COMIC BOOK REVIEW: DETECTIVE COMICS #1

Posted on September 11th, 2011

DC COMICS
Written by TONY S. DANIEL
Art and cover by TONY S. DANIEL
32 pages/ $2.99

  • Lives Up to the Title of “Detective” Comics
  • Feels Frank Miller Inspired
  • A Nice Touch of Nostalgia in a Contemporary World

Here we are, the comic book in which DC comics very name derives from, Detective Comics. At the helm of this Juggernaut is Tony Daniel, who is no stranger to Batman. He’s recently did the art for Grant Morrison’s, “Batman R.I.P.” storyline, as well as, writing and drawing “Batman: Battle for the Cowl”.

What we have here is a really strong story with some really strong art. Kudos, Mr. Daniel. When I first started to read this book and saw that for the majority is told as inner monologue by Batman, I groaned. AT FIRST!! Hear me out. The lines are a tad cheesy like, “Forget it Joker, you can’t run, I own the night.” And as I said earlier I groaned, but then I remembered the title of the book. Detective Comics. DETECTIVE Comics. This book is being set up like a modern day noir book. The thick inner monologue, Batman’s interaction with Commissioner Gordon & Alfred, they all lend themselves to that style.
Daniel's art also lends itself well to evoke the noir feel. The color palette isn’t black and white, but it is very muted and there are no extreme brights. He seems to have changed his style a little for this book and taken some cues from Frank Miller and melded the two styles together. His lines are a little more jagged and sketchy, less think lines and added thinner ones. There are one or two times that Batman looks a little funny or disproportionate, but as a whole, this book looks great. His page layouts are fantastic and the comic reads well in the “guided view” on an iPad, but I highly recommend going back and just looking at the whole pages after.

There is a nice touch of old timey feel to the book as well. Batman uses things like “Batbots” which are little Bat-like cameras to find and spy on villains, and the entrance to the Batcave is disguised using a hologram, which for some reason made me thing of the old 60’s Batman TV show (yes, I know it wasn’t actually a hologram in the TV show, but holograms seem silly to me).

Even though The Joker uses a delightfully cheesy wrist mounted Joker-faced grappling hook in this story, he is NOT a funny clown prince. The Joker is really brutal in this story, almost too much for my taste, but his actions to evoke fear and disgust and he seems like a fitting nemesis for this version of Batman.

I know I haven’t talked much about the actual story of the issue, but it really doesn’t matter much. (Hey Look, Mom, No Spoilers!!!) Detective Comics has a lot riding on it, being the flagship title and Tony Daniel succeeds in setting it off to a great start.

As a final note: The last page is a “WTF?!?” moment and if it doesn’t have you coming back for the second issue….well….you should…..aw man WHAT THE F----
"Yeah we need to talk. What the hell is wroung with your arms?!?"


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