Posts tagged ‘Spore’

Detective 780 – An offer the Charlatan can’t refuse, and Spore ends


Catwoman gets featured on the cover of Detective 780 (May 2003), so one might think Brubaker, Castillo and Von Grawbadger have given her a significant role in this issue.  But one would be wrong.


The Charlatan poisons the Mad Hatter, having tied up and impersonated a guard to get in.  Scarecrow is a couple seats down, but still shows no fear.  The Hatter is rushed to the infirmary, and is in critical condition.


Catwoman gives Batman the location where the Riddler is hiding, in fear of his life.  She offers to come along, and be worthy of the prominence she is given on the cover, but he demurs, and that’s it for Catwoman. One page.


Batman gets some answers from the Riddler.  He learns how Joker, Riddler, Scarecrow, Penguin, Mad Hatter and Killer Moth had a plan, but felt they could not pull it off without Two-Face.  So they approached Sloan, and offered him the role of his life.  Batman does not recall any plot by these men to kill him, and Riddler tells him in never got pulled off, but there is clearly more to the story.

Which is why it continues in the next issue.

But Spore does not, as Gagne and Gagne bring it to an end.








Detective 779 – Mark Merlin reveals the identity of the Charlatan, and Superman vs Spore


The Charlatan’s story continues to unfold in Detective 779 (April 2003), by Brubaker, Castillo and Von Grawbadger.


The Riddler heads to Arkham, and has a frantic conversation with Johnathan Crane about the Charlatan.  The Scarecrow does not seem afraid at all – but then, that’s who he is, right?


And, in a complete cut away from the story, Lucius Fox leaves the hospital.  He has been in a coma.  You didn’t know that?  Maybe because Lucius has not appeared in Detective Comics for over a year, and his period in hospital was never even referred to.  But at least you now, too late to send flowers.


Batman learns that the Penguin consulted Mark Merlin before his attack, and goes to see him.  Mark Merlin had been a detective with a supernatural bent in the pages of House of Secrets in the early 60s.  His final appearance saw him lose his body to the extra-dimensional Prince Ra-Man, as explained in a DC Comics Presents in the 80s.  This marks Mark’s first appearance as himself since that.


Mark tells Batman that the Penguin wanted protection from a ghost, of Paul Sloan, a famous actor, who disappeared eight years earlier.


Bruce Wayne arranges to attend the theatre with Jim Gordon and Barbara, and Barbara casually gets Sloan’s wife to talk about her husband, and his dangerous way of getting too much into his roles, and his strange behaviour, shortly before vanishing.


And during the performance, Bruce spots something Phantom of the opera-like, changes clothes, and winds up confronting the scarred Charlatan.  Sloan manages to get away, but Batman knows who he is now.

Paul Sloan is clearly a re-working of Paul Sloane, the actor who got scarred while playing Two-Face, and wound up committing crimes in that persona.  Sloane had most recently appeared in this book, shortly after Crisis (shortly after this blog took over form the previous one).

Gagne and Gagne pit Superman against Spore.  Say no more!






Detective 778 – Two-Face says no, and Spore (says nothing)


Brubaker, Castillo and Von Grawbadger continue the story of the Charlatan in Detective 778 (March 2003).


Jim Gordon is now lecturing at a university.  Most of the students simply want to ask questions about Batman.  One brings up Two-Face, and then pulls out a gun.  Gordon defends himself, tearing the mask of his assailant, who runs off, leaving behind another double scarred coin.


Batman goes to see Two-Face, in solitary in Arkham.  He asks him about the double scarred coin.  Harvey is reluctant to answer, except that he is upset about the way Jim Gordon was dragged into it.


It was a scheme Harvey wanted nothing to do with, and refused to take part in.  The Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Scarecrow, Killer Moth and Mad Hatter were all involved.  But as he didn’t participate, he doesn’t know the whole story, and sends Batman to the Penguin.


The Penguin has already fled.  Consulting with Oracle, Batman scours the city until she feeds him a report about the  Penguin’s car having crashed.


Batman finds the Penguin hanging, and there is another coin in his hand.  Is he alive or dead?

The story continues in the next issue.

And now, more Spore, by Gagne and Gagne.  Hah!  Broke my rule there and listed the artist first and the writer second!






Detective 777 – The Charlatan makes his move, and Spore


Ed Brubaker begins his run on Detective with issue 777 (Feb. 03), re-thinking a classic story, and sequelling it, with Tommy Castillo and Wade Von Grawbadger on the art.


A nobody little hoodlum comes across Killer Moth’s suit, and decides to use it to commit crimes.  Turns out that was a bad idea, as he gets murdered, despite professing that he was not the original.  Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya are the cops investigating, and get what little info they can from the one witness, an older man.

Next to the body, they discover a two-headed coin, but both sides are scarred.


The news of the coin circulates quickly in the underworld.  The Riddler comes to tell the Penguin about it, and it disturbs both men greatly, though we do not know why.


Batman, and the police, determine that the coin does not belong to Two-Face.  He would be the obvious suspect, except for the double scarring.  Batman questions the widow of the victim, but learns little, other than that the man that was questioned by the police apparently does not exist.  Heading to the crime site, Batman finds the remains of his disguise, and realizes that Charlie Tann was really the Charlatan.

The story continues in the next issue.


And I continue my silent summary of Spore, by Gagne and Gagne.




Detective 776 – a cycle of vengeance, and Spore begins


Paul Bolles, William Rosado and Bob Wiacek are the creative team on the one-shot story in Detective 776 (Jan. 03).


Beuce Wayne has been very mopey since Sasha left.  The story begins with a beautiful illustration of the Manor and the cave, but the bleakness and emptiness convey Bruce’s emotional state.


Batman winds up on a case that involves an undercover cop now in the witness protection program.  He gave evidence against the mobster whose organization he had infiltrated, but the man went free.  Now, someone is killing off the gang members, the former cop is the prime suspect.


Batman goes to visit the man’s father, to find out where he is.  Despite being in the witness protection program, the guy apparently stayed in touch with his father.


Nor does the gangster have much trouble finding him, as they are out to kill him before he can kill them.  Great art on this.


It turns out Batman and the police have it all wrong.  The father was killing the gang members, to draw out the leader.  And though he pulls a gun on him, it’s only to ensure that he gets shot himself, with Batman as a witness, to ensure the man will go to prison and his son can return to his life.

A really sad little story.  Batman can be a downer.


Spore, a really wonderful, off-beat back-up series begins in this issue.  Written by J.C. Gagne, and illustrated by Michel Gagne (I bet they’re related), Spore is a silent series that runs for five issues.  So I will respect this by doing my best to summarize it solely with screen caps.







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