Written by TONY S. DANIEL / Art by TONY S. DANIEL & RYAN WINN
Colors by TOMEU MOREY / Letters by JARED K. FLETCHER
Tony S. Daniel was facing a lot of pressure with the release of the second volume of Detective Comics. It is not everyday you have the chance to rework the longest running published comic book in the United States. But despite the odds stacked against him, Daniel came out on top.
The opening pages immediately set the tone for the entire comic; gritty. We learn that the Joker has killed one-hundred fourteen people over the past six years and that Batman is on his trail – and is feeling lucky. Between Batman’s dialogue and the Joker’s beautifully drawn fight scene, Daniel provides quality material for longtime fans while making it easy for new readers jump right in. Daniel understands that in order to create a solid start for Detective Comics, he needs to focus on establishing Batman as a character. Throughout the issue we are presented with a Batman that is hated by Gotham’s authority, secretly meets with Commissioner Gordon, is determined to catch the Joker, and is well… the same old Batman we know and love. While others may think the New 52 is a golden opportunity to give Batsy’s personality a new twist, I appreciate that Daniel decided to stick with “the Bat-Man” we are used to reading.
Daniel is not alone in his effort to make Detective Comics stand out in the New 52. Colorist Tomeu Morey compliments Daniel’s artwork by using a nice array of colors that fit the Gotham aesthetic. Let’s be honest, would it be a good Batman comic without a gloomy setting? The answer is probably not. Daniel also did a commendable job with Batman’s new threads, but this may also stir up some disappointment for traditionalists and fanboys. Batsy’s costume resembles that of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight version. In the end it doesn’t affect the story, it doesn’t really matter.
As far as scripts are concerned, this issue lacks that special something for some readers. What is that special something you ask? Action! Daniel teases us with a hide and seek plot device for most of the comic, but does not give us much to tell our friends about. Keeping this in mind, I think Daniel did a great job setting up the series, creating a familiar look and feel while leaving readers with the desire to pick up the next issue.
WRITING: 3 / ART: 4 / OVERALL: 3.5