Posts tagged ‘Nathan Massengil’

Detective 814 – City of Crime ends


City of Crime has its final issue in Detective 814 (Feb. 06), as does the creative team of David Lapham, Ramon Bachs and Nathan Massengil.


Robin deals with an attacking Scarface, as Gordon faces the Joker- but really, both are under the effects of the hallucinations, and fighting each other.  So the apparent movement by Scarface last issue is meant to be understood as Robin’s vision, not reality.


Batman gets Commissioner Akins to light the Bat-Signal, which draws all of the Body’s bodies.  Then he flies by, luring them all further, to his trap.


And blows them all up.

There is a bit more.  A kidnapping thread that I haven’t really touched on, where it turns out the mother actually killed her own daughter.  Darkness and dead ends all around.

But while there are a lot of individual things I like about City of Crime, it really just doesn’t come all together for me.  Where was the Penguin?  That all got dropped.  Too many threads, not carried as well they might be.


Detective 813 – Batman goes underground


Batman discovers where the mudpeople, the Body, comes from in Detective 813 (Jan. 06), as Lapham, Bachs and Massengil relate the second last chapter in City of Crime.


Things are going haywire in the hospital.  Aside from the Body, the paranoia/hallucinations plague is spreading.  As Gordon deals with a hysteric, Robin watches Scarface climb off the Ventriloquist’s body, under his own power.


Batman goes deep beneath Gotham in his quest for the Body, to an underground city and ruined temple.  There is something ancient and supernatural about these creatures.


They have been using the bodies of those fleeing to somewhere even worse, when Gotham’s slums become too dangerous.


Batman can beat the creatures to pieces, but simply cannot defeat something that is willing to pull its own head off to show that the Body is not confined to any one body.

The story concludes next issue.



Detective 812 – protecting the Ventriloquist


Lapham, Bachs and Massengil move City of Crime towards its ending in Detective 812 (Dec. 05).


In his longshoreman identity, Batman was living with a work buddy, who beat on his wife.  By this issue, he has managed to convince the woman to leave her husband, and gives him a sock for her.


Robin, now with Jim Gordon helping, watches over the unconscious Arnold Wesker as the mudpeople – who are called The Body – take over the hospital.  They keep Scarface near the Ventriloquist, which is really nice of them.

The story continues in the next issue.

Detective 811 – people totally lose it


And it’s back to City of Crime in Detective 811 (Nov. 05),with David Lapham, Ramon Bachs and Nathan Massengil returning as the creative team, as if War Crimes had never happened. Of course, as the badge reminds us, this is all still taking place before War Games.


There has been a homeless man wandering around throughout the series, Raffi.  In this issue, he gets infected with an experimental plague, which causes paranoia and hallucinations.  A lot of the huge cast of minor characters get caught up in this, many with fatal results.


Batman has to fight as both himself and his new identity to try to save people, but is anyone living in these slums able to be saved?

The story continues in the next issue.

Detective 808 – Robin protects the Ventriloquist, and Croc haunts the sewers


City of Crime, by Lapham, Bachs and Massengil, continues in Detective 808 (Sept. 05).


Robin sits guard over Arnold Wesker, and the Scarface doll.  It’s a good thing he is there, as the mud people are trying to get in and kill the Ventriloquist.


Meanwhile, Batman spends his time in his new identity, making friends, and even moving in, with other longshoremen.

The story pauses after this issue, resuming after War Crimes.


Croc begins a three-part story in this issue, by Andersen Gabrych, Tommy Castillo and Rodney Ramos.  The story does not take place before War Games, but after it!  Wow!  And though it touches on War Games, it really is more of a sequel to Hush, which saw Croc get altered to a more bestial form.


Black Mask’s men are sent out to get him, and bring him under Black Mask’s control.  That fails significantly.


Croc has his own agenda, and seeks out a doctor who dealt with him in earlier days.

The story continues in the next issue.

Detective 807 – Batman undercover, and Alfred’s cover is blown


It’s another chapter of City of Crime, by Lapham, Bachs and Massengil, in Detective 807 (Aug. 05).


Batman spends the duration of the story wandering around the poorer parts of Gotham (Crown Point in this storyline).  He is in disguise, but a stranger, and he can learn little except that the poor have learned not to trust strangers.  So he tells Robin to hold the fort, and creates a new identity, becoming a longshoreman in order to penetrate their world.


Alfred’s story, by Beatty and Parker, reaches its conclusion in this issue.


The attempted assassination of Parsifal has to do with Russian agents and double-dealings among the Germans, but none of that really helps Alfred, who has to fight his way to freedom.  He takes down Gudra with a shotgun blast of rock salt.


And though he makes it back to England safely, the Germans have a heavy price out for the butler-spy, and Alfred is encouraged to leave the UK and take up a different identity somewhere else.  And that’s how Alfred Beagle became Alfred Pennyworth, and came to the US to be the Wayne’s butler.

Detective 806 – Scarface keeps on talking , and Alfred as spy


It’s more City of Crime, by Lapham, Bachs and Massengil, in Detective 806 (July 2005).


More gang warfare in this storyline, as the dissolving mud people prove they are able to blast away their enemies.  Arnold Wesker lies prone and bloody, looking near death, but Scarface keeps on talking.


It all makes for a very creepy scene, even for Batman.  The Ventriloquist is not dead, though.  Can’t really tell from this issue, but we see him (and Scarface) in the hospital in a later issue.


And the Penguin has had enough of the mud people.  He winds up coming to Batman’s aid, machine gunning them from a helicopter.

The story continues in the next issue.


Scott Beatty and Jeff Parker share a story of Alfred’s early days.  For some reason, there is no “before War Games” badge on this story, even though it obviously occurs decades earlier.


Set during World War 2, Alfred Beagle is a young actor, and master of make-up and disguise.  He gets called up by MI5, to serve as a spy.


He adopts the guise of a butler, to serve at a party for German bigwigs, including some of their super-powered soldiers.  Gudra, the Valkyrie appears.  She appeared throughout the 80s in All-Star Squadron and Young All-Stars, but hasn’t been seen much since.  There is also a heavily armoured soldier named Parsifal.  This is clearly a different person than the World War 2 German operative Parsifal that appeared in James Robinson’s Golden Age miniseries.


A very alert Alfred saves Parsifal from being poisoned, but not from being shot.  However, the price is that everyone now knows he is a spy.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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