Posts tagged ‘Stefano Gaudiano’

Detective 781 – The Joker fills in the gaps, and Gottismburgh

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Batman has to beat the truth out of the Joker in Detective 781 (June 2003), because that’s the way the Joker likes it, according to Brubaker, Castillo and Von Grawbadger.

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The Joker tells Batman how Sloan got so into the role of Two-Face that he would start fighting with the other villains, the ones he was terrified of as himself.  The Riddler, Penguin, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter and Killer Moth all get cameos in the flashbacks.

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Sloan decided to pull a job as Two-Face, on his own, to prove he could act the role.  Batman’s remembers, and how he suspected something was wrong when Two-Face hesitated after a coin toss, before shooting a victim.

The Joker also tells Batman that he was the one who phoned in the anonymous tip about the theft that night.  He scuttled his own plans, and pulled in Sloan only to pull him down.

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The robbery was blamed on Two-Face, who was furious at being impersonated, kidnapped Sloan, and tortured him for days.  The Scarecrow pronounced him dead, and took away the body.

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The Joker concludes his run of info by telling Batman that Sloan had told him much of this, only the day before, and wanted him to tell Batman, in order to delay him.

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Two-Face escapes from Arkham, after meeting with a lawyer.  Batman joins Renee Montoya at the scene, and sees that the drawing of the lawyer looks just like Harvey Dent.

The story concludes next issue.

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I suppose this was intended to start off a Batman Elseworlds serial in these pages.  The story as it stands, by Jon Lewis and Stefano Gaudiano, certainly doesn’t feel like it reaches its ending.

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The story deals with child factory workers in an Industrial Revolution era world.  Batman exists a legend, the Bat King, in the forest.  There is a prince, who some kids think might be the Bat King.

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The forest is filled with little Robins everywhere, and the Prince turns out to be a dick, and not likely the Bat King.

And then….

Nothing.  End of story, never followed up again, so far as I know.

Nice art, though.

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Detective 775 – a new life for Sasha Bordeaux, and The Hunt ends

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Greg Rucka’s run on Detective Comics comes to an end with issue 775 (Dec.02), as he joined by Rick Burchett and Jim Royal, bringing Sasha’s storyline to a close.

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Batman has been interfering with Checkmate operations in Gotham ever since hitting a brick wall in his search for Sasha.  Checkmate does not want to get into a war with Batman, he is too vital to the city to take down.  Jessica Midnight is ordered to resolve the situation, and convinces Sasha to meet with him.

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Alfred challenges Bruce on his reasons for not giving up the search.  Bruce claims that Sasha knows too much about them, and needs to find her for his own safety, but Alfred points out that she has not talked in all this time, and is not likely to.  Bruce must have a different reason.

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So they meet.  It does not start well, as Sasha finally gets to vent all the frustration she has felt for her months behind bars.

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But once the anger and suspicion have passed, the truth comes out.

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Still, it’s not a happy ending.  Sasha’s life was destroyed, and she cannot go back to it.  Bruce admits setting her up to find his weaponry, to bring her into his world.  And then to making it all about the costume and the rules, to control her and keep her at a safe distance.  They did love each other, but neither could act on it at the time, and now it’s too late.

Sasha leaves, and Greg Rucka takes her along as he moves to to develop Checkmate, first in The O.M.A.C. Project miniseries.

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The Hunt, by Moore, Hoberg and Gaudiano, also comes to an end in this issue.

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It’s set in Arkham Asylum, as the scary beast man hunts for his latest prey.  Loads of cameos by inmates in this story – the Ventriloquist, Clayface, Calendar Man, Zsasz and Croc.  The creature does not kill his enemy, instead leaving him trussed up, with a note detailing his crimes, for Montoya and Allen to find.

Is this a new vigilante on the scene, or something else?

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The final panel just adds to the mystery.  We see that the beast is a man in a costume, and part of a much larger game.

This is really all a teaser for the Batman: Family miniseries, which begins this month, and reveals the beast to be called Tracker.

Detective 774 – Batman hunts for Sasha, and another Hunt proceeds as well

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Rucka, Lieber and McKenna continue with the saga of Sasha Bordeaux in Detective 774 (Nov. 02).

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She isn’t dead of course.  If you thought she was dead, you’ve never read a comic book.  While still unconscious, Sasha was taken by Jessica Midnight to Checkmate headquarters.

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She is offered a new life, as they “ended” her old one, as a Checkmate operative.

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Batman does not believe that Sasha is dead, and gets confirmation that some government agency took her from the prison and faked the death certificate.  He suspects Checkmate, but it takes months before he runs into David Said, and gets that confirmed.

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As the story ends, Batman breaks into Checkmate and confronts Jessica Midnight.  They refuse to tell him anything, and Batman does not even realize that he is standing right next to Sasha, who has undergone reconstructive surgery to give her a new face.

The story concludes next issue.

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That scary beast man keeps on killing people in this chapter of The Hunt, by Moore, Hoberg and Gaudiano.

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Still no answers, explanation, nor even a clear view of the main character, but it works.

The Hunt concludes next issue.

Detective 773 – Sasha dies, and The Hunt begins

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Greg Rucka, Steven Lieber and Mark McKenna are the creative team on Detective 773 (Oct. 02), which follows hard on the ending of Bruce Wayne: Fugitive.

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Bruce returns to Gotham after all charges are dropped.  Someone else has confessed.  Who?  Well, at no point in this issue does that, or anything else pertaining to the murder, get explained, so I will leave it a mystery until I get to a book that does explain it.  If I actually liked the resolution I’d probably give it.

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Despite the confession, Sasha remains in prison, even though she has been cleared.  The oddities of the US justice system.  Bruce demands that her conviction be overturned.

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For Sasha, it’s just more prison, and more beatings.  Until she collapses, and is taken to the infirmary.

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Jessica Midnight is introduced.  She works for Checkmate, and they have been monitoring Sasha for quite a while.  They knew about her time with Batman, and decide that she has proven herself capable and loyal.  Jessica is ordered to recruit her for Checkmate.

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So when Alfred goes to the prison to see Sasha again, he is told that she is dead.

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An unusual three-part back-up story begins in this issue, The Hunt, by John Francis Moore, Rick Hoberg and Stefano Gaudiano.

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Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya appear in this first chapter, but are not the central characters.  This storyline follows a mysterious figure, who looks more beast than man, and who attacks various felons in the city.

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Hero or villain, human or otherwise, nothing is for sure in this chapter, which effectively makes it scary.

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