Thursday, December 25, 2008

Detective Comics #851

Overall- This was a strange one. My best bet is to get right into the review, and see what I can say after that.

We open several years ago, during the Cataclysm event in Gotham City. A famous movie star named Millicent Mayne is being asked to take 1.5 million dollars in diamonds from a man named Gracchus for some unmentioned deal. Millicent refuses, and before Gracchus can shoot her, the Gotham earthquake strikes, and Millicent crawls out of the rubble, leaving Gracchus behind. Gracchus survives as well, and is holding a grudge against Millicent to this day.

The media has taken to calling Millicent "The Face of Gotham", and Gracchus takes this news to Two-Face, hoping he will take offence at that title and help him take out Millicent. Two-Face refuses, and warns Gracchus not to cross his path again, or else.

Later, Millicent is at a fancy fund-raising gala, when several men crash the party, including apparently, Two-Face. "Two-Face" approaches Millicent, and throws acid in her face, before fleeing with his men. Millicent spends some time in the hospital, but leaves, changed somehow(I'll touch on that later).

Next we find Two-Face, infuriated to learn that someone had impersonated him and scarred Millicent. Two-Face figures it was Gracchus behind the frame job, and flips his coin to see what he should do to Gracchus. The coin tells Two-Face to leave the situation alone, so Two-Face takes his leave.

Upon hearing about Two-Face's supposed involvement in the crime, Alfred places a call to Nightwing in NYC, and asks him if he would come to Gotham to look into the matter, since he was the last member of the Bat-family to face Two-Face. Nightwing agrees, and arrives in Gotham, meeting up with Alfred in the Bat-Cave after getting info from Oracle concerning Two-Face's last known whereabouts in Gotham. Dick prepares to leave the Cave, but can't bring himself to take the Batmobile, even though Alfred tells him to. Dick instead takes his bike and goes to the location he was given by Oracle, an automotive chop shop. After surveilling the area, Dick crashes through the skylight and attacks the goons present. Dick has matters well in hand, until the untimely arrival of a pizza delivery man. The distraction gets Dick knocked down, and the delivery man rushes in to help Dick, but gets knocked out for his troubles. With all the car oil present, the place catches fire, and the goons make it out, leaving Dick and the delivery man trapped inside.

All throughout the issue, unless I was misreading things, after Millicent left the hospital, she seemed to acquire some kind of unnamed power. She was completely aware of Dick's actions, even during his time in the Bat-Cave. As a matter of fact, Millicent seems to be able to "see" everything going on in all of Gotham. She claims that she has no clue as to why she sees/knows these things, but then states that even if she did know how she was doing it, she would not tell anybody.

See what I mean, this was a weird comic book! But not weird bad, it was more weird good. I like a little mystery now and then, and if nothing else, Millicent is just that, a mystery. I really liked the scene in the Bat-Cave between Dick and Alfred. Dick is extremely apprehensive to be working in Gotham without Bruce, but Alfred allays these concerns by reassuring Dick that he had been fighting crime for a long time, and has had the very best of teachers.

If Batman is the soul of the Bat-family, and Oracle is the brains, Alfred has to be the heart. I don't know where the members of the Bat-family would be without Alfred's ever present optimism. It did seem to me that in his own subtle way, Alfred is trying to prepare Dick in the event that Bruce doesn't come back... Prepare, and possibly groom him to be the next Batman as well. Besides the strange happenings in this comic, I did enjoy it, and look forward to its conclusion in Batman #684. For a score, I'll go with a 7 1/2 out of 10.


  1. My guess? Millicent really died in the quake and her ghost is now "bonded" with the city. Thanks for the detailed review!

  2. Yeah Kello, you know, that actually does make sense. It could even be that Millicent herself isn't even aware that she is dead yet. That would explain alot. And thank you for taking the time to read the review. That makes it all worthwhile!