Posts tagged ‘Steve Mitchell’

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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.



Detective 755 – Bruce Wayne parties it up, and the Jacobian takes a trip


Greg Rucka, Shawn Martinborough and Steve Mitchell are back as Commissioner Gordon retires after recovering from being shot, in Detective 754 (April 2001).


The story is largely narrated by Sasha Bordeaux, as she observes the odd behaviour of Bruce Wayne.  The notion that Wayne is a combination of Cary Grant and Jim Carrey is brilliant.


In fact, much of this story plays out as light comedy – the terribly awkward silence after Bruce introduces Sasha around at the party, and no one has anything to say.  Nice to see Shotgun Smith there, and Barbara’s presence is a given.


Sasha notices that, despite Bruce’s behaviour, he is not drinking alcohol, nor has she ever seen him do so.


Things get a bit more serious when arm armed man bursts in to kill Gordon.  Well, not on this page, which makes it clear he has no chance.


But amidst the chaos and comedy, Sasha notices something. And Bruce notices something.  And Sasha notices that the lazy playboy, with a hard as rock body, has noticed what she has noticed.  And once again he disappears on her.


Following him into the men’s room, she delivers a stern lecture to the one occupied cubicle, only to find that Bruce was not inside it – Two-Face was.


Two-Face takes the podium, as Batman pulls Sasha to safety.  But instead of some deranged attack, it’s Harvey Dent who speaks, giving a testimonial to Jim Gordon as if the years, and the acid scarring, were erased.

An excellent story.  A lot of fun, some good surprises, and Bruce has no idea how close Sasha is to figuring things out.


Gorfinkel and Panosian bring the Jacobian story towards its conclusion in this chapter.


The Mahmetchik are bringing the Jacobian and Leelee to their secret temple, on board a flying slave ship thing.


As they arrive, they face Kobi.  I have a hunch that Kobi is the same boy who was the general a few issues ago. And in this series, hunches are what you go on.

Detective 752 – Batman enters the park, and the Jacobian gets a new life


Rucka, Martinborough and Mitchell conclude the Poison Ivy 2-parter in Detective 752 (Jan. 01).


Batman enters Robinson Park, hoping to find some solution before the police send their troops in.  He has to battle Feraks, but figures that will just draw Ivy’s attention, and he needs to find her anyway.


Sasha Bordeaux is still at the Wayne Building, not able to find Bruce anywhere, and joins the long list of people frustrated over his mysterious absences.


Batman does talk with Ivy, but the stalemate continues.  Still, Ivy is sad about the situation, rather than defiant.


She wants to save the park, and the children, but it seems impossible to do both. So she orders the children to leave.  They do, and briefly wind up in the hands of the police, but then turn around and come back into the park.  They willingly become human shields to protect Ivy from Gordon and the police.


The story reaches as positive a conclusion as it possibly could.  Ivy leaves the park, saving the children, but does wind up carted back to Arkham.  It leaves one relieved, if not happy.


Leelee finds herself back at square one in this chapter of the Jacobian, by Gorfinkel, Johnson and Panosian.


The Jacobian now believes himself to be a simple fisherman, with no memory of anything that has happened so far.  But Leelee finds him before the fake memories have had time to really take.  But the Mahmetchik are there, and the characters wind up fighting on a boat.


Leelee solves that problem – blowing up the boat.


Detective 751 – Sasha Bordeaux debuts, and the Jacobian finds a magic child


Rucka, Martinborough and Mitchell tend to Poison Ivy in Detective 751 (Dec. 00).


Even though No Man’s Land has ended, Poison Ivy has remained in control of Robinson Park, with her Ferak creatures defending it, and a group of children who have become her devoted followers.  Gordon and the police decide the time has come to get her out.


Lucius Fox decides the time has come to get a bodyguard for Bruce Wayne, and hires Sasha Bordeaux.


Bruce is not pleased.


But he is also not able to argue against Lucius’ reasoning.


Gordon sets up a perimeter around the park, and the Ferak’s start fighting back.


Spotting this from his building, Bruce excuses himself from Sasha to go to the bathroom.


While not shown to be any less ruthless, Poison Ivy is still quite a sympathetic figure in the story.  No one else really seems to care about the park, or the children.  And there is nowhere else for her to be.

As well, starting with this story, Poison Ivy’s colouring is no longer shown to be human skin tone, but rather a more plant-like shade.

The story concludes next issue.


The Jacobian story jumps a bit, as he and Leelee are now in the middle of a combat situation, thanks to Gorfinkel, Johnson and Panosian.


There is a child general, reputed to have magical powers.  The Jacobian catches up to him just as the enemy troops do.  They are prepared to kill the boy, but he actually has powers – not unlike the Jacobian.


The Mahmetchik appear, using a special word to erase the boy’s powers and memories.  And then they do the same to the Jacobian.


Detective 750 – Batman cures Whisper A’Daire, and the Jacobian hears about the Moment


I took a ridiculous amount of screen shots for Detective 750 (Nov. 00), but I do like both stories in it.


Greg Rucka, Shawn Martinborough and Steve Mitchell are the team as Whisper A’Daire returns, catching up with the now one-eyed Abbot.  She gives him the serum to restore his powers, so Ra’s Al Ghul can make use of him again.


Batman has begin actively searching for Ra’s, and though he claims he is just catching up on his hunt for Whisper, Oracle knows this has to do with events from JLA – the Tower of Bable storyline, in which Talia stole Batman’s plans to use against the other members of the team, and Ra’s executed the plans, almost killing the other Leaguers.  Batman was expelled from the League shortly before the events in this story.


Ra’s has been searching for Talia, who split from him towards the end of Tower of Babel.  Whisper has found her, and Ra’s demands she be brought to him.


Talia is in Gotham, so it’s no surprise that Batman finds her as well, and there’s a rematch for Batman and Abbot.  Whisper shoots Talia before Batman takes her down, and Abbot flees with Al Ghul’s daughter. tec_750_006

And Ra’s is all angry at Talia, for betraying and deserting him, yet again.


Batman holds Whisper, and gets information by “torturing” her, pouring out all her serum. Love this page, so well done.


Batman also gives her the antidote, freeing her of her addiction, and removing her cobra tongue.


Silly Batman.  Whisper was not a victim of Ra’s, but a willing follower, and she returned to him, and is back on the cobra juice.  Everyone is gathered for Ra’s latest big evil destructive plot.  He orders Batman killed, but Talia begs to be allowed to plead with him.


Which, as always, leads to his escape. What makes me fascinated with this story is that Ra’s expects it, watches it.  He even gives up before Batman returns to attack, knowing that it is over, as it always is.  There is an odd fatalism to it. tec_750_011

There is an extra-length Jacobian story in this issue, by Gorfinkel, Johnson and Panosian.


The Jacobian hears about a hero from the past, the Moment, and the woman he tried to train as a sidekick.  He was about getting out of the moment, or into the moment.  Being of the moment and what it can free you to do.  Gorfinkel writes it all waaaay better than I do.


And this chapter is really fun, with the art altering to convey the different takes on reality that the Moment and the sidekick-turned-villainess can create.


And all the while reading it, one cannot help but feel there is a connection between these two characters, and the Jacobian and Leelee – which is confirmed by the art towards the end.  Gotta love parallel structure.

Detective 749 – Lucius gives a good report,and the Jacobian looks at a map


Detective 749 (Oct.00) has a really great cover, even if it doesn’t pertain to the Rucka/Hester/Mitchell story about a bomber.


Commissioner Gordon does appear, along with Bullock, as they find the body at the site of the latest bombing, and swallow the bait, assuming him to be the bomber.


Gordon goes to check on the man’s background.  He had been an employee of Wayne Enterprises before No Man’s Land, and Lucius Fox explains that he was a software engineer, a model employee and in no way a likely mad bomber.


Batman tracks the bomber he saw at the rally, and eventually puts the pieces together.  he and Gordon wiretap the contractors, who were raking in insurance money from their bombed sites.  They wait long enough to hear them dis the OGs, and then pounce.

A decent little tale.  I enjoyed how it expanded on Gotham’s new peculiar divide in its citizenry.


The Jacobian gets some answers in this installment, by Gorfinkel, Jeff Johnson and Dan Panosian.


He continues to follow his hunches, and they continue to be correct, as Leelee is nowhere near as injured as she was pretending to be.  He gets some answers out of her about the ninjas – the Mametchik.


Looking at a map, the Jacobian discovers that his travels and those of the ninjas are the same…

Detective 748 – things go boom, and the Jacobian fights desert ninjas


Phil Hester joins Greg Rucka and Steve Mitchell for a two-part story, beginning in Detective 748 (Sept. 00) that deals with the tensions between those who stayed in Gotham throughout No Man’s Land, known as OGs, and those who left, or are newly arrived in the city, called DZs.


An explosion rocks a construction site, for a new Wayne building.  Batman’s investigation leads him to an OG rally, where he spots a known bomber.


The man leading the rally has nothing but praise for Bruce Wayne, that he is one of the few decent employers in the city, and insists that his people would not have attacked him by bombing his site.


And the poor guy winds up becoming not only a victim of the bomber, but also framed to be the bomber himself, supposedly dying accidentally, and making the OGs look bad.

The story concludes in the next issue.


The Jacobian, Leelee and Farouk are confronted by the ninjas, dressed just like Leelee, in this chapter, by Gorfinkel, Johnson and Walden Wong.


Neither Farouk nor Leelee is a match for them, and the Jacobian believes that he will not be either.  Leelee insists he can do it, and there is an unusual page, as he begins to trust his hunches on where to attack.

The following page shows the ninjas waking up, defeated.  We can assume the Jacobian beat them, but not seeing exactly how just builds the mystery around this character.

Detective 747 – Happy Birthday, Renee Montoya, and the Jacobian gets a case


William Rosado joins Greg Rucka and Steve Mitchell on Detective 747 (Aug. 00), which puts the spotlight on Renee Montoya.


It’s her birthday, but all that seems to mean in her neighbourhood is that everyone hassles her about not being married with children.


At work, she discovers a bouquet of flowers, and an unsigned card.  Her partner Crispus Allen is curious, but isn’t even aware that it’s her birthday.


Commissioner Gordon knows what day it is, but his attempt to bring some birthday cheer turns into a shoulder for Renee to dump her troubles on.


With no pressing cases, Renee investigates the mystery of the flowers.  Tracking down the florist, she discovers that they were ordered by Bruce Wayne, and goes to confront him.  Hr confirms her suspicions, that the actual sender was Harvey Dent.  He had contacted Wayne to send the flowers, counting on their old friendship.


So her birthday party winds up consisting of shared cupcakes in the prison visiting room, with the man who held her captive.  It’s sad, and touching.


There is an uplifting moment at the end, as Batman leaves her a birthday card, thanking her for her kindness towards Dent.

Not a big story, no huge drama.  But it sure hits you.


The Jacobian faces the sniper in this installment of his series, by Gorfinkel, Johnson and Sowd.


The Sniper is a woman, Leelee, and quickly moves from attacked to client, as she asks the Jacobian to find her husband, though she has no idea who he is, or where he might be.


The one clue she can provide winds up leading him to his old friend, Farouk, as well as a group of assassins, dressed just like Leelee.

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