Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Harvey Bullock

Harvey Bullock is a fictional character from DC Comics' Batman titles.
Prior to the 1984-85 DC maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths, Bullock was a crooked police detective under instructions from Gotham City's Mayor Hamilton Hill to sabotage Commissioner Gordon's career. His method of doing so was to pretend to be exceedingly clumsy, thereby spoiling whatever Gordon was trying to do, seemingly accidentally. After inadvertently giving Gordon a heart attack, however, Bullock turned over a new leaf. His character later developed into a well-meaning cop who (probably) was exceedingly clumsy, similar to the later animated version. He also formed a close bond with Robin, based initially on their mutual love of old movies. Subsequent to this, he was a Bishop in the spy organization Checkmate.
Following the continuity changes brought about in most of DC's comics by Crisis, Bullock was perhaps the most controversial police officer in the Gotham City Police Department. His colleagues in the Major Crimes Unit will swear up and down that he is a good cop, despite his reputation for taking bribes, police brutality, and ties to organized crime being on the top. However, he also has elements of the earlier character including a fondness for doughnuts and a hidden sentimental streak. This new post-Crisis Bullock was retconned as having been loyal to Gordon from the start. Even before he made detective, he stayed by Gordon during one of the the Joker's earlier rampages. He saves Gordon's life with careful driving and helps him work through the clues. Ultimately, without Batman's assistance, Bullock and Gordon stop the Joker from causing an explosion that would have leveled Gotham City. During the entire case Bullock plays the part of (or was) the "bad cop," intimidating and threatening whoever needed it.

Bullock is badly injured during a confrontation with the KGBeast, who has gained control of a small nuclear device. Robin and several members of the Gotham City Police department, Hitch, Gordon and Montoya, brave the surroundings, a burning chemical plant, partly to save his life. Bullock actually dies during this incident but is saved by CPR administered by Robin. Mackenzie "Hardback" Bock, a newcomer to the force, becomes involved, helping Robin carry Harvey out of harm's way. The nuclear bomb is then neutralized by Batman.

In the Batman: Cataclysm storyline, Bullock confronts a villain named Anarky in a shopping mall when an earthquake hits Gotham City. He is badly wounded when a bar of metal goes through his own arm, but makes his way back to police headquarters. When he learns Gordon is missing, he ejects the metal by hitting a wall and instantly starts a search. Gordon is soon recovered, shaken but essentially unhurt, from the rubble of his own office. Later, Gotham is shut down and closed off by the government in the incident known as No Man's Land. Bullock, Montoya, Bock and several other officers willingly stay behind to assist Gordon. Bullock sticks by Gordon through the loss of many fellow officers and the schism of the group that remains. In the end, efforts led by Lex Luthor re-open Gotham and the remaining officers are given their jobs back.

Bullock has also been one of Batman's biggest foes on the Gotham City Police Department, but has not gone to the extremes that others have to apprehend the vigilante. His last partner on the GCPD was Renee Montoya.

In the "Officer Down" storyline, an assassin attempts to kill Jim Gordon. Afterwards, a vengeful Bullock reveals the assassin's location to the Mafia, thereby indirectly killing the shooter. When evidence of this comes out, he resigned from the force.

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