Wow, what a difference an issue makes. While there was a vocal contingent of the comic community that had a problem with Detective Comics #1 last month, we here at PoP! really dug it. Personally, this was one of the #2’s I was most looking forward to after the gruesome ending to the first issue. Fair warning, there are mild spoilers ahead, kids.
Unfortunately, issue 2 loses all momentum the story had going for it in its opening pages. Instead of an immediate follow-up to the Joker situation, we’re treated to a shirtless workout session between Bruce Wayne and a Richard Branson stand-in while they talk about… something… It’s not really made clear what this deal is they’re going on about. Next, Bruce goes to his office and meets up with reporter
Vicki Vale Charlotte Rivers. She confronts him about some weird “how do you do all of this? Some people think you’ve cloned yourself” crap, but it clearly falls apart as an act before they totally do the bat-nasty in his office (Batman is such a tramp). After all of that (and it feels like half the book), we finally get to what should be the first page of the book wherein Batman investigates what the hell is going on with the Joker.
Even if it had begun here, there would still have been some problems with the book. Batman engages in some pretty unBatmannish behavior in this issue. He totally falls into a trap set by the Dollmaker and get his ass handed to him by a couple of stitched together goons. Not for nothing, but I’ve played Arkham Asylum. Batman can take on WAY more than two dudes. In all seriousness, it rings hollow as a Batman moment, especially considering how telegraphed every move the villain makes is. Batman aside, the Gordon reveal at the end feels equally hollow since the timing makes absolutely no sense. How did that happen to him THAT quickly?
As if the plot and pacing issues weren’t bad enough, the art in this issue pales in comparison with the first one. Form, colors and even compositions are nowhere near as good. The art was a big factor in setting the ominous tone in the first issue and that mood is gone here almost completely, despite the creepy designs of the villains. It’s a totally different style from the debut issue in almost every single way and for me, it’s simply not as good.
After a really strong debut, I can only hope this story finds its legs. On its own merit, I give Detective Comics #2 a generous 2.5 out of 5 indoor mountains. I’ll probably give this series an arc to grab me. If this story doesn’t turn around again, I don’t know how much longer I’ll stay on board.