18 November 2011

"Detective Comics" #3 (Jan 2012)

Detective Comics #3
"Cold Blood"
Written and Drawn by Tony Salvador Daniel
Inks - Sandy Florea
Colors - Tomeu Morey
Letters - Jared K. Fletcher
Cover - Daniel and Morey
Assistant Editor - Katie Kubert
Associate Editor - Janelle Asselin
Editor - Mike Marts
Batman created by Bob Kane
Date of Publication: 2 November 2011
$2.99, 32 Pages

"Cold Blood" picks up right where Detective Comics #2 ended: with the Batman confronted by the Dollmaker and his sordid family. Outnumbered and drugged, our protagonist manages to overcome his adversaries through a combination of intellect and luck. Batman later discerns the identity of the Dollmaker...and why he has fixated on Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, now a captive.

This whole story arc has been terrific so far, and it's easily one of my favorite Batman stories in quite a while. Dollmaker is a genuinely unnerving antagonist. There's a sort of comfort zone in which most members of the Dark Knight's Rogues Gallery operate; Dollmaker does not adhere to such conventions. As such, this new character is freer to operate without triggering any kind of expectations on my part as a reader. The pace continues to be perfect; I want to devour every panel on every page, but I'm afraid over missing something along the way. It's really a well-crafted story so far. The art is great, too, and Tony Daniel does a terrific job with action sequences. The opening fight of this issue is quite kinetic; there's visceral sense of action taking place between panels. Also, the shot of Batman dragging away one of his enemies on the bottom of page 5 is one of my favorite single panels in quite some time. Batman's line of dialog ("Let's go, sunshine.") makes it perfect.

I confess that there's a surprise with Olivia I saw coming, but it's still interesting. And the final page gave me pause going into next month's issue #4, but having loved these first three issues, I'm going to trust that Daniel knows what he's doing.

Three issues into the New 52, I think I have to conclude that Detective Comics is the strongest of the three series I've been reading. I highly recommend this arc!

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