27 October 2011

"Detective Comics" #2 (Dec 2011)

Cover art by Daniel, Winn & Morey
Detective Comics #2
"Playtime's Over"
Written and Drawn by Tony Salvador Daniel
Inks - Ryan Winn & Sandu Florea
Colors - Tomeu Morey
Lettering - Jared K. Fletcher
Cover - Tony Salvador Daniel, Ryan Winn & Tomey Morey
Assistant Editor - Katie Kubert
Associate Editor - Janelle Asselin
Editor - Mike Marts
Batman Created by Bob Kane
Date of publication: 5 October 2011
$2.99, 32 pages

It seems DC directed everyone to include a romantic/sexual interlude in the second issues of each series; Batgirl and Batwoman both had dates, 'Tec #2's prologue opens with Bruce Wayne negotiating a business deal I'm sure will become relevant later in some way, then having some kind of Sundance Kid/Etta Place tryst with a reporter in his office.  (This, after already hooking up with Selina Kyle in the controversial Catwoman #1.)  Whatever.  From there, it's back to the main plot from the first issue's cliffhanger--namely, that The Joker has had his face removed and then escaped from Arkham Asylum.  Or was he taken?  It's unclear.  By the issue's end, though, Batman comes face to face with the face-removing psycho calling himself "The Dollmaker."

I initially wasn't even going to read any of the mainstream Batman titles, intimidated as I was by the fact there were four of them and I didn't want to get caught up feeling I needed to read four titles about the same character just to keep up.  As long as the stories in Detective Comics stay confined to this series--and as long as they're as interesting as these first two issues--I'll be happy to continue reading this book.  There's a very Texas Chainsaw Massacre thing going on with Dollmaker that I find quite intriguing; he's my favorite of the three antagonists in the New 52 books I've been reading (the others being Mirror and that kidnapping ghost woman from Batwoman).

Despite the gruesome nature of the violence, this is chiefly a psychological-based story that appeals to me; this is the milieu where Batman works best, I think.  Tony S. Daniel has so far written (and illustrated) a very intriguing story that's kept me turning pages with anticipation.  The prologue didn't really interest me, largely because the business deal seemed perfunctory (even if it did take place while free climbing a rock wall) and the tryst with the reporter seemed entirely gratuitous.  Still, I'm definitely looking forward to issue #3 based on the main plot involving The Dollmaker.

Note: Eventually, there's bound to be a collected edition of this story arc.  I would not recommend it be among your mental health facility selections.