Posts tagged ‘Slam Bradley’

Detective 850 – Batman ends

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Heart of Hush comes to an end in Detective 850 (Jan. 09), as does Batman RIP, and the runs of Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs, and even Batman.

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Having left Batman at the hospital, Hush heads to Wayne Manor, pretending to be Bruce Wayne.  It doesn’t work, though Alfred cannot take credit for observation and deduction.  Bruce phoned him and told him Tommy had a new face, and that he was on the way there.  I kind of wish Alfred had figured it out on his own, picked up on some detail that proved it was not Bruce.

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But Hush bests the butler, and makes it down into the Batcave.  They have a lot of fun with this scene, showing old Batmobiles, including the one from the tv show, and the Whirly-Bats, not seen since the 60s.

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As Hush waits for the heroes to show up and fight him, he has another flashback.  This shows the murder of his mother, and Peyton Riley’s aid in covering it up.  Although Peyton believed that, with his mother dead, they would be free to marry, in reality Tommy flew off to Europe, threatening to kill her if she ever revealed the truth.  Poor Peyton, things were crappy long even before her arranged marriage.

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Batman does finally get to the cave, as do Nightwing and Robin.  And Hush gets chased by the giant dinosaur.  It’s always a great story when the dinosaur gets used.

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Even better is the way Batman defeats Hush, using the Whirly-Bat.  It catches his bandages, and carries him away.  It crashes and explodes near the underground river, and Batman knows Tommy will have survived somehow.

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Dr. Mid-Nite and Mr Terrific perform the surgery on Catwoman, and successfully replace her heart.

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Selina gets a scene with Zatanna.  Near-death, or dream, or magic, it’s never clear.  Nor should it be.

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Bruce comes to see Selina in recovery, and openly admits his love for her, and how much she means to him.

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But Batman and Catwoman are only together for a couple of panels, and then the story jumps ahead, to after Batman’s apparent death.  Catwoman is living on a beach, and sends a tape out to Hush.  We learn that she has used all her influence, and her friends, to loot Tommy Elliot’s finances, ruin his hideouts, and make him poison to be associated with.  Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Slam Bradley are shown helping with this.

The story does have a sequel, a couple months down the road, as Catwoman confronts Hush, but that is detailed in the pages of Batman.

And even though it would be a couple of years before Bruce Wayne returned to these pages, and Batman was once again the star of the book, Detective Comics remained firmly in the Batman family of books.

Detective 762 – Batman gives Sasha a push, and Slam Bradley ends

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Sasha Bordeaux becomes a costumed crime-fighter in Detective 762 (Nov. 01), whether she wants to or not, in a story by Greg Rucka, Rick Burchett, Dan Davis and Rodney Ramos.

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As the Internal Affairs investigator takes Renee Montoya around, showing her the evidence and the witnesses, Bruce continues to play the fool, even with Vesper Fairchild.

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But he is all business when it comes to Sasha.  She does not want to wear a costume and mask, but he insists.  It would detract from his persona to have her dressed normally, and add to the risk of exposure.  She is also tentative about his retracting line, but he gives her no choice, shoving her off the roof.  Hang on or die.

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The training night is interrupted when Batman spots some actual criminals.  He orders Sasha to stay behind.  And like every single other person Batman has trained, she disobeys and dives into the action.

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Having seen all the evidence, Renee is brought back to the station.  She confronts Harvey Bullock, who admits the murder.  The guy got away with shooting Gordon, and Harvey couldn’t have that.  He resigns from the force.

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Slam Bradley meets with Catwoman in the last issue of his series, by Brubaker and Cooke.  She answers his questions and fills in the gaps, and generally charms Slam.  Enough that he decides to say he couldn’t find anything.

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The mayor, the mob and the cops are all upset to hear that Slam is leaving the case without a solution, and express their discontent. But he keeps his mouth shut.

And for this, gets a supporting role in the new Catwoman series, launching the following month.

 

 

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 572 – Batman and Robin, Slam Bradley, the Elongated Man and Sherlock Holmes

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It’s yet another anniversary issue in Detective 572 (March 1987), marking fifty years since the debut of Batman.  Barr scripts, with Neary and Davis on the art for Batman’s chapter, but the story includes more artists for the different chapters.

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Slam Bradley, last seen in Detective 500, gets to open this tale, which involves a lost book being hunted by Professor Moriarty.  His client barely has time to hire him before being murdered.

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As Slam pursues the killer, he encounters Batman and Robin – the first time these characters have met, despite all the years they shared this book.  Terry Beatty also contributes to the art on Slam’s part of the tale.

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The Elongated Man chapter is easily the weakest part of the story, simply because of Carmine Infantino’s art.  I cannot think of a single thing he drew after 1980 that does not look like a poor imitation of his style.

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The chapter does introduce the villain, and we also discover that the Elongated Man is a descendant of Moriarty, though that will never be mentioned again.

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The backstory of the book is handled superbly.  Ernesto Cruz is the perfect artist on the Sherlock Holmes chapter, which looks, and feels, like something from a DC horror/mystery comic from the 70s.  In a good way.

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After the backstory is filled in, we jump back to the present day, as Batman, Robin, Slam Bradley and Elongated Man face off against Moriarty.

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An extremely old Sherlock Holmes even shows up to congratulate them.  It’s a decent tale, and had it been published before Crisis on Infinite Earths, Batman: Year One, and Batman – The Dark Knight Returns, would probably have been fondly remembered.  But as it stands, it feels a bit like a holdover, and not on par with some of the other anniversary issues released the same year.

The Elongated Man returns the following year in the pages of Adventures of Superman, while Slam has to wait for more than a decade for his return.

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There is a really nice Dick Sprang spread, featuring Batman and Robin, as well as both variations of Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, the Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, Scarecrow and Cavalier.

Sadly, at the time this did not impress me at all, it was simply another thing that made the book feel out of date before the ink was dry.

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