Posts tagged ‘Mackenzie Bock’

Detective 744 – Whisper A’Daire spits


A gang war erupts in Detective 744 (May 2000), by Rucka, Martinborough and Mitchell.


While Crown is looking for revenge for the bombing of the youth centre, Tzu’s wife gets murdered, and he blames rival gangs as well.


Whisper A’Daire presents herself to Tzu, offering to help against the other gangs.  This seems a bit less absurd after she sticks out a forked tongue and spits acid into the face of one of his men.


Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon, as well as Mackenzie Bock, getting his first taste of the rooftop Bat-Signal meetings.  All three men agree that the war is being provoked by a third party.  Batman does suspect Ra’s Al Ghul, but dismisses him as it not being his style.


Abbot rounds up members of the Escobedo family, being blamed for the murders of Tzu’s wife, which Abbot himself committed.  He kills them, as a show of “good faith” to the Tzu family, on behalf of him and Whisper.


Whisper confirms most of Batman’s suspicions, content in the cards she is holding, as Batman cannot see the endgame she is playing towards.



Detective 743 – Whisper A’Daire and Abbot debut


Ra’s Al Ghul sends two new agents to Gotham in Detective 743 (April 2000), Whisper A’Daire and Abbot, who will both play major roles for a while, as Rucka, Martinborough and Mitchell launch a complex storyline.


Whisper has been Ra’s acolyte, while it appears Abbot has been working for him longer.  With unspecified plans, and an even more mysterious potion they need to take, Ra’s Al Ghul sends Whisper and Abbot to Gotham to do his bidding.


Batman and the police have been extremely busy, as a variety of gangs are moving in to the newly opened Gotham, despite the best efforts to hold them back.


Rucks cleverly uses a briefing by Bock to introduce the heads of the five families that will be significant in this storyline: the Crowns, the Tzus, the Edcobedos, the Kosovs, and the Galantes.


Whisper runs into Bruce Wayne at a society function, as he endows a new library.  He notices as she works the room, meeting all the influential people. Barbara Gordon is also there, and grew suspicious of the woman as well.


Batman goes to investigate the youth centre built by Crown, and ponders on the accusation thrown at Bruce Wayne earlier, that building the library is not compensation for leaving Gotham.  But he is not so lost in thought that he does not notice Abbot (although he does not know who is at this point), who blows up the centre.

Detective 742 – TEC 742


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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 683 – The Penguin opens the Iceberg Lounge


Dixon, Nolan and Hanna breathe new life into the Penguin in Detective 683 (March 1995), making him a corrupt club owner.  Ever since Crisis, the Penguin had not quite found a place in the new Batman universe.  He had wound up marginalized in Knightfall in a way he never would have been in earlier days.  But that absence simply served to make this change easier to accept.  The new role suits his look and character so well, it’s hard to believe it took so long to put him into it.


The Iceberg Lounge is shown to be a respectable club and casino, catering to a wide clientele.


A card counter is caught, but the Penguin sees potential in the man, and doesn’t have him thrown to the fishes.  Instead, he gets the man to use his actuarial skills to analyze Batman’s movements and behaviour, in order to have his men face the least risk during their crimes.


We catch up briefly with Harvey Bullock, in serious condition at the hospital.  Renee Montoya is sitting vigil with him, but is visited by Bock in this issue.


For being the same creative team as the last few years, the art just doesn’t look quite up to par on much of this issue. But the story carries it, as the Penguin’s men get closer to a perfect crime.  The actuary then makes the startling suggestion on how to avoid Batman and Robin – only commit crimes in daylight.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Detective 682 – The KGBeast returns


Detective 682 (Feb.95) features the second part of Troika, the story that sees Bruce Wayne back in the role of Batman, at last.  Troika began in the most recent issue of Batman, and concludes in the issue of Robin later the same month.  The old creative team is back at the helm – Dixon, Nolan and Hanna.


Bruce Wayne is still not quite up to par.  The story picks up from the cliffhanger in Batman, in which he was thrown from a roof by Colonel Vega.  He misses his toss with a batarang, and Robin risks death to save him in a dangerous move.


The KGBeast is working with the other Russians in an elaborate protection scam.


While Vega meets with Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne, demanding a percentage of Wayne Enterprises, the KGBeast blows up one of their chemical plants, to show they mean business.  It’s still, frankly, a big step down for the KGBeast, even though they will net millions.


Mackenzie Bock has an entertaining, if not impressive, exchange with Bullock.  Street smarts vs college.  Bullock seems to come out on top, but he’s the one who winds up getting critically wounded by the KGBeast.


Who, not surprisingly, has an agenda of his own, and it’s a nuclear one!

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.

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