Detective Comics issue 861 – double bat trouble and a new face on the blog….
Before we get into the review we’d like to introduce you to the latest member of the blogging team at the FPI blog – Michael Gee. Michael has been one of the team at Nostalgia & Comics Birmingham for the last 4 years and wanted to bring his voice to the blog. Naturally we said yes, the more the merrier. So without further ado, here’s Michael. Everyone say hello:
“Hello everyone, my name is Michael Gee and I’m the newest member of the FPI blog. I’ve been working at Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham (a Forbidden Planet associate store) for around 4 years now but my love for comics started well before that when my Dad brought a bunch of old back issues home. It lasted a while, until my parents more or less forced me to ‘grow out of it’. Little did they know he had started something that couldn’t be stopped. I came back to comics as soon as I could when I got my first part time job at 16 in a record store and since then I just cant leave them alone.
Working at the shop means I get my weekly fix of all the books that I love which consists of things like Walking Dead, Scalped, New Avengers, Ellerbisms, any Jeffrey Brown, Green Lantern, Preacher, Starman, Invincible Iron Man (and I could go on). I also love reading in general, movies, music, video games and I like to think I’m a fairly decent photographer. Hopefully I can be useful to people out there delving into the huge world of comics and graphic novels.”
Okay, that was Michael Gee, our newest writer on the FPI blog, and here’s his first review……..
Detective Comics issue 861
By Greg Rucka & Jock
The cover of this issue of Detective Comics might make you think that Batman has returned to his original book but this is not the case. As it stands Batwoman is still very much the star of this comic.
A talented writer, such as Rucka, can create an amazing story using the most clichéd of villains. Introducing “The Cutter” in this issue that seems to be exactly what is happening and Rucka does his new character justice as we follow Batman and Batwoman on two separate cases; Batman looks into the kidnapping of a local girl whilst Batwoman investigates the very bloody murders of some female college students. They may start as separate but we all know full well that somewhere along the line the two cases are going to converge in some way or another.
It becomes obvious that the two detectives won’t actually physically cross paths, as keen eyed Batman aficionados will soon realize that his scenes are all flashbacks. Although with the flashbacks Rucka may be being a little too subtle as the only clues are the old Batman costume and Jim Gordon being referred to as Captain and not Commissioner.
Crime fiction comic books are Rucka’s bread and butter and there’s a reason for this; its because he’s very good at them (just look at his new series Stumptown from Oni press for a perfect example). DC giving Rucka a book like Detective Comics couldn’t make any more sense. Given the book’s name it should always focus on the more analytical side of the Batman mythos with the action-oriented adventures occurring in the Batman title, no matter who may be the star of this book.
Jock’s art and panel layouts are, as usual, flawless, bringing with him the A-game pencils and practises shown to us with his last work for DC; the fantastic Green Arrow: Year One. The incredible double page splash in the middle of the book is really the jewel in the crown for this issue and could be one of the finest things Jock has ever drawn. People are going to compare the art to J H Williams’ previous run on Detective Comics and that’s the wrong thing to do. Jock brings his own dark and heavily inked style to this book, which it suits perfectly.
Overall it will be interesting to see if the flashbacks are the big twist or whether we were supposed to work that out from the start. Either way it will be interesting to see if Rucka can continue to make this one of the best Batman books on the shelf and whether he can side step the clichés and give us a surprise twist with the next part of the story. This is a perfect jumping on issue as after this arc Batwoman begins her very own ongoing series written by Greg Rucka.
The next issue of Detective Comics, #863 is available on the 1st April and Greg Rucka’s first collection from Detective Comics; Batwoman: Elegy with art by JH Williams III is available from 30th June.