Detective Comics (2011) 1 (2nd Print) & 2

Detective Comics (2011) 1 (2nd Print) & 2 
  by Tony Daniel and Ryan Winn (also on 1 was Sandu Florea)

Great Art, OK Story, but Batman is Better....

Detective Comics is literally the flagship title of the DC Universe.  In fact, it is where the D and C come from in the name.  So, there is a great deal of expectation when it comes to this title.  Toney Daniel and Ryan Winn have a lot of pressure on them.  While this is a decent book, it is nothing overly special.  If you were already into Batman, there is nothing to make you change.  If you were not already into Batman, there is nothing really to make you stick around other than, of course, it's Batman!!!

The artwork is quite well done.  The lines are crisp.  One thing I have noticed, along with artist luminaries like Gary Kwaipicz, is that while teh artwork has hit kind of its max, the coloring is where the innovation and new magic is.  The color palettes and textures used in these issues is phenomenal.  The use of shadow to bring across the macabre of Arkham and the sinister Dollmaker was quite excellent. 

The storyline is mildly interesting, however.  Someone is after the Joker.  However, is it to kill him?  We find out in issue two the answer is not to kill him, but to improve him.  This improvement by the Dollmaker involves ripping his face off his skull.  This sounds like a blatant way, given what we see of the Dollmaker's handiwork, to remake the Joker into Heath Ledger's image with the scars and such around the jaws, etc.  I like the comic version of the Joker just fine.  He can be just as dark and chaotic as Ledger while being as macabrely humorous as Nicholson.  No sense in ruining a great look...oh wait, they already did that with Wonder Woman and Superman....ugh.....

We do get to see the player side of Bruce Wayne, and his "intense negotiating" with Charlotte Rivers.  We see Bruce's Playboy side in this intance, which is a departure from recent stories where it is just about the mission or about philantropy.  Also, we see Bruce as more of a thrillseeker CEO than just a businessman or philantropist.  One new charcter and business associate, Hugh Marder, meets Wayne while he is climbing on an exercise wall, and promptly joins him.  It will be interesting how this partnership plays out, especially since it mentions the company of a certain emerald archer.....

Overall, I felt this should have been the Batman title and the Batman comic story should have been Detective, because there was more internal reasoning and such going on with the Batman story than this one.  There is more of a sense of mystery in the Batman storyline than in this story.  I do have a sense of foreboding, that we may see some serious shakeup in the supporting players, as issue three promises a decision on the fate of Jim Gordon, who appears to fall victim to this new villain the Dollmaker.  However, the story is jagged at best.  It is the art and the colors and visuals that save these two books.  However, there is enough interest to keep me at least checking on the book to see what is going on, if not making it a regular buy. 

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:
  3 out of 5 Shields
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