Reviewed By: Frosty McKenzie
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tony Salvador Daniel
Artist: Tony Salvador Daniel
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Inker: Ryan Winn
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $2.99 USA
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
The New 52 titles will certainly have no shortage of Batman titles and for fans of the Dark Knight this is actually very good news but all eyes are on Detective Comics #1 where our favorite Caped Crusader was first introduced to us in Detective Comics #27 so many years back. Now, the DC Universe has experienced something akin to a new beginning where things have changed in major ways. As we can see from Detective Comics #1, some things have definitely changed while others – well – they never do.
What hasn’t changed is the fact that Batman is still waging a one-on-one war against the Joker who continues to be that one stain in the Dark Knight’s record. He’s tangled with this murdering lunatic many times and the Clown Prince of Crime continues to elude him as he leaves a trail of corpses along the way. So, in Detective Comics #1, Batman is in hot pursuit of his deadliest nemesis.
Something has changed, though, as Batman is more than just determined to stop the Joker. There’s a sense of urgency in Batman’s need to catch up to him … more so than in past instances. Meanwhile, the Joker is in the middle of strangling a most unusual man in surgeon scrubs who just so happens to be wearing a mask made out of human skin. The Joker is clearly not happy to see this man as he not only rips the man’s throat open but he stabs him repeatedly despite the fact that his victim made it clear that he was a fan of his.
Batman does manage to reach the Joker but not after the fiend detonates a bomb that slows Batman down. Unfortunately, he’s not able to pursue his foe thanks to a little girl who happened to be in the room. On top of that, Gotham’s finest arrive as well but there’s no warm welcome for the hero. In fact, taking a page from up upcoming Dark Knight movie, the police are determined to stop Batman. In fact, they try to shoot him down to the point that Batman has to escape before he is forced to really hurt them.
It becomes clear that the Mayor is the one who wants Batman gone and will stop at nothing to put an end to the vigilante. Just about the only friend Batman does have is a younger Jim Gordon who is still Commissioner and the only one who sees Batman’s presence in a city that is falling apart as a blessing, although the issue seems to point that Gordon is still not sure what to really make of a man in a bat suit.
Still, when Gordon mentions that the little girl he rescued overheard the Joker mention the location of his hideout in his conversation with his latest victim, Batman smells a trap. After all, he knows the Joker better than anyone so he shows … along with Gotham PD only to find that it was a trap. However, Batman sees the Joker rush into a train where he finally confronts his old enemy in a vicious fight.
Oh, but the outcome of the battle leads up to something actually quite surprising as we realize that somebody has been waiting for the Joker. A person with a scalpel who carries out the Joker’s most heinous plan yet and believe me when I say that this cliffhanger ending is shocking to the point that you will not want to turn the page. It’s definitely gruesome stuff for a comic rated T.
Tony Salvador Daniel tells a good story and gets back to a darker Batman tale that feels like a nod to Frank Miller’s work on the Dark Knight. In fact, even his artwork is a reflection of Miller’s influence. It’s great to see Joker at his most homicidal and crazy in the scene where he murders a mystery man and then attacks Batman in the end of the book. However, the dialogue is simply too amateurish at times such as the “I am Gotham” line. Then again, he does a good job setting up memorable scenes such as Batman’s conversation with Commissioner Gordon and then Bruce’s chat with Alfred who mentions that he should start dating normal girls instead of a certain sexy feline.
The artwork is also quite stunning at times, which is only amplified by great coloring and inking but also making the action look awesome. As I mentioned, Daniel tips his hat to Miller in the way this Batman looks and it works beautifully.
Detective Comics #1 pushes an even darker Dark Knight into the spotlight and this makes for a great start to a series that certainly lives up to the Detective Comics label. It’s also great to see Batman and the Joker get into a vicious fight and an ending that will have Batman fans talking about it until the next issue arrives. Oh yeah, you will be looking forward to the next issue and if Daniel keeps it up we will have ourselves a Batman title that is a welcome addition.
COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN
Batman is hot on the trail of his most dangerous adversary, the Joker, who is killing his known associates that includes a most unusual man. Meanwhile, the Dark Knight of Gotham isn’t exactly embraced by the city’s law enforcement or the Mayor who wants Batman stopped. Then a tip leads Batman and Commissioner Gordon’s men to a trap set by the Joker that will lead to a shocking conclusion.
We’ve always admired Tony S. Daniel’s artwork in the past and this issue isn’t any different except for the visual nods to Frank Miller’s style when he did amazing work for his Batman stories. His artwork comes together beautifully with Tomeu Morey’s coloring and Ryan Winn’s flawless inking. This Gotham City looks amazing but the cover choice could have been better considering this is a first issue of Detective Comics.
A few weak spots aside, Detective Comics #1 is an appropriately dark, gritty and doesn’t waste any time jumping into a story where the Joker is back in the streets of Gotham with a plan that is going to turn out to be surprising. While the dialogue is far from perfect, Daniel tells a solid story with a cliffhanger ending that not fail to drop some jaws. This is one series you will definitely want to keep both eyes on.
Review copy provided by DC Comics