Posts tagged ‘Sean Parsons’

Detective 788 – the rage of the innocent, and the Dog Catcher ends

tec_788

Paul Bolles, Michael Lilly, Sean Parsons and Dan Davis begin an odd two-part tale in Detective 788 (Jan. 04).

tec_788_001

A violent and destructive man breaks out of prison, seeking to kill those who testified against him for murdering his wife.

tec_788_002

His strength is super-human, and the most Batman is able to do is slow him down, while Oracle does her best to arrange having the surviving witness spirited away to safety.

tec_788_003

The brutal battle between the two men reminds me of fights between Batman and the original Blockbuster.  But as the story progresses, despite the man’s violence, Batman begins to believe he must have been innocent of the original murder, to hate those who blamed him for it.

tec_788_004

This chapter climaxes in the sanitarium where one woman, who did not testify because the murder scene had sent her into severe shock, is on the verge of being attacked.  But the killer winds up dissolving into nothing, leaving only a curiously carved stone behind.  And the woman herself seems to know much more than she should.

The story concludes next issue.

tec_788_005

Rick Spears and Rob G bring the Dog Catcher story to a conclusion in this issue.

tec_788_006

The Dog Catcher turns over the Joker’s dead dog, and in a Monty Python-esque moment, tries to convince the Joker that the dog is just sleeping.  The Joker is amused, but not so amused that he forgets to shoot the Dog Catcher point blank.

tec_788_007

Remarkably, the man survives, as the bullet hit his cigarette lighter.  Knowing he has pushed his luck as far as it can go, the Dog Catcher leaves his job,and Gotham.

Somewhat low-key, but darkly funny.

 

Detective 741 – the bloody finale to No Man’s Land

tec_741

There is no real victory to be had in Detective 741 (Feb. 00), the final chapter in Endgame, the final storyline in No Man’s Land.  But there is a huge creative team, and a large cast of characters as well.  Greg Rucka and Devin Grayson are the writers, Damion Scott and Dale Eaglesham the pencillers, while the inks are divided between Sean Parsons, Sal Buscema and Robert Hunter.

tec_741_001

It’s Christmas, and a huge celebration is being planned by Lex Luthor, which the Joker is out to destroy.  The Huntress barely survives an attack by the maniac at the start of the issue (the conclusion of the previous chapter). She gets rescued by Nightwing, and even earns a word of praise from Batman.

tec_741_002

The Joker has had his men steal all the babies – all the children born during No Man’s Land.  Batman and crew are not sure what he plans to do with them, but don’t wait to find out.  Oracle co-ordinates as people spread out across the city, trying to find the children, but often finding caches of exploding dolls.

tec_741_003

Azrael and Batgirl (Cassandra Cain now) confront Mercy at Luthor’s huge christmas tree.  Mercy tries to get rid of them, but is lucky they were there to spot the dolls on the tree, which explodes real good, though all three survive.

tec_741_004

Batman has been chasing the Joker, but along the way notices the overtly acrobatic style, and is not at all surprised to discover that it’s Harley Quinn he has been chasing, in disguise.  She does give him the Joker’s location, but really, that’s only a sign that it’s too late to stop him, isn’t it?

tec_741_005

It’s Sarah Essen who confronts him, surrounded by babies, in the basement of the police headquarters.  She cannot shoot, and the Joker knows it full well.  He has no such qualms, and murders Sarah Essen.

tec_741_006

He then calmly walks out of the police station, and surrenders.  The scene almost dares Gordon to kill him, and Batman makes no move to stop it.  Gordon instead chooses to kneecap him, leaving the Joker lame (though unfortunately that just sort of gets forgotten).

A horrible, but perfect, note to end the storyline on.

And to give them credit, there really was never another attempt to recreate No Man’s Land, or hasn’t been to date.  It would be almost impossible.  The current series Batman Eternal is driving huge changes in the Batman world, but doing it in an entirely different way.

 

 

Detective 738 – Bane blows it up

tec_738

No Man’s Land moves towards its conclusion with Detective 738 (Nov. 99), in a story by Chuck Dixon, with art by Mat Broome and Sean Parsons.  It’s the conclusion of a two-part story.  Are you surprised it’s a concluding half? By now, you should be used to it.

tec_738_001

Bane penetrates into the heart of the city – the hall of records.  He sets off a (very) low-grade nuke, which destroys the building and renders the land it is on impossible to build on.

tec_738_002

Two-Face also finds himself in trouble, with the Penguin’s men leading an assault against him. Batman and Robin watch both situations unfold.  Robin wonders why Batman does not act to stop Bane.  Batman is more interested in who might be giving Bane the orders to destroy the Hall of Records.  They leave Bane to his bomb, and save Two-Face.

Detective 736 – Bane returns to Gotham

tec_736

Larry Hama, Mike Deodato, Jr and Sean Parsons bring Bane back to Gotham in the No Man’s Land story in Detective 736 (Sept. 99).

tec_736_001

It’s a pretty ballsy entrance, befitting of Bane. He rams a car carrier trailer into the barricade on the bridge, and then uses it as a ramp for a second truck, which leaps over the broken part, landing in Gotham.

tec_736_002

There is a surprising cameo in the story, by Sister Agnes.  Batman makes reference to their previous meeting, in the Joker’s Five-Way Revenge, a classic story from the early 70s.

tec_736_003

Batman discovers that Bane has returned, and tries to take him down right away, hoping to nip any plans he may have before they can start.

tec_736_004

Bane has bigger fish to fry than another bout with Batman.  He tells Batman he has planted a bomb in the church of Sister Agnes, and when Batman heads to defuse it, Bane goes off on his merry way.

This is one of the weaker No Man’s Land stories. It achieves its goal, but still feels like there could have been more to it.

 

Detective 731 – The Huntress as peacemaker

tec_731

Fear of Faith has its final chapter in Detective 731 (April 1999), part of No Man’s Land, by Devin Grayson, with art by Dale Eaglesham and Sean Parsons.

tec_731_001

The story centres on a hospice run by Father Chris, who tries to be accepting of everyone – even if this includes the Scarerow, a former member of Black Mask’s gang, and the Huntress.  The Scarecrow has manipulated people’s fears, creating a stand-off between Father Chris, the Black Mask gang, the Penguin, who wants to move in to the territory, and the cops.

tec_731_002

It’s a great story to show the malevolent manipulations of the Scarecrow, and also puts the Huntress into an interesting light, as she has to try to keep people calm and rational.

tec_731_003

Batman observes as the various forces converge, and tensions rise.

tec_731_004

The Huntress restrains herself, and even brings a degree of peace and understanding.  The Scarecrow’s schemes are exposed, and he exiles himself when Father Chris and his followers offer him forgiveness and acceptance again.

tec_731_005

The story concludes with a scene between Batman and the mysterious new Batgirl, as he takes her to one of his many new “caves,” this one in Arkham Asylum.

I am going to spoil the mystery here.  The new Batgirl is Huntress.  When I first read this issue, I took the scene at the end as an indication that Batgirl and Huntress were two different people.  But reading it, knowing they are the same, it makes a lot of sense.  Batman is rewarding her for her stability and maturity during this storyline.

Tag Cloud