Friday, August 8, 2014

Pretty Bird: DETECTIVE COMICS #564

Previously in Detective Comics...

Detective Comics #564 starred Batman and Robin in a story by Doug Moench with art by Gene Colan, who also drew the cover.  Green Arrow and Black Canary teamed up in a backup strip titled "This Masquerade" written by Joey Cavalieri and drawn by Jerome K. Moore.

After Green Arrow and Black Canary beat the information they need out of some Star City hoods, we jump to Mayor Bolt holding a press conference where he talks about the need to fight the city's rampant crime wave.  Marty Costa watches the press conference on television until he gets disgusted and orders his men to kidnap the mayor's son.

Across town, Ollie and Dinah are also watching the mayor's speech.  Dinah, too, feels disgust, knowing that the mayor is really the costumed criminal mastermind known as Steelclaw.  However corrupt Mayor Bolt may be, though, Dinah knows that his son is innocent and must be protected.

The heroes ride Black Canary's motorcycle to the mayor's mansion.  They split up and sneak onto the premises from different sides.  As Dinah creeps across the lawn, she thinks of how annoying Ollie's overprotectiveness is, and how she might be better off as a solo adventurer.  (This was sort of around the post-Crisis time when John Byrne was considered for a Black Canary solo book, but that fizzled out.  Instead of going solo, Dinah would soon join the new, international Justice League.)

Black Canary skulks around the outside of the mansion, observing its worn, almost decrepit state, while failing to notice the cloaked figure stalking up behind her.

Green Arrow gets inside the house and searches room to room for the mayor's son.  He witnesses Marty Costa's men arrive in a van outside and has to double-time his search.  Thinking he hears voices down the hall upstairs, he rushes to check one of the nearest closed doors.

Outside, Black Canary is unconscious from an anesthetic administered by Steelclaw when he snuck up on her.  Steelclaw ties her up, wondering why the former Justice League heroine would turn to a life of crime.  He wonders, but doesn't care all that much; he's just proud to be able to take her down and leave her bound for the police.  Then Steelclaw, too, is caught unawares as Marty Costa's hoods draw their guns on him.

Meanwhile, in another part of Star City, the kid named Tommie is cleaning up the back of the shop where he works when he discovers Onyx hiding in the back room.

The more I read of this storyline, the more I wish something had come of Black Canary's newfound superpower--that is her ability to persuade men into giving up information because of something in her voice.  I honestly like that a whole lot more for the character than her sonic scream.  Unfortunately, Cavalieri introduced it in this story arc, and I don't think anyone else ever picked it up later.  And within a couple of years, Mike Grell would take Dinah's sonic powers away completely in The Longbow Hunters.

Come back next Friday for the next part of Green Arrow and Black Canary's continuing adventures in Detective Comics...

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