Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: Batman, DCNew52, DeteciveComics, Joker, ScottSnyder, TonyDaniel
Detective Comics is the first of the major Bat comics – It makes sense that DC starts with the comic where it all began. As you’ll soon notice I’m a big Bat-Fan, and the rest of the Comics Anonymous gang are allowing me to review pretty much every Bat-related book in the new 52. Before my review of the comic however, I thought I’d mention a few things I find interesting from before the re-launch as well as how DC have handled the writer/artist combo on the main Batman titles compared to the rest of their New 52.
The message we got from the announcement was how they wanted to mix up the creators and take them out of their comfort zone – something we’ve seen on most of the new titles – but with Batman and Detective Comics, there’s only been a very small shuffle. Scott Snyder was on Detective before the re-launch and did an absolute blinder of a job – one of the best Bat stories I’ve read in a while – so it would have been no surprise that he’d make the jump to the Batman title in time anyway. Tony S. Daniel was on the other side, writing for the main Batman title and now making the move to Detective. He’s got big boots to fill (now that we have seen what this comic is capable of) and also a lot to prove. There wasn’t anything earth shattering as his run on Batman was coming to an end – instead it turned into more like a TV drama that had gone on one too many seasons. A lot of it was bogged down with the continuity of the characters, villains especially, and therefore the stories we ended up with weren’t really exploring anything new, just moving the characters further down the path they’d been walking for years now.
So with all that resting on it, I was anxious to see how the reboot would help reinvigorate Daniel’s writing… and it’s a promising start. We’re (thankfully) not going back to the start of all things Batman here – that’s already been covered brilliantly and in great length elsewhere and doesn’t need a do-over – instead we land smack in the middle of Bruce hunting down his most deadly of foes – The Joker. What’s nice here is we can’t be sure of exactly when things are taking place and what’s going on around Batman – things like “Is there a Robin/Nightwing/Batgirl…?” don’t matter here, and they shouldn’t. Detective Comics has always worked best as more of a “case book” comic, separate from any ongoing continuity or event that might be happening elsewhere. Snyder did this well last year, only recognising the fact that Dick was Batman, but keeping everything very self-contained. By the looks of it, we might get something similar here – it may not appear that way at first, looking like the usual tale of Batman vs. The Joker, but the final page reveals that this might not go the direction we expected it to.
Of course, the other major appeal of the new Detective Comics is Daniel’s other contribution – his fantastic art work! As much of a slog as it was near the end to read some of his Batman titles, the covers mostly made up for it. Unfortunately Daniel’s artwork appeared limited to the cover and didn’t follow on inside, which was real shame, because Detective Comics is absolute proof of his skills. I must have gone back 5 or 6 times during my first read through to the double splash at pages 2 and 3. This is the kind of design I love in Batman – we’ve got rid of the yellow logo again (I much prefer the black on grey) and his head seems to have been totally re-designed, giving him a much more Dark Knight Rises kind of look. Much rounder (not chubby!) face and less pointy ears. I’d spotted a similar change in Capullo’s sketches for Batman and figured it was just his style of drawing, but maybe a wholesale change has been made here for the main Bat books (unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be the same for JL or JLI, however timelines could have something to do with this maybe?).
There are plenty of good pages to look at throughout this book, and hopefully the writing will stick to the same standard. Like Action Comics released in the same week, this is a good start, giving us enough to be excited about just now, but holding back an equal amount to make us come back for number #2.
4 Comments so far
Leave a comment