Posts tagged ‘Shawn Martinborough’

Detective 765 – The wrong house to rob

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Wow, what a great cover for Detective 765 (Feb. 02).  The story, by Rucka, Steve Burchett, Jesse Delperdang and Rodney Ramos, is pretty good as well.

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Jim Gordon’s house gets robbed – completely emptied, the possessions carted away by truck.  Batman is out to find the ones who did it, and Sasha fears for the safety of the thieves, due to the intensity of Batman’s reaction.

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For the first time, she expresses her concerns to him.  But when she says that the fears for the well being of the thieves who robbed the “wrong” house, he jumps on her words, suggesting that she implied there was a “right” house to rob, and sulks off.

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Sasha also gets a codename, of sorts, as one of the thieves misunderstands a bit of their conversation, and thinks her name is Cover.  Which isn’t a bad name for her, really.

To her relief, and that of the felons, all Batman intended to do was retrieve the truck, and restore Gordon’s possessions, before they got sold and spread around.

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Detective 764 – Bruce invites Vesper to join him in the hot tub

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Three women are at the core of the story in Detective 764 (Jan. 02), by Rucka, Martinborough and Delperdang.

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Sasha continues to watch the romance between Bruce Wayne and Vesper Fairchild, with bitterness, a touch of jealousy, and mystification at what Bruce sees in her – particularly when the time he spends with her does not seem to make him happy.

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This issue also sees Maggie Sawyer move from Metropolis to Gotham, taking up the lieutenancy vacated by Bullock.  The story teases her identity, with her name slowly being painted into her door, but her first scene shows her girlfriend, Toby, which is a dead giveaway to any comic geek.

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Tensions is also rising between Batman and Sasha, as she disobeys orders in the interests of helping, and calls him out on caring more about being in command than in saving lives.  Batman does not appreciate that.

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Commissioner Akins presents Maggie Sawyer to the cops – only Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen get shown specifically.  But Maggie gives a good introductory speech.

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Bruce pretends to forget a date with Vesper, and she shows up to the Manor, only to find him in the hot tub with three other women and no bathing suit.  Bruce invites her to join, but she storms out.

And Sasha is left more confused than ever.

Detective 763 – Sasha meets the Huntress, and Josie Mac debuts

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Rucka, Martinborough and Delperdang are the creative team on Detective 763 (Dec. 01), which is part of the crossover series Joker: Last Laugh.  Believing he is dying the Joker releases massive amounts of Joker toxin, Joker-izing a host of other DC villains.  I don’t care for this crossover much, but have to admit that this issue has one of its better stories.

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Rather than dealing with a known villain, this story deals with Cucilla, an inmate at Arkham who gets changed by the gas.  She seems to have a thing for swords, and other pointy objects.

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Being Jokerized, she is far from rational, but there is enough in her rantings to know that her father is of some importance.

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With Batman super busy, Sasha goes out on her own to deal with the craziness on the streets, and runs into the Huntress.  The two women do not hit it off, not at all.  So much so that Cucilla gets away, because they are to into squabbling with each other.

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The Huntress intends to kill Cucilla, while Sasha insists on a non-lethal solution.  The Huntress scoffs, and tells Sasha that Batman will just use her and throw her away.

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But the Huntress does use netting to safely catch Cucilla.  And it’s a good thing, as she was not really an Arkham inmate, but an undercover DEO operative, being transferred so she could attend the funeral of her father, a duellist.

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Josie Mac debuts in this issue.  Created by Judd Winick and Cliff Chiang, she is a Gotham cop, but not one of the ones who gets to hang out with Batman.

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After she leads a bust that winds up revealing the mayor’s wife in bed with another man, she gets demoted.

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We discover that she has the ability to psychically find lost objects -but not lost people.  As a young girl, she learned it was better to conceal this ability.

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She begins her new post, in Missing Persons, and her first case deals with the kidnapped son of a gangster.

I don’t really care for this series, although it was popular enough to return.  This first serial goes on for 10 installments, but I will only return to it towards the end.

Detective 761- Sasha trains, and Slam Bradley meets Batman for the first time

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I choose to interpret this cover to show the first meeting of Batman and Slam Bradley, which takes place in Detective 761 (Oct. 01), even though the figure with the gun might be anyone.  Certainly it seems to fit the second story, and not the first at all.

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The Batman story in this issue, by Rucka, Martinborough, and Jesse Delperdang, has him lay out a 30 day training regime that Sasha Bordeaux must complete in order to continue to work with him.

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While this is going on, and Internal Affairs investigation begins of the police.  Renee and Allen are focussed on by the other cops, because of their actions under the Mad Hatter.

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Bruce continues to see Vesper, to Sasha’s dismay.  Vesper is no longer a radio host, having moved into journalism, and has come back to Gotham on a story.

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And what is that story?  Well, she is spying on Batman, and flirting with Bruce.  She even has a camera.  Oh, no!  Vesper Fairchild has turned into Vicki Vale!  She must be trying to prove Bruce is Batman!  How…boring.

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The Internal Affairs investigation provides a better twist, as Renee discovers it’s not about the Mad Hatter at all.  The man who shot Jim Gordon has been killed, and the evidence points to a cop.

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Slam Bradley continues to have a hard time of things in this chapter, by Brubaker and Cooke.

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People are beating, threatening and bribing him to either find or not find Catwoman and/or Selina Kyle, but despite everyone’s interest, Slam really isn’t getting anywhere.

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He does have his first meeting with Batman, over 60 years since the men began sharing this comic. And it doesn’t start well, as Batman threatens Slam, wanting to know his agenda.  Slam does manage to convince Batman that he has no bad intentions towards the woman.

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And so, cleared by Batman, Slam Bradley meets Selina Kyle.

The story concludes next issue.

Detective 760 – Sasha provides interference, and Slam Bradley gets taken for a ride

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Rucka, Martinborough and Mitchell conclude the three-part Mad Hatter story in Detective 760 (Sept. 01).

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Batman gives Sasha a role in his plans to take down the Mad Hatter.  She does not understand it, it seems weird and trivial, but he just barks at her not to ask questions.

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The Hatter continues to recite poetry by Lewis Carroll – The Hunting of the Snark.  And we see his big device for sending his mind control waves.

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Stacey, Commissioner Akins secretary, is ordered to kill her boss, but Batman arrives in time to intervene.  The coffee cards function as the receiver, and need to be cut to stop the Hatter’s waves from affecting those who drank his coffee.

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But the Hatter sets off crazy cops, running wild, throughout the city, before the news of the card can get out.

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Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya, whose cards were taken with their possessions, have to fight to escape from their crazed guards.

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So it’s Sasha who saves the day, using an amplifier on the device Batman gave her to send out an electronic interference that messes with the Hatter’s waves, and frees his victims.

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Batman takes down the Mad Hatter. And Sasha gets a shock when she returns to the Manor, and finds Bruce having coffee (the non-mind controlling kind) with Vesper Fairchild.  She is an ex of his, making her first appearance in this book.

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Slam Bradley exhumes the body of Selina Kyle in this chapter of the Brubaker/Cooke story.

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The results are inconclusive, but Slam has no time to mull on that, as he gets knocked out and taken away by the mob.

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They are eager to find out the truth about Seline Kyle, and demand he report to them on her, as well as to the Mayor about Catwoman.  Slam figures out what none of the rest have, that the two women are the same.

 

 

Detective 759 – the Mad Hatter’s mind control, and Slam Bradley begins

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A great cover for a great story, as the Mad Hatter’s coffee mania continues in Detective 759 (Aug. 01).

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Sasha Bordeaux winds up caught in the middle as Montoya and Allen try to pull a heist, and Batman gets involved.  She does draw his attention to the coffee connection, but can tell he is not happy to see her.

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As with the police last issue, Montoya and Allen have no memory of the events, nor any idea what set them off. or if they are still under the Hatter’ control.  The absence of hats for his mind control makes this more difficult for Batman to figure out.  The Hatter is expanding his repertoire.

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And also expanding his goals, as he sends out more carts to spread his coffee.

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Bruce Wayne and Sasha have an honest talk.  She has figured out that the only way she can do her job is to provide whatever backup or alibis he needs.  Bruce accepts her help, but insists she not use a gun.

The story concludes next issue.

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Slam Bradley returns to the pages of Detective Comics, for a storyline that bridges the recently cancelled Catwoman comic, with the new one about to launch.  Ed Brubaker scripts, with art by Darwyn Cooke and Cameron Stewart.

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Catwoman is believed dead, but Slam is hired to find her, if she is still alive. Much of this issue is just fighting and fussing, with a fair sense of humour.  The series really does not much resemble Slam’s series in the 40s, but it’s fun, and the character as they create it screams old school.

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At the end of the issue, Slam is also put on the trail of Selina Kyle, also believed to be dead – unaware that the two are the same person.

 

Detective 758 – the dangers of too much coffee, and Oracle has dinner

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Martinborough and Mitchell rejoin Rucka as a two-part adventure begins, bringing back an old villain with a new twist, in Detective 758 (July 2001).

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Sasha Bordeaux spends the night tailing Batman, trying to figure out how she can possibly function as his bodyguard.  Batman stops a couple of masked hold-up men, who turn out to be Gotham police.  They claim to remember nothing about the thefts, or even being caught by Batman.

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Sasha can barely get up, and yet Bruce is wide awake, to her consternation.  The day does not improve as she is forced to be his caddy as he golfs with another multi-millionaire, subtly encouraging him to build in Gotham.

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The police are puzzled, and cannot figure out if the officers who pulled the crime are just lying, or if something more is going on.  Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya discuss the case in while getting coffee from the nearby vendor, the ever-friendly Fez, who reminds them to bring back a cup for Bullock.

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As evening falls, Bruce tells Sasha to go to bed for the evening, in a way that makes clear he was aware of the previous night’s activities.  He knows she knows, and she knows it.

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And Fez disrobes, revealing himself to be the Mad Hatter.  He places a phone call to Renee and Allen, which activates them as his pawns.

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Akins, the new Commissioner since Gordon’s retirement, uses the Bat-Signal for the first time.  He has discovered a pattern of thefts by police, and is not sure if this is widespread corruption, or someone manipulating things.  Sasha goes home, but passes Renee and Crispus as they don masks, and follows them.

The story continues next issue.

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Oracle has dinner with Renee Montoya, as they discuss Commissioner Akins in this one-shot tale, by Ed Brubaker and Steven Lieber.

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Montoya relates a story Akins told her, of his early days, and a neighbourhood vigilante, the Watchdog, who gained the trust of the community, to the detriment of the police.  A series of child kidnappings went unreported until the fourth case, simply because everyone relied on the Watchdog.

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And the Watchdog wound up dying, killing the kidnappers, but the child was not there, nor was anyone left alive who could tell them where she was.

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Which all circles back to why Akins does not want the police, or the community, to rely on Batman.

It’s a good tale, but there is one problem to it.  It’s Akins use the Bat-Signal which prompts this discussion, and we see it in the distance.  But it’s this same use that happens in the first story, and Renee is with Crispus Allen, under the Mad Hatter’s control, not having dinner with Barbara Gordon!

I credit this as an Oracle story, simply because she is the narrator.  But really, it stars Commissioner Akins.

 

 

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