Tony Daniel is no stranger to the world of Batman. Most notably he had a memorable run penciling “Batman RIP,” written by Grant Morrison, and from there he added writing duties with Battle for the Cowl and then taking over plotting chores on Batman when Morrison left to start Batman & Robin. I’ve always enjoyed his artwork, but the plotting and writing on Battle for the Cowl were sorely lacking. His work on Batman improved a little but nowhere near enough where I could say I was looking forward to him taking the reins on Detective Comics when DC announced their “New 52.”
Well, I’m happy to say that Mr. Daniel has happily proved me wrong. He has definitely hit on an intriguing plot in this first issue of the relaunched Detective Comics, and no one will be disappointed to see the Joker show up on the very first page, though what he’s up to is certainly a mystery. Daniel has promised that his run on Detective will highlight the “detective” and focus on the “CSI” techniques of Batman… and I gotta say, after seeing the last page, Batman is certainly going to have his hands full.
Seriously, talk about a cliffhanger… to say that the last page is a haunting image would be to sell it short. Like I said, Daniel had definitely spun an interesting tale in this first issue, he’s definitely grown as a plotter, and hopefully his narration and dialogue will smooth out over time, as those appear to still be a little rough around the edges. But, just a little.
And the artwork? Daniel pulls out all the stops here: Batman, in his newly tweaked costume, looks great, Commisioner Gordon and his mustache appear exactly as you remember, and Harvey Bullock gets an updated look. And the Joker? Well, the Joker looks good in this issue, let’s just see how things are next month! Also shining in this issue are the painterly colors of Tomeu Morey. His watercolor-like work reminded me of The Dark Knight Returns.
So yeah, I was pleasantly surprised with this issue, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Bruce Wayne and his private life — which we got some hints about here — as well as more of Alfred, who only gets a brief appearance. So, was this issue perfect? No, but it’s definitely good enough for me to come back for more, at least as long as this current story arc runs.
Pull list verdict: KEEP IT… for now!
My Best of 2012 Playlist by Eric Garneau
After being inspired by some friends, for the past few years I’ve been really into documenting my musical exploration with year-end mixes. I realize this is not a particularly novel thing to do, but hey, who has original ideas any more? Anyway, this has gotten even easier to do thanks to new technology like Spotify. read more