Posts tagged ‘Tommy Castillo’

Detective 810 – Why the Joker is pissed, and Croc ends

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War Crimes, by Gabrych, Woods, and Bergantino, continues in Detective 810 (Late Oct. 05).

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Batman finally figures out that Aaron Black is Arthur Brown.  Now, to be fair, the Cluemaster had supposedly died in the debut issue of the Suicide Squad revival a year or so earlier.  So Batman didn’t know he was alive.  But really, Aaron Black?  And so concerned about Spoiler?

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Black Mask has been impersonating Batman, framing him for a series of murders, and he attacks Stephanie’s mother on live tv.

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Batman shows up in time to save the woman, but after the feed is cut, so people will not know he was not the attacker.

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Black Mask gets away, simply by putting others in danger.  But he runs afoul of the Joker.  As far as the Joker is concerned, killing Robins is his shtick, and Black Mask had no right to hone in.

The story concludes in the next issue of Batman.

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Croc’s story comes to a bitter ending, by Gabrych, Castillo and Rick Purcell.

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The doctor tries a number of potential cures on Croc, and one even changes him back to a form he was comfortable in, but the Hush virus is too strong and mutates him again.

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Regretfully, but hungrily, he eats the doctor.  His more bestial state appears permanent.

Detective 809 – War Crimes begins, and Croc needs help

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Andersen Gabrych and Pete Woods return, with Javier Bergantino on inks, for War Crimes, a four part sequel to War Games, beginning in Detective 809 (Early Oct. 05), and continuing though the following issue, and the two issues of Batman the same month.

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The question of blame for the events in War Games is central to this storyline.  Batman takes down the head of the Vosovs, but even she blames Batman for the revived warring.

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Bruce Wayne is sent the tape of a tv show, in which a heavily scarred survivor, Aaron Black, is interviewed, and talks about the torture and death of Stephanie Brown at the hands of Black Mask.  He reveals her identity as Spoiler, and as Robin as well.

Batman goes to see Leslie Thompkins, only  to find that she has left Gotham completely.  And Stephanie’s medical records have been stolen as well.

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Batman runs into Aaron Black, and has the guts to stand up to him and defend his position, but gets a bit more scared when the Joker shows up.

The story continues in the next issue of Batman.

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Gabrych also scripts the Croc story, with Castillo and Ramos on the art.

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As dangerous and threatening as he is, Croc still maintains enough sanity to not eat the doctor, who he is relying on to cure him from the virus Hush injected him with.

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The last page of the story makes one wonder about the doctor’s motives, but that’s just for the cliff-hanger.  She stays true to her oath.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Detective 808 – Robin protects the Ventriloquist, and Croc haunts the sewers

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City of Crime, by Lapham, Bachs and Massengil, continues in Detective 808 (Sept. 05).

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Robin sits guard over Arnold Wesker, and the Scarface doll.  It’s a good thing he is there, as the mud people are trying to get in and kill the Ventriloquist.

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Meanwhile, Batman spends his time in his new identity, making friends, and even moving in, with other longshoremen.

The story pauses after this issue, resuming after War Crimes.

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Croc begins a three-part story in this issue, by Andersen Gabrych, Tommy Castillo and Rodney Ramos.  The story does not take place before War Games, but after it!  Wow!  And though it touches on War Games, it really is more of a sequel to Hush, which saw Croc get altered to a more bestial form.

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Black Mask’s men are sent out to get him, and bring him under Black Mask’s control.  That fails significantly.

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Croc has his own agenda, and seeks out a doctor who dealt with him in earlier days.

The story continues in the next issue.

Detective 799 – Batman’s plans go very wrong, and Poison Ivy’s plans work out

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Gabrych, Woods and Smith open the third act of War Games in Detective 799 (Dec. 04).

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Batman now has a desperate Commissioner Akins on his side. All the gangs have gathered in the big arena, with Tarantula looking after the kids in the crowd.  Batgirl, Robin and Nightwing are all stationed outside, with the police armed only with rubber bullets, at Batman’s insistence.

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Orpheus takes the stage, and is meant to give a speech that will unite the gangs under him, and thus, under Batman.  But that does not happen.  Because it’s not Orpheus under the helmet, it’s Black Mask (though Batman does not learn that in this issue).

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Onyx does find the corpse of the real Orpheus, but too late to warn anyone.

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Batman swings down into the arena, attempting to take control of the situation.  But even that goes very wrong.  Firefly hits him with a jet of flame on his way down, and a burning Batman in the midst of dozens of criminals does not inspire terror.

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Aside from Firefly, The Electrocutioner, Scarecrow and Tweedledum and Tweedledee appear in this issue.  Some of the gang members come pouring out the arena, and get into a shooting match with the police.  But they have real bullets and the police do not.

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By the end of the issue, it is total chaos.  Commissioner Akins has had enough, and issues a shoot to kill order on Batman and his entire crew.

The story continues in Legends of the Dark Knight.

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The Riddler’s story also comes to a close this issue, by McCarthy, Castillo and Ramos.

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Ivy quickly catches up with the Riddler.  Not much use trying to hide from her in her own jungle.  Although the Riddler is waiting for Ivy to kill him, her intent is more subtle, and she continues to degrade and humiliate him.

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In the end, she simply turns her back and contemptuously walks away.  Her goal was to destroy the Riddler, not kill Edward Nigma.  And she has succeeded.

Detective 798 – Tim Drake makes a decision, and the Riddler does as well

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War Games has the first chapter of its second act in Detective 798 (Nov. 04), by Gabrych, Woods and Smith.

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The gang war has turned personal, as the teenaged daughter of one of the mobsters was murdered, and Batman is getting frantic. It doesn’t help that he was captured on television for the first time.  Oracle suggests bringing in Stephanie, as they need more operatives, but Batman, though he regrets how he treated her, does not think Spoiler would be safe.  Neither realizes yet that she is already sooo involved.

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The Body Doubles, villains from the old Resurrection Man series, who proved far more popular than the hero, make an appearance in this, shooting Renee Montoya.

Batman meets with Commissioner Akins, asking him to turn the police force over to him, so that Batman can have the men needed to end the gang war, but Akins turns him down cold.

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Tim Drake spends a lot of time agonizing in this issue.  He vowed to never become Robin again, after his father’s death.

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But he knows he is needed, and too many lives are at stake.  Tim returns to the Manor, and a grateful Alfred, and once again becomes Robin.

The story continues in Legends of the Dark Knight.

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The Riddler is at the mercy of Poison Ivy in the second chapter of his three-part story,by McCarthy, Castillo and Ramos.

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Ivy really belittles him.  Not only does he not have any powers, he does not have the stature of the Penguin,or even the Joker.  He whines and pleads and begs.

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Marched to the top of a high canopy of trees, and certain that Ivy intends to kill him, the Riddler shows some courage after all.  He tosses Ivy a riddle, and jumps into her jungle.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Detective 797- War Games begins, and the Riddler visits Poison Ivy

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Gabrych, Woods and Massengil launch the first chapter of War Games, which will run through the Batman books for the next three months, in Detective 797 (Oct. 04).  The story follows the one-shot, Batman – the 15 Cent Adventure, in which Stephanie, back as Spoiler, tries to prove her worth to Batman by stealing one of his secret plans and putting it into operation – which results in sparking a gang war.

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Batman and Oracle spend most of the issue trying to co-ordinate things and keep control of a situation that spirals rapidly away from them.  The Penguin had attended the meeting-turned-firefight with Deadshot as his bodyguard, and as the story progresses, all the mobs wind up hiring costumed villains, though most only get cameos.

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Orpheus and Onyx visit the Penguin and Deadshot, but discover that they know no more than anyone else about the situation.  But everyone is leaping to take advantage of it – the Escobedos and Vosovs get into their own personal vendetta, and the Triad splits and winds up fighting against itself for dominance in Chinatown.

The story continues in Legends of the Dark Knight.

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The Riddler comes to visit Poison Ivy in the first chapter of a three-part story, by Shane McCarthy, Tommy Castillo and Rodney Ramos.

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The story is a follow-up to Hush, from recent issues of Batman.  The Riddler, blamed by many for setting all of that off, is on the run, and mistakes Poison Ivy’s invitation for sanctuary.  He is amazed at her private jungle, unaware that her powers were so great.

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She, of course, did not invite the Riddler for tea.  She was used as part of Hush, and none too happy about it.

The story continues next issue.

 

Detective 782 – Batman vs the Charlatan, and those darn roses

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Brubaker, Castillo and Von Grawbadger bring their Charlatan story to a close in Detective 782 (July 2003).

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We finally get to see that the Penguin is alive.  I knew he was.  He’s been in hiding the whole time, whining about it making life miserable for Montoya.

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Batman visits Crane while he’s at Arkham, and gets the last piece of the puzzle.  The Scarecrow used Sloan for his experiments, and wound up blocking his ability to feel fear in any way.

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Then it’s off to try to find Two-Face before Sloan kills him.

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Batman does catch up to him, only to find that he was the target all along, and Harvey Dent that bait, just as the plan had been eight years earlier.

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It’s a big, burning finale.  A flip of the coin determines Two-Face’s side, and he leaves Sloan to Batman.

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Sloan survives, and is visited by his fiancee in the hospital.  I called her his wife in an earlier blog.  My mistake.  She just so fills the role of Gilda Dent that I think of her as the wife.

Great mask, but this is the final appearance of the character to date.  I hope.  Certainly that I know of, and I hate being wrong on this.

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The back-up story in this issue, by Jason Hall, Craig Rousseau and Dan Davis, reminds me of a Tales of Gotham City from twenty years earlier.  No specific story, just the style, which centres on a street cleaner, who has noticed the roses that Batman drops off every year.  He has become obsessed with finding out who leaves than, and plans to stake it out that night.

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Alfred overhears, and of course Bruce is impossible to talk to, so he turns to Oracle, who enlists Robin, Nightwing and Batgirl to decoy the man.  Tim pretends to be a lost boy.

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And then Cassandra pretends to be mugged by Dick.

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All of which delays him just long enough to miss Batman leaving the flowers.

I wonder what happened the following year?

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