And we’re back to Aftershock with Detective 724 (Aug. 98). Dixon, Aparo and Hodgkins pull off another great story in the ruins of Gotham.
J Devlin Davenport, Bruce Wayne’s obnoxious neighbour, is causing problems all over the place in this story. As Alfred and Harold, in disguise as workmen, try to cover up the hole exposing the Batcave, Davenport keeps coming by to complain about how the work messes up his VCR.
Marion Grange gets a good scene, barking at reporters in a way most mayors would love to do.
Davenport is also causing problems in downtown Gotham, refusing to allow the city to demolish his fallen building, claiming that it is still his property. With communication down, and so much disorganization, no one is around to countermand him.
Batman takes things into his own hands, stealing a bulldozer and plowing right through the centre of the building.
It’s a victory of sorts, but just continues to show the sorry state of the city.
Dixon, Nolan and Janson handle chapter 15 of Cataclysm, in Detective 721(May 1998). It’s another of those issues in which the story jumps around all over the place, trying to keep up with all the plots, but Dixon has shown himself particularly adept at these kind of tales.
The story opens as Batman and Nightwing watch a mass grave of burning bodies in the middle of the street. A shocking and powerful start to a story. Quakemaster is inset on the page, the villain who may or may not be behind the destruction.
Robin and Alfred study the tapes of Quakemaster’s broadcast, claiming responsibility and threatening another quake if he is not paid off. Robin’s comments about the Quakemaster’s choice of words made me pause and think, and I am proud to say I finished this page with very firm suspicions about who the Quakemaster really was.
Batman and Nightwing, trying desperately to maintain some sense of order in Gotham, come across the Huntress. In her eyes, this is martial law time, but Batman disagrees.
The Quakemaster makes another broadcast, and this time, with Robin’s words in my mind, I confirmed my suspicions. Read the page closely.
The Quakemaster’s demands are not even practical, Gotham is close to broke. But people take it seriously, believing that Mayor Grange has access to the millions, and despite Jim Gordon’s presence, City Hall gets attacked by thieves.
The story continues in the next issue of Robin.
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.
Chuck Dixon, Staz Johnson and James Hodgkins begin a two-part Poison Ivy storyline in Detective 693 (Jan. 96).
The main park in Gotham City (not yet called Robinson Park), suffers massive damage when someone explodes a defoliant in it.
Poison Ivy suffers as a result, her connection to the Green causing the reaction.
The latest mayoral election occurs, which is kind of odd as it hasn’t really been played on in the pages of this book, but whatever. Marion Grange becomes the new Mayor of Gotham, with Seth Voder as District Attorney.
The man behind the defoliant bombing is Mr. Veezey, who suffers from numerous allergies, and interprets his doctor’s advice to take permanent steps to relieve the situation in an extreme way.
Poison Ivy makes a salad for her doctors, who are far too trusting to be working with her. That gets her out of prison.
Batman and Robin spot a defoliant truck on their patrol, and it speeds away. The chase leads over a drawbridge, but the Batmobile isn’t going to make it…
The story concludes next issue.