Friday, September 16, 2011
Detective Comics #1 Review
I know I know, I said I would only be buying the new Justice League series. Well, after hearing some awesome things and that Joker was in it, I had to pick this up. I haven't read a hardcore Batman story in awhile, plus he's my favorite DC hero. So I went to the comic book store, and of course they had sold out a week ago when it first came out. Thankfully, I found it at Comic Book Jones, a nice place in Staten Island. Anyways, the New 52 continues with the release of Detective Comics, the first series in which Batman first appeared in. This was exciting for me, I could pick up a Batman comic that was a fresh start.
The Batman/Joker dynamic is one of the greatest in comics. Dating back all the way to the 40's, it's one of the oldest in comics. Of course, at that time, they weren't worst enemies until later. As the years went by, the Batman comics became darker and darker. It was the famous comic: The Killing Joke that made the Joker the crazy person he is. Back in the 40's to the 60's, he was just known as a crazy clown with weird gadgets. Now we all know him to be the greatest murder and psychopath in all of comic history. Bringing this guy in for the relaunch is of course the way to do it, and boy, does it deliver.
This issue is completely different than the Justice League one. Whereas the ladder has space heroes jumping around, big explosions, this is a gritty street level tale, as it should be. It's basically DC's Punisher or Daredevil. Let me tell, this issue is everything you'd expect from a Batman comic. No guy with a cape zooming in to save the day, just a regular guy attempting to make the worst city on earth better.
This comic feels "fresh." The little dialogue boxes with Batman's thought are excellent, this feels like an episode of the Animated Series. A definitive Batman comic. So smooth and dark, it's the perfect start. The plot moves at a steady pace, as a real detective story. (As it should, since it's Detective Comics.)
Putting Joker in this debut issue was sound. I've always been wanting to read a modern "Batman vs. Joker" issue. It's interesting to see Batman and Joker in their early days, since this is a revamp. Joker is portrayed even more ruthlessly than I thought. I see great things ahead for this series. The fight between Batman and Joker was truly something else. No big punches that send you flying stories high, just street-level fighting.
Batman himself is portrayed with everything we'd expect. I LOVE the writing. "You can't escape me Joker, I own the night." I just love that, I don't think I've ever seen him portrayed as awesome as this. Everything, from his talk with Commissioner Gordon to his arrival in the Bat Cave felt like what a Batman comic should be doing. DC is stepping up, they actually might be even a little close to Marvel now.
The art by Tony Daniel is dark and suits the series perfectly. Batman is drawn with a younger look and more of a high-tech costume. I like it, not to mention the powerful cover. Joker is drawn similar to some of his past incarnations. If DC beats Marvel in anything, it's the art. (You gotta pick up in the art department Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man.)
In closing, if you like Batman, or tired of cosmic level things and want a street-level realistic comic, you'll want to pick up Detective Comics. With it's intelligent dialogue, great cast of characters, this comic is a must-have. (It's already going for eleven dollars on Amazon.) The ending to this comic is pretty unbelievable and brutal, now I really want to see what happens.
I give Detective Comics #1 a 10/10. PERFECT score. One of the best Batman stories I've ever read.