Posts tagged ‘Sam Hamm’

Detective 600 – Blind Justice concludes

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Sam Hamm, Denys Cowan, Dick Giordano and Frank McLaughlin bring the Blind Justice storyline to a conclusion in Detective 600 (May 1989).

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Bruce got badly injured in the last issue, and is recuperating.  He finds he needs someone to stand in for him as Batman.  Again, this all sort of foreshadows Knightfall, but without being immersed in the Batman characters.

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So Jeanne’s brother steps in to play Batman, with Bruce using the scientific augmentation thingy to help and advise him.  But this is where the story just goes too far off whack for me, as everyone is lying and scheming and playing each other, and the story just gets far too convoluted.

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Jumping 40 or so pages of plot twists, the climax has the brother, dressed as Batman, fighting the Bonecrusher guy, but both are being manipulated by the silly machine.  Bruce does his best to save the boy, but the fight costs both men their lives.

Jeanne blames Bruce, and leaves.  He is cleared of the spy charges, which are hardly relevant by the time that plot is resolved.  And he tosses out the augmentation device.

Honestly, until I started writing this up I never noticed the similarities with Knightfall.  I simply didn’t enjoy this story, and didn’t think too much of it.  But now I am fairly convinced that this lead to the later, better, tale.

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The issue ends with a number of pin-ups by various artists.  Neal Adams, Walt Simonson, Keith Giffen and Mike Zeck, among others, do excellent and moody renderings of Batman, but it’s the final one, by Sergio Aragones, that crowns them.

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Detective 599 – Bruce Wayne, commie spy

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Detective 599 (April 1989), contains the middle chapter of Blind Justice, by Sam Hamm, Denys Cowan, Dick Giordano and Frank McLaughlin.

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Bruce is accused of having been trained by soviet agents during the period when he was training to be Batman, and finds himself incapable of proving his innocence without revealing his true identity.

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It goes on, and on.  And there is still another 80 page issue to go.

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The issue also contains a pin-up by Mike Mignola, with Batman, the Joker, Two-Face and the Penguin.  I like it, but wonder why it is in this issue, when the following issues contains numerous pin-ups.  Did this not make the cut?

Detective 598 – Blind Justice begins

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Sam Hamm, the writer of Tim Burton’s Batman, authors a three-part story, beginning in Detective 598 (March 1989).  The first and last issues are each 80 pages,with a normal sized issue between.  For some reason that always really bothered me.  Make the first or last extra-long, or all three the same length.  But then, I’venever heard anyone else whine about this.  Denys Cowan does the pencils, with Dick Giordano and Frank McLaughlin on the inks.

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Perhaps I wouldn’t mind so much if I actually liked this story, but I found it far too long, needlessly complex, and it uses almost none of Batman’s supporting cast, nor any of his villains.

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Bruce Wayne gets a new girlfriend in this story, Jeanne Bowen, who comes to Gotham hunting for her lost brother, who has fallen into the hands of the bad guys.

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This guy, who can be seen as a bit of a forerunner of Bane, goes by the name Bonecrusher, and is the main muscle Batman will fight periodically in the tale.

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The story gets into scientific augmentation of human skills, but the core of it deals with an attempt to frame Bruce Wayne as being a communist agent.

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Which he get arrested for at the end of this first issue.

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