Posts tagged ‘Prodigal’

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 680 – Harvey Dent grabs Harvey Kent


It’s Prodigal, chapter 7 in Detective 680 (Dec. 94), by Dixon, Weeks, Nolan and Rubenstein.


Two-Face has captured Harvey Kent, who was meant to be released instead of him, feeling that there is some weird bond between them.  Two-Face is written to be quite irrational in this storyline, which works.


Tim consults Barbara Gordon, making her first appearance as Oracle in this book.  Not yet as confident as she would become in Birds of Prey,the information she gives Tim in this story simply sends him right into the hands of Two-Face.


Shotgun Smith makes one of his rare appearances, as the Cluemaster and Czonk try an escape while being transferred.  Dick proves more than adequate at stopping the two.


Dick also manages to free Robin and Harvey Kent from the double death trap Two-Face puts them in, though Dent himself gets away.

The story continues in the next issue of Robin.


Detective 679 – The Rat-Catcher escapes


Prodigal runs through the Bat-books for the next few months, as Dick Grayson dons the mantle of Batman, while Bruce Wayne goes off to do secret Bat-stuff.  Detective 679 (Nov. 94) has the third chapter in the story, by Chuck Dixon, Lee Weeks and Joe Rubenstein.


The Rat-Catcher is up for a parole hearing, and Dick waits, with Robin, on the roof, expecting the villain to try an escape.  And also because the background is such a beautiful thing to stand in front of.  Rat-Catcher does escape onto the ledge, with the help of the rats he calls to him with a flute.  Even prepared, Dick fails to stop the escape, mostly because Tim dives in too fast, and the rats get him.


He meets with Commissioner Gordon, who can tell that he is yet another person in the costume, although Gordon doesn’t figure out that it’s Nightwing.  He points out that Dick is several inches shorter than Bruce, and of slighter build, and resents being played as a fool.  The most Dick can do to mollify him is promise that “the armoured one” is gone for good.


Two-Face gets a brief scene, as we discover he was released from prison due to a typo.  Harvey Kent was meant to be freed.  You gotta love they clever way Harvey Kent is brought back into the book.  For those who do not know, that was the identity of the original Two-Face in the 1940s, before the name was changed to avoid confusion with Clark Kent.


Dick makes up for his earlier failure with Rat-Catcher.  He plants tracers on a number of rats, and then follows them when the Rat-Catcher next uses his pipe.  This time Batman wins.  But the Rat-Catcher does return in a year or so, in Shadow of the Bat.

The story continues in the next issue of Robin.

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