Okay, after a quick pit-stop over at Marvel, we head back to DC to check out one of it's flagship titles, Detective Comics. I've already stated my thoughts on renumbering this particular series before, so I won't get into it again, suffice to say, I don't like it. With that said, let's see if I like my first look at the rebooted Dark Knight.
Detective Comics #1:
Summary: The Joker is running rampant in Gotham City, murdering people left and right, and Batman wants to put an end to it... How's that for a nice, simple premise! We get started with Joker murdering some guy wearing what seems to be human flesh on his head... That's odd... Batman, who's been tracking Joker, manages to find the crazy clown while he was stabbing the hapless weirdo repeatedly and crashes through the window. Unfortunately, Joker saw Bats coming and tosses some explosives, which starts a fire. Joker runs from the building, and Bats is ready to follow, at least until he realizes there was a terrified young girl trapped in the apartment. As Bats is preparing to take the girl to safety, a few cops crash into the apartment and some of them go after Bats... So I guess Batman Inc never happened then? Bats knocks out the attacking cops before handing the girl over to a detective. With that, Bats makes good his escape, avoiding a police helicopter and returning to the Batcave. As for the cops, they are scolded by Commissioner Gordon(or the man formerly known as Commissioner Gordon, I'm not exactly sure what his rank is here), who finds out it was Mayor Hady who wanted the cops to take Bats down. Later, Bats heads to police headquarters, where Gordon has lit the Bat-signal... You know, I'm really confused as to Batman's standing in Gotham... Gordon tells Bats what the cops gleaned from the little girl Bats rescued earlier, which turns out to be a surprisingly good tip on where the Joker was staying. Bats realizes that the tip was too good to be true and figures that Joker had deliberately revealed the location of his “hideout” for nefarious purposes. Sure enough, just as the cops are rushing into the apartment Joker claimed he'd be hiding out in, a Joker mannequin explodes, killing a mess of cops. It's at that time Bats arrives, and as he checks out the crowd, he notices one person who's behavior didn't match the expected behavior exhibited during a tragedy. Bats chases that figure onto a train, and needless to say, it's Joker. Joker unleashes his deadly Joker gas on the train, which Bats fans away to protect the train's passengers. With that taken care of, Bats pursues the Joker, but is sluggish due to his exposure to the Joker gas. Joker manages to stab Bats twice before Batman's superior fighting skill kicks in and he manages to take the Joker down. With Joker finally defeated, Batman drops the Clown Prince of Crime(am I still allowed to call him that?) off at Arkham Asylum, where Joker is locked up in a padded room. However, some shadowy figure who Joker calls the Dollmaker enters the room and this issue ends with the Dollmaker cutting Joker's face off and hanging it on the wall as per Joker's instructions.
Thoughts: Huh. Before I delve too deeply into this one, allow me to say that I DID enjoy it. I mean it's pretty hard to screw up a comic book that revolves around Batman battling the Joker, and Tony Daniel DID manage to tell a good little Batman/Joker story. Here's the problem though... There was a mess of stuff I was confused about... It was my understanding that the Batman portion of the DCU WASN'T really being rebooted, and that all of the changes(Dick Grayson going back to Nightwing, Barbara Gordon going back to Batgirl) would be explained... That wasn't the case here. Last I knew, Batman was on good terms with the GCPD. I also thought the Batman Inc stuff was still canon, but from what I managed to gather from this issue, it isn't... I guess? The ending of this issue, which some people were lauding as the greatest cliffhanger/swerve EVER before this issue even came out, was okay, but was more confusing than shocking... So some dude named the Dollmaker(which is a REALLY lame name for a villain) cuts off the Joker's face to... I don't know, give him a new face? Why would DC do that? Joker is possibly THE most iconic villain in ALL of comic books... Why change the way his face looks? So yeah, the story was enjoyable, but there were a few things that needed some ironing out...
Score: 8 out of 10.It's Batman vs the Joker... Of course I enjoyed it!!