Writer: Scott Snyder
Date: June 2011
My Rating: Has its moments, but ultimately uninspiring.
This issue of Detective Comics opens up a new storyline and Batman is much more involved than in the previous issue. It also continues the James Gordon Jr. story, but tangentially rather than as the focus of the book.
We start with Commissioner Gordon telling us about the new Gotham Global Modern Bank, site of a very strange crime: someone left a killer whale in the lobby! He’s talking to Dick Grayson and after an initial moment of confusion (the Commissioner doesn’t know that Grayson is Batman!) we realize Gordon’s actually getting help from Wayne Enterprises. Turns out the head of the bank is the daughter of Tony Zucco:
This is very much a dialogue-based issue, and it’s well-written, feeling immediate and unforced, but the focus on dialogue led to a few pages that I find to be a bit visually boring. That said, I do quite like Jock’s use of white space for emphasis in moments of real emotional rawness. There’s Dick in the image above, and a couple pages later we have Gordon asking Dick for help with his newly returned son:
Out of 20 pages, 11 are in this green theme. Why does this feel less interesting to me than the previous issue? There we had 22 pages, most of which were either overall blue or overall red, but sometimes both together. I’d like to hear other people’s thoughts on this one, I think I need a few more years in the genre before I fully understand my own artisitc preferences. Maybe it has to do with the general style and amount of detail more than the colour palette.
So Batman goes to Zucco but she won’t talk, and the issue ends with Batman in a perilous situation. Cliffhangers are the name of the game, but I’m pretty sure Batman will find his way out of this one — Robin’s still unaccounted for and Damian’s a badass.
There are things I really do like about this issue, such as how the Commissioner is drawn and the fact that he went to Grayson for help with his son. Overall I like where the story is going but the book felt short, not quite enough happened to be satisfying. Is it the fact that this issue is two pages shorter than the previous one that makes such a difference? Or am I responding mostly to the change in artist? Time will tell.