Posts tagged ‘Orpheus’

Detective 799 – Batman’s plans go very wrong, and Poison Ivy’s plans work out


Gabrych, Woods and Smith open the third act of War Games in Detective 799 (Dec. 04).


Batman now has a desperate Commissioner Akins on his side. All the gangs have gathered in the big arena, with Tarantula looking after the kids in the crowd.  Batgirl, Robin and Nightwing are all stationed outside, with the police armed only with rubber bullets, at Batman’s insistence.


Orpheus takes the stage, and is meant to give a speech that will unite the gangs under him, and thus, under Batman.  But that does not happen.  Because it’s not Orpheus under the helmet, it’s Black Mask (though Batman does not learn that in this issue).


Onyx does find the corpse of the real Orpheus, but too late to warn anyone.


Batman swings down into the arena, attempting to take control of the situation.  But even that goes very wrong.  Firefly hits him with a jet of flame on his way down, and a burning Batman in the midst of dozens of criminals does not inspire terror.


Aside from Firefly, The Electrocutioner, Scarecrow and Tweedledum and Tweedledee appear in this issue.  Some of the gang members come pouring out the arena, and get into a shooting match with the police.  But they have real bullets and the police do not.


By the end of the issue, it is total chaos.  Commissioner Akins has had enough, and issues a shoot to kill order on Batman and his entire crew.

The story continues in Legends of the Dark Knight.


The Riddler’s story also comes to a close this issue, by McCarthy, Castillo and Ramos.


Ivy quickly catches up with the Riddler.  Not much use trying to hide from her in her own jungle.  Although the Riddler is waiting for Ivy to kill him, her intent is more subtle, and she continues to degrade and humiliate him.


In the end, she simply turns her back and contemptuously walks away.  Her goal was to destroy the Riddler, not kill Edward Nigma.  And she has succeeded.

Detective 797- War Games begins, and the Riddler visits Poison Ivy


Gabrych, Woods and Massengil launch the first chapter of War Games, which will run through the Batman books for the next three months, in Detective 797 (Oct. 04).  The story follows the one-shot, Batman – the 15 Cent Adventure, in which Stephanie, back as Spoiler, tries to prove her worth to Batman by stealing one of his secret plans and putting it into operation – which results in sparking a gang war.


Batman and Oracle spend most of the issue trying to co-ordinate things and keep control of a situation that spirals rapidly away from them.  The Penguin had attended the meeting-turned-firefight with Deadshot as his bodyguard, and as the story progresses, all the mobs wind up hiring costumed villains, though most only get cameos.


Orpheus and Onyx visit the Penguin and Deadshot, but discover that they know no more than anyone else about the situation.  But everyone is leaping to take advantage of it – the Escobedos and Vosovs get into their own personal vendetta, and the Triad splits and winds up fighting against itself for dominance in Chinatown.

The story continues in Legends of the Dark Knight.


The Riddler comes to visit Poison Ivy in the first chapter of a three-part story, by Shane McCarthy, Tommy Castillo and Rodney Ramos.


The story is a follow-up to Hush, from recent issues of Batman.  The Riddler, blamed by many for setting all of that off, is on the run, and mistakes Poison Ivy’s invitation for sanctuary.  He is amazed at her private jungle, unaware that her powers were so great.


She, of course, did not invite the Riddler for tea.  She was used as part of Hush, and none too happy about it.

The story continues next issue.


Detective 796 – Stephanie Brown as Robin, and Onyx shows her stuff


Stephanie Brown’s dreams have come true in Detective 796 (Sept. 04), as Gabrych, Woods and Massengil relate her adventures as Batman’s partner in crime fighting.


After Tim Drake quits being Robin, Batman offers the position to Stephanie, who jumps at it.  Oracle accuses Batman of doing this simply to piss off Tim, to which Batman responds by ignoring Oracle.


This issue pits them against Zsasz, who has broken out of prison and begun another killing spree.  The art does an interesting thing with his vision. Only humans (potential victims) are shown in vibrant colour, everything else is grey.  There is no reason to think this is some sort of super human power, it reflects his psychosis.


As they search the subway for Zsasz, Stephanie falls into his hands, and needs to be saved by Batman – but evens the scales as she saves Batman from Zsasz later in the fight.


Batman is not entirely pleased with her actions, finding that she is tending towards wanting to use lethal force.  At the end of the scolding, she asks if he is firing her.  He replies that he is simply teaching her.  But he fires her before the next issue anyway.


Gabrych also concludes his back-up story of Onyx in this issue, with art by Walker and Nixey.


Batman and Batgirl stage a fight with Orpheus in Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge.  Onyx shows her stuff, taking down both heroes.  No one is likely to mess with her after that.  Or Orpheus.


Still, Cassandra Cain hates losing a fight, even a staged one, and hopes for a friendly, but real, match with Onyx one day.


Detective 795 – Orpheus needs help, and Green Arrow hunts out Onyx


Gabrych and Woods are joined by Nathan Massengil on inks for Detective 795 (Aug. 04).


The Tarantula and Orpheus get into a fight.  Tarantula is completely unaware that Orpheus is working for Batman, and sees him as nothing more than another gang leader, albeit one who wears purple and keeps a motorcycle helmet on at all times.  Batman has to start, and lose, a fight with Orpheus so that he can retain some street cred after being humiliated by Tarantula.


Batman runs into her again, in the sewers, as they face Kafka once more.  The cockroaches have increased their number, but now fight amongst themselves.  This is the last appearance of Kafka to date.


Batman and Orpheus meet at the end of the story, as Batman forces Orpheus to accept that their plans are not working out.  Orpheus needs help, and it can’t be from one of the Batman’s people. Who can they turn to?


The back-up story in this issue really follows the main story directly.  Gabrych scripts, with Brad Walker and Troy Nixey on the art.


Green Arrow takes a journey to a place he has not been in a long time, the monastery that Onyx came from.  Remember her?  She was a supporting player in Green Arrow’s back-up series in this book, just before Crisis.  She has abandoned her afro for the shaved head look.  Fashion even reaches the Himilayas, it seems.


At Batman’s request, Green Arrow enlists Onyx to come to Gotham, and to act as Orpheus’ bodyguard.

The story continues next issue.

Detective 794 – Batman meets the Tarantula, and The Tailor ends


The ground is getting laid for the upcoming War Games, as Gabrych, Woods and Smith bring the Tarantula and Orpheus into Detective 794 (July 2004).


L’Shea is also sticking around for a while.  The Miracle Mom attends the funeral of her daughter, although no one but Batman (and Leslie) realize that.


Catalina Flores gets introduced,before her alternate identity does.  The Tarantula had been around for a couple of years already, in Nightwing’s comic, driving him up a wall with her murderous vigilantism.


Orpheus also makes his first appearance in these pages.  Introduced back in 2001, Orpheus has become Batman’s undercover operative, a supposed gang leader taking control of The Hill, in order to prevent any other gangs from doing so.


The Tarantula also finds that the business that has brought her to Gotham involves the Hill.


And Tarantula gets to encounter one of Batman’s more disgusting enemies, Kafka.  Introduced a few years earlier in Gotham Knights, Kafka is a semi-sentient collection of cockroaches, who take on human form.  Just, yuck.


Batman is none too keen on having the Tarantula in his city, knowing about her already from Nightwing.  But she has no intentions of doing what Batman wants.

The story continues in the next issue.


AJ Lieberman, Jean-Jacques Dziakowski and Daniel Green conclude The Tailor in this issue.


It’s a big, burning finale, as the Tailor takes down the former members of his team, even finding the one who betrayed them and set him up.


The ending confuses me.  Presumably the Tailor finally got the money from the heist, although the dequence of events on this page is not clear.  The finale had been a let down to me before that, though, as we never got to see that much of the character functioning as designer/armorer.  All in all, I prefer Gambi.


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