Friday, July 15, 2011

Detective Comics #879 & Batman: The Dark Knight #3

We're still dealing with DC books as I take a look at this week's issue of Detective Comics and Batman: The Dark Knight, which are, in my opinion at least, two comics that shouldn't be getting the reboot treatment. ESPECIALLY Detective! I mean come on, Detective has been around for almost 900 issues! Why not just renumber everything BUT Detective and Action Comics? Meh. On to the reviews!

Detective Comics #879:

Summary: Alright, this is actually a twofold story, and neither piece involves any Batman! Weird, no? The main story is about Commissioner Gordon's son James Jr. James Jr. has been working at Leslie Thompkins clinic and from everything Leslie has been telling Gordon, he's been the model volunteer. Anything she asks him to do, he happily does, with her handing over more and more responsibilities every day. Gordon is still unwilling to fully trust James, and is about to voice those concerns when James walks in to the room. Leslie covers for Gordon's lack of trust in front of James, and Gordon leaves. Gordon heads to Barbara Gordon's apartment and hands her one of the pills James was taking to cure him of his psychotic tendencies. Gordon figures if the pills do what they're supposed to(help crazy people feel empathy), and if James blood work comes back showing that he was taking the pills, he'd have to believe that maybe James wasn't crazy anymore. Babs runs the tests and comes to a startling realization... It seems James had reversed the pills, making them remove the empathy from anybody who took them, turning them into psychopaths. Babs tempers this news by telling Gordon that the dosages of the pills were so low that adults wouldn't be affected by them, at which point Gordon remembers that Leslie was sending James to distribute baby formula to the poor, and that the lower dosages of the pills WOULD affect an infant. With that, Gordon rushes off, but before I get more into that, let's move over to the second part of this story. Over in Arkham Asylum, the Joker is being tested by a doctor. Needless to say Joker is strapped up tighter than Hannibal Lecter, and is surrounded by guards. While the doctor is taking Joker's readings, Joker is telling a love story about a married couple. As the story progresses, the doctor realizes that Joker was talking about him and his wife, meaning Joker must have had people shadowing his wife. Enraged by Joker's audacity, the doctor tries to strangle the Clown Prince of Crime, but that turns out to be a BIG mistake, as Joker managed to get some kind of toxin on his skin, which drives the doctor crazy, and allows Joker to make good his escape. This issue ends with the two stories colliding, as Gordon is preparing to hunt down his own deranged son just as Detective Bullock informs him that the Joker had escaped.

Thoughts: Man, Scott Snyder can really tell a good story! This issue had my full attention from beginning to end. I loved the James Jr story, and enjoyed seeing that Commissioner Gordon's detective senses were still going strong, even at his age. It was also nice to see Babs and Gordon working together, something that we really don't see enough of. The Joker story was also pretty good, with Joker doing his thing and slowly getting under the doctor's skin until the doctor just couldn't take it anymore. Yes, Joker is totally insane, but it's nice to see him use his more cerebral side every now and then. I also liked Joker's creepy word balloons, but that's neither here nor there. If I had a complaint here it would be the fact that we didn't get any Dick Grayson Batman appearance. With Dick soon to be stripped of the Bat-mantle, I'd like to see as much of him as Bats as I can before September and the Reboot. But besides that? No complaints here. As a matter of fact, after reading this issue, I think I'm most looking forward to seeing how this series ends out of all of DC's books.

Score: 9 out of 10."Hey Jim, the guy who paralyzed your daughter and killed your wife is on the loose. Are you okay?" What the HELL kind of dumb question is THAT?!

Batman: The Dark Knight #3:

Summary: A possessed looking Ragman is about to murder a bum in Gotham when Etrigan the Demon arrives on the scene and attacks Ragman. Unfortunately for Etrigan, it appears he's lost his standing in Hell, and with it, much of his power. The possessed Ragman manages to escape from Etrigan, and the angry Etrigan kills the bum. Uh-huh... Meanwhile, Batman(Bruce Wayne) is tied up with Killer Croc standing at his side and the Penguin taunting him from a television set. Penguin reveals why he captured and tortured Dawn Golden(she mocked him 'cause he's ugly), before informing Bats that he had 8 seconds before the room he was in exploded. This is obviously news to Killer Croc, who dashes for the door, giving Bats the opportunity to break free of his bonds and leap out of the room in the nick of time. Once out, Bats realizes that there was a strong possibility that Dawn was also being held captive there, and sure enough, he discovers her in the basement surrounded by a bunch of high-powered heat lamps. While Bats is getting her out of there, some girl who stole the Batmobile last issue gets spoken to by Alfred from afar, and she ends up driving the Batmobile to Bats location before Alfred allows her to leave the car. Bats exits the building with Dawn, and while he's a bit surprised to see the Batmobile there, he doesn't look a gift horse in the mouth and places Dawn in before hopping in and driving off. Back in the Penguin's hospital room, we learn that the Penguin was working with a demon, and that the demon was expecting Penguin to open the gates of Hell.

Thoughts: First things first, I didn't get, nor like the whole thing with the girl who tried to steal the Batmobile... I mean this is a Batman comic, wouldn't it make more sense if that was a boy who was trying to steal the Batmobile, ala Jason Todd back in the day? If it would have been a male, they could have ended up not as Robin, since that's Damian's position for the foreseeable future, but some other kind of Batman trainee. With it being a female, that's just not going to happen. Don't believe me? Just look at the way Spoiler was treated when she got the chance to step up and become Robin. For whatever reason, be it editorial(I'm looking at YOU, Didio) or the fans themselves, female characters never really do very well in the main Bat books. Enough about that though. I enjoyed this issue. I don't get how it can end with a “To be continued” since this series is usually like two months late, meaning the next issue would come out after the reboot, which is impossible. Will they somehow manage to get a forth issue of this series out in August to wrap up all the loose ends here? I doubt it, because there's a LOT going on here! I guess David Fitch will just continue the storyline in the rebooted Dark Knight series in September, which really doesn't make a ton of sense... I mean that would mean we'd have the first three parts of this storyline in Dark Knight #1-3, with the forth part taking place in Dark Knight #1... And I thought Marvel had trouble with math!

Score: 8 out of 10.I love the completely random Batman glare at the bottom of this page...


  1. haha! who doesn't love a good batman glare? The story is adding up though and ive seen other reviewers saying, "oh there was too much going on.." what? in a comic? NEVER! haha but yea Gordon dealing with a new police foe, bats and the whole dawn golden thing, plus this new villain popping in.. The last page.. is that creeper? on the double splash fold? Just curious, but yea there is ALOT of hate for this book right now.. I wont disagree because im not sure what they are hating, but i heard someone at the comic shop mentioning that Gordon saying he was going to spank the rookie was so out of character... since when? I thought that line was hilarious!! Gordon is obviouly in a rough spot in this seires as he is talking about retiting for the 8oth time and you can tell he is tired, why would he NOT get pissed off at some rookie punk?? another issue people are having is batman being outdone by croc and getting strapped to bombs, which he flexes out of. Okay I've been reading batman quite a while now so lets see....
    1. Croc was on venom, that explains him overpowering batman, though only slightly overpowering him.
    2. Old stories of batman have been about him being strapped to things ready to blow/ his friend being strapped to bombs. Watch Batman TAS!!!
    3. Him flexing out of the bomb was a bit lame i will admit, he could have used a gadget or something... However the bomb not going off when it was tampered with I.e him busting loose. Is because it was setup by THE PENGUIN! hardly ever a scary brilliant adversary of the batman. I think that people need to jump off the grant morrison bandwagon and quit thinking that he is the one that can write bruce wayne. Not that i dont like morrison, but have they read any other bat books? recently? wydening gyre? all of these terribly far feteched things in a COMIC BOOK!? man i love these characters and discussing them and i love the fans that read them, but sometimes people will find ANYTHING to complain about! happy reading

  2. Yeah, I mean I'm guilty of being overly negative at times, but I really don't get the hate for BDK#3... I mean for the most part, it all made sense. Yes, there were a lot of things going on, but like you said yourself, so what! That means the writer has far reaching plans and isn't just gonna pull stories out of his ass, which I'd think is a good thing! As for Croc, when he first appeared, he was regularly kicking Batman's ass, WITHOUT the Venom in his system! Croc has always been underwritten imo, so it was nice to see him hand Bats a beating like he used to. For an example of that, check out this post I did a while back: Croc kicks the hell out of Bats in like THREE straight comics! And I also liked the Gordon line. He's under pressure and this punk kid is hassling him. So he blew up at him. It happens, especially to somebody like Gordon, who's always under intense scrutiny. Even the thing with Bats breaking the ropes didn't bother me, because again, if you search around the net enough, you'll come across iamages of Bats doing all sorts of crazy things, like bending metal bars to escape from prison cells and stuff! So he broke ropes that were probably tied by Croc, who I'm sure is kind of a clumsy rope tier, so who's to say Croc even had the bomb set up properly, I mean Penguin was in the hospital as it was, so I doubt he stopped by, hooked up the bomb, and then went back to the hospital! Let's just say Croc didn't set it up right and leave it at that! :P I mean if this comic was actively bad, or simply unreadable, I'd have happily blasted it, but everything moved along smoothly. My only gripes were the "To be continued" blurb at the end, since I don't know if it WILL be continued with the reboot, and the girl who broke into the Batmobile, because that was totally unnecessary. Other than that, no complaints from me.

    As for that character at the end, I'm not sure who/what it was... I mean I guess it COULD have been the Creeper, I didn't even think of that, I just figured it was a random demon.

  3. Wow @ your Detective comics review. Like seriously, I was all in. And I haven't read a single Detective comics issue but, man you're making me wanna pick up this issue. I love stories that have a momentum building up and then you're left with a cliffhanger or the known fact of a second part.

    And plus the Joker's in it! lol.

  4. Yeah Lisha, Detective has been really good for a while now, and this issue was better than usual. The storyline with James Jr is coming to a head, as well as Joker showing up. And it looks like the awesome Joker, not that horrible, forked tongue, ghost Joker!

  5. whats dd u mean by ghost joker like i recall him carveing his tounge into a forked manner around batman rip but how was he a ghost

  6. Well, he wasn't technically a ghost, but to me he seemed... I don't know, kind of ghostly! He had the white skin and was dressed in white, his word bubble took on a kind of haunted aspect and he'd kind of appear behind people to break their necks and stuff... Morrison's Joker was just kind of odd... So if you ever see me using the phrase "Ghost Joker" I'm referring to the Joker from Morrison's run, right around the RIP storyline.

  7. Detective Comics was another comic where the issue number intimidated me, lol. Wish I would've picked up a few here and there. For the most part is there like a main story line or is it one of those comics where you get a new story every time?

  8. Well, there's been a few smaller storylines going on in Detective the past few months, with one main story on the back burner. Honestly though, Lisha, you should never let a high # intimidate you. The best bet is to just wait for a new writer to take over a series, because they usually put their own spin on a series anyway. Here's a really bad example... When I found out that New Mutants was changing writers with issue #25, I figured that was the perfect time to start (re-)collecting that series. Sure enough, the new writers very quickly wrapped up the stuff that the previous writer had been doing, and moved on to their own storyline. It's always easiest to jump onto a comic(or off of!) with a new writer, no matter what the issue number.

  9. Oh okay. I thought Detective Comics was this ongoing story line for years, lol. And thanks for the advice X. I just hate to jump into a comic and be out of the loop. Or really just feel like I'm missing something, so maybe I'll jump on to reading Detective Comics the next round. But then again maybe I don't need to be starting to collect any more comics after my submitted pull list to the comic shop, lol.

    But thanks again for the advice X! You know you'll always be my go-to man. ;-)

  10. Ah, I gotcha, Lisha. Nope, Detective is the same as like 99% of the other comics out there. It runs various different storylines, changes writers, etc.

    As for starting Detective any time soon, my advice? DON'T!!!! After the reboot Tony Daniel is writing it!! Just ask JT about Daniel's writing work if you don't believe me! Ugh!

    "But thanks again for the advice X! You know you'll always be my go-to man" Let's not let JT know about THAT! ;-)

  11. Lol, sometimes I go all noob on the comic book reading sometimes lol.

    And trust me Detective Comics wasn't something I was even thinking about checking out after the reboot. JT has informed me of Mr. T. Daniel lol. I'll stay clear of the man's comics. lol.

    "Let's not let JT know about THAT! ;-)"
    You know he'll find a way lol. He seriously is sometimes like Batman, lurking in the shadows lol.

  12. Ah, then you've already been warned away from the awful writing that Daniel produces! Good for you! See that, JT IS good for something! :P

    It's so true! Watch, later on today he'll suddenly pop up here with a one or two word response and then vanish again! Spooky!!

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  14. "Hey Jim, the guy who paralyzed your daughter and killed your wife is on the loose. Are you okay?" What the HELL kind of dumb question is THAT""

    jajaja That line made laugh out and loud..

    and a cant believe that I am actually reading a CLASSIC batman book, i feel this story will be remembered trough time as one of the best Bat-Grayson-Gordon Family before the reboot

  15. You know Alien, I agree with you... Once the James Jr. saga is finished, this may be the defining Gordon storyline. It's been really good so far, it's REALLY close to being great, and I think adding Joker may just make it great!

  16. plus is the last historyline with Bat-Grayson

  17. Yeah, that too. I'm really gonna miss Dick as Batman... He's done a great job in that position, way better than I ever thought he'd do.