Posts tagged ‘Ventriloquist’

Detective 812 – protecting the Ventriloquist

tec_812_001

Lapham, Bachs and Massengil move City of Crime towards its ending in Detective 812 (Dec. 05).

tec_812_003

In his longshoreman identity, Batman was living with a work buddy, who beat on his wife.  By this issue, he has managed to convince the woman to leave her husband, and gives him a sock for her.

tec_812_004

Robin, now with Jim Gordon helping, watches over the unconscious Arnold Wesker as the mudpeople – who are called The Body – take over the hospital.  They keep Scarface near the Ventriloquist, which is really nice of them.

The story continues in the next issue.

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

tec_808

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

tec_808_001

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.

tec_808_002

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.

tec_808_003

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.

tec_808_004

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

tec_808_005

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 806 – Scarface keeps on talking , and Alfred as spy

tec_806

It’s more City of Crime, by Lapham, Bachs and Massengil, in Detective 806 (July 2005).

tec_806_001

More gang warfare in this storyline, as the dissolving mud people prove they are able to blast away their enemies.  Arnold Wesker lies prone and bloody, looking near death, but Scarface keeps on talking.

tec_806_002

It all makes for a very creepy scene, even for Batman.  The Ventriloquist is not dead, though.  Can’t really tell from this issue, but we see him (and Scarface) in the hospital in a later issue.

tec_806_003

And the Penguin has had enough of the mud people.  He winds up coming to Batman’s aid, machine gunning them from a helicopter.

The story continues in the next issue.

tec_806_004

Scott Beatty and Jeff Parker share a story of Alfred’s early days.  For some reason, there is no “before War Games” badge on this story, even though it obviously occurs decades earlier.

tec_806_005

Set during World War 2, Alfred Beagle is a young actor, and master of make-up and disguise.  He gets called up by MI5, to serve as a spy.

tec_806_006

He adopts the guise of a butler, to serve at a party for German bigwigs, including some of their super-powered soldiers.  Gudra, the Valkyrie appears.  She appeared throughout the 80s in All-Star Squadron and Young All-Stars, but hasn’t been seen much since.  There is also a heavily armoured soldier named Parsifal.  This is clearly a different person than the World War 2 German operative Parsifal that appeared in James Robinson’s Golden Age miniseries.

tec_806_007

A very alert Alfred saves Parsifal from being poisoned, but not from being shot.  However, the price is that everyone now knows he is a spy.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Detective 804 – the problem with Mr. Freeze, and The Barker ends

tec_804

Lapham, Bachs and Massengill continue with City of Crime in Detective 804 (May 2005).

I guess I should admit that this is a storyline I have never read until now. I am a few issues ahead of these posts, but generally I know the whole story before writing it up.

tec_804_001

The best scene in the issue, in my eyes, once again deals with the dead girl, Haddie McNeil.  Bruce attends her funeral, and tries to give some consolation to her father, who assumes that Bruce was sleeping with his underage daughter, but also doesn’t care at all.

tec_804_002

Mr. Freeze has fallen in love with the girl he kidnapped, and so he kidnaps a minister, so the two of them can get married.

tec_804_003

The Penguin sends a message to the Ventriloquist.  Mr. Freeze has gone out of control, and the Penguin needs someone reliable.  Apparently, that means someone who talks through a dummy.  Ah, Gotham.

tec_804_004

Batman goes to talk to Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, a wonderful character, getting his first real scene in Detective Comics, despite having been around for over a decade.  Arkham explains that Freeze was undergoing a complete re-building of his psyche when he escaped.  Being midway through the process means he is even more deranged than usual.

tec_804_005

Batman tracks down Freeze, and is about to bring him in when a sniper shoots through his helmet, which will cause Freeze to die.  At the same time, Batman finds himself surrounded by masked attackers.

The story continues in the next issue.

tec_804_006

Mike Carey and John Lucas bring The Barker to an ending in this issue.

tec_804_007

The circus folks realize that the killer is the man who owns the circus, that he has been using them all along, while pretending to be on their side.

tec_804_008

The Barker kills him, and winds up in prison for his efforts to seek justice.  Downer.

Not a bad story, but like The Tailor before it, it made me want to see more of the person in their titled position.

 

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

tec_775

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.

tec_775_001

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.

tec_775_002

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.

tec_775_004

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.

tec_775_005

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

tec_775_006

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.

tec_775_007

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

tec_775_008

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?

tec_775_009

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 730 – No Man’s Land begins

tec_730

For a full year, the four Batman books would be devoted to No Man’s Land.  In probably the greatest achievement in the Batman series to date, the year was spent on a number of linked stories, exploring the changed Gotham, and the lives of the villains and heroes who remained.

Detective 730 (March 1999) is the first issue of this book to be part of the saga, and it concludes the opening storyline, No Law and a New Order, by Bob Gale,  Alexander Maleev and Wayne Faucher.

tec_730_001

Batman is learning the new language of Gotham, and has begun tagging his part of the city.  But he no longer holds much sway, and his tags get covered, both by Gordon and the police, who want to show that they are in charge, and also by the Ventriloquist and Scarface, who not only cover his tag, but also kill a person and tag their corpse.

tec_730_002

Batman realizes he needs to rebuild his authority, and decides to take down Ventriloquist to do so.  He adopts the look of a regular Gothamite, and approaches the Ventriloquist’s men to barter, which has become the economic model in No Man’s Land.

tec_730_003

After a couple of trades, building his credibility, he lures Ventriloquist by offering to trade a cache of oil.

tec_730_004

It’s a trap, but the Ventriloquist falls for it, and Batman takes him down, in an exceedingly brutal fashion.

tec_730_005

Taking the Scarface doll with him, he then “rebuilds” his image, allowing himself to be shot by the Ventriloquist’s men.  He was armoured against it, and stands up again after each bullet.  By the end of his walk, rumours are spreading that he cannot be killed.

tec_730_006

Batman attempts to “free” the people who have been in Ventriloquist’s region, but freedom means nothing now.  Gotham has reverted to a feudal dependency.  Batman realizes that Ventriloquist’s henchman, Rhino, has been being as good a leader to these people as they could get.  So he leaves Rhino in charge, and accepts the tribute from his new subjects.

tec_730_007

Alfred questions what he is doing, but Batman has simply learned the language, and become part of No Man’s Land.

 

Detective 721 – Robin catches key words

tec_721

Dixon, Nolan and Janson handle chapter 15 of Cataclysm, in Detective 721(May 1998).  It’s another of those issues in which the story jumps around all over the place, trying to keep up with all the plots, but Dixon has shown himself particularly adept at these kind of tales.

tec_721_001

The story opens as Batman and Nightwing watch a mass grave of burning bodies in the middle of the street.  A shocking and powerful start to a story.  Quakemaster is inset on the page, the villain who may or may not be behind the destruction.

tec_721_002

Robin and Alfred study the tapes of Quakemaster’s broadcast, claiming responsibility and threatening another quake if he is not paid off.  Robin’s comments about the Quakemaster’s choice of words made me pause and think, and I am proud to say I finished this page with very firm suspicions about who the Quakemaster really was.

tec_721_003

Batman and Nightwing, trying desperately to maintain some sense of order in Gotham, come across the Huntress.  In her eyes, this is martial law time, but Batman disagrees.

tec_721_004

The Quakemaster makes another broadcast, and this time, with Robin’s words in my mind, I confirmed my suspicions.  Read the page closely.

tec_721_005

The Quakemaster’s demands are not even practical, Gotham is close to broke.  But people take it seriously, believing that Mayor Grange has access to the millions, and despite Jim Gordon’s presence, City Hall gets attacked by thieves.

The story continues in the next issue of Robin.

Tag Cloud