Saturday, September 10, 2011

Detective Comics #1

For those of you keeping track at home, our score on the "New DC" so far is: One good (Action Comics), one OK (Justice League), and one poor (Batgirl).

Which brings us to the first Detective Comics #1 to feature Batman (since he didn't show up until issue 27 back in 1939).

Sad to say, I'd lump this one in the "poor" category.

There are good things about it - the art by Tony Daniels is well done, with some moody splash pages, loads of detail and a chilling Joker.

But Tony Daniels the writer lets the rest of the product down. The story focuses on Batman's pursuit of the Joker, but this isn't the diabolically clever opponent from the past. This Joker is simply a mass murderer - no more, no less.

He delights in killing, and does so in the most crass and graphic manners - including stabbing one guy to death with a knife, and biting out an opponent's throat.

The Joker works best when he's hatching a devilish scheme or is involved in a particularly loony idea - but we see none of that here. Just blood, violence and a Batman who seems capable but is easily outmanuvered.

Too many comics these days seem to be more focused on violence to shock their audiences - and if you like that kind of thing, here it is.

I prefer a more cerebral battle between these two old enemies.

Grade: C+



Eyz said...

Another DC book that ends up in senseless gore for shock value.. usual standard modern DC :(

Chuck said...

Sadly, it seems to be the case more and more. I was shocked at the amount of blood in "Brightest Day," for example...