Gillian B. Loeb

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Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb
GillianLoeb.jpg
Gillian B. Loeb as seen in Batman #405 (March 1987)
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Batman #404 (February 1987)
Created by Frank Miller (script)
David Mazzucchelli (art)
In-story information
Team affiliations Gotham City Police Department
Abilities None

Gillian B. Loeb is a fictional character in the DC Universe. He first appeared in Batman #404, as part of the Batman: Year One story arc. He, along with his successor, Jack Grogan, are predecessors and foils of James Gordon.

History[edit]

Loeb is introduced as the commissioner of Gotham City's Police Department at about the time Batman begins his war on crime. He is corrupted under the influence of Carmine Falcone and immediately considers then-Lieutenant James Gordon's honesty a threat. However, he does not immediately share the same opinion about Batman, since the masked vigilante is targeting only low level criminals, and is popular with the public. One night, however, Batman attacks his house during a dinner party, which includes guests from Gotham's criminal underworld, and publicly announces that he intends to bring him down as well.

Enraged, Loeb orders Gordon to arrest Batman immediately. However, the vigilante proves frustratingly elusive, until one night in which the police corner him in an abandoned building following an impromptu rescue on the street. Loeb orders a bomb dropped on the building and a SWAT unit conducting an armed search of the rubble. As morning breaks, however, Batman escapes, much to Loeb's annoyance.

When Gordon begins surreptitiously helping Batman, Loeb blackmails him with evidence of his extramarital affair with Sgt. Sarah Essen. However, Gordon thwarts this by confessing his indiscretion to his wife and a later attempt to kidnap their child fails due to the Gordons' and Batman's interference.

Eventually, Batman, Gordon, and District Attorney Harvey Dent expose Loeb's ties to the Falcone mob, and he is forced to resign. Another corrupt officer, Jack Grogan, replaces him. Gordon becomes the department's commissioner a few years later.

In Batman: Dark Victory, Loeb returns, hoping to use the Hangman killings as an excuse to try to get the city council to remove Gordon from his position as commissioner. His overall goal is to regain his former position, and he justifies taking over due to his "experience". However, before his plans can be fulfilled, he becomes a victim of the Hangman Killer himself.

A younger Loeb appears as a captain in flashbacks in Wrath Child (Batman Confidential #13-16), where he arranges Gordon's transfer to Chicago for fifteen years after Gordon shot a corrupt cop and his wife in self-defense when he caught the couple attempting to rob a warehouse. Loeb fears the news could bring him and other corrupt cops down, and threatens Gordon with the death of the cop's son to force him to accept the transfer.

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Loeb is once again the commissioner during Batman: Zero Year and is still a crooked cop. In Detective Comics #25, the Black Mask gang has struck again. Loeb sets up Gordon with a corrupt partner, Henshaw, who means to lead Gordon to his death by way of Black Mask's henchmen. Batman saves Gordon. Many of the corrupt police officers under Loeb's command who were associated with the Black Mask gang perish, leading Batman to theorize that Loeb has suffered some manner of emotional collapse.[1] Later, the Riddler attackers GCPD blimps, causing many to crash. Loeb is on one of them.

In other media[edit]

Film[edit]

  • Gillian B. Loeb appears in the 2005 film Batman Begins and its 2008 sequel, The Dark Knight. He is played by British actor Colin McFarlane in both films. Unlike in the comics, the Loeb in these films is African-American and an honest, pragmatic cop. He first appears when informing young Bruce Wayne that they have caught Joe Chill for murdering Bruce's parents. Though shown to be at odds with Batman (launching a police task force to arrest him), Loeb is portrayed more sympathetically in the films, with no indications that he is corrupt or under the influence of Carmine Falcone. In The Dark Knight, The Joker kills him by poisoning his whiskey with acid.

Video games[edit]

  • Gillian Loeb appears in Batman: Arkham Origins with Jon Polito reprising his role. At the start of the game, Loeb is taken hostage by Black Mask (who's really the Joker in disguise) at Blackgate Prison in retaliation for keeping his men behind bars even though he was under Black Mask's payroll. Black Mask tells Loeb that his organization is moving in a direction that Loeb simply isn't part of before forcing Loeb into a gas chamber and killing him. He reappears in a hallucination caused by Copperhead's poisons, saying that Batman could have saved him if he arrived sooner.

Novel[edit]

  • In The Dark Knight movie novelization, Loeb's full name is given as Perry Loeb rather than Gillian Loeb. In The Dark Knight viral campaign however, he is referred to as Gillian B. Loeb as in the comics. Loeb's first name is given as "Joseph" in Matt Wagner's limited-series comic Batman and the Monster Men (2005–2006), a likely reference to writer Jeph Loeb, whose first name is Joseph.
  • Gillian Loeb is referred to in DC Comics' Hitman series. Loeb is mentioned by character Moe Dubelz (one of Gotham City's most influential mob bosses) remembering him as the reason their illegal operations flourished as he was being paid to avoid police interference. Dubelz remembers Loeb's term as commissioner as the "good times" his organization enjoyed.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Detective Comics #25
  2. ^ "Scan of the page of the Hitman issue in which Loeb is mentioned.". Retrieved 2010-12-30.