Monday, August 22, 2016

Is a supporting character's birthday party ever going to end well?

Oddly, we mentioned this issue while looking at the previous one, but it's not the only thing I find inexplicable here: from 2001, Batman #587, "Officer Down, part one: These are your Rights" Written by Greg Rucka, pencils by Rick Burchett, inks by Rodney Ramos.

The GCD's synopsis is brief and to the point: "James Gordon's fellow officers throw him a birthday party. It has an unhappy ending." Well, the cover and title of this crossover pretty much spoil it right off; but Gordon talks to his daughter on his birthday and from the start it seems pretty obvious something's going to happen to him. At his party, he also has a gift for each of his fellow officers in attendance: a handcuff key. Not merely for its utilitarian value, but as a metaphor for the "power of arrest" and the responsibility they as cops have. (I hardly ever give lectures on my birthday!)

Leaving the bar, Gordon is accosted by none other than the Catwoman! Who seems to be there just to give him the hassle a bit, but when he tries to arrest her, Gordon is shot three times in the back--and accidentally shoots Catwoman in the leg! "Officer Down" would be continued in the next issue of Robin, and at a glance this would be a relatively quick crossover--all in March 2001, but across seven issues. (Eight if you count a Batgirl tie-in.) Not having the next issues handy, I'm not sure if a better reason is given for Catwoman's involvement, other than the need for her to get in on the crossover...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

It would've packed more of a punch if he actually was crippled or killed off here, but that never happened, so what was the point of this? To get remind the readers how valuable Gordon is to Batman? Well duh, we've already known that for years now.

Personally, I think that B:TAS episode with the Jazz Man gunning down Gordon was a better use of this story idea/theme.