Review: Detective Comics #2

Written and Drawn by Tony Daniel

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.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Dan Mahoney says:

    I couldn’t agree more. This was my favorite #1 issue, and after reading #2 I’m thinking I maybe pulled the trigger on that subscription a little too fast

  2. A thought that dawned on me while reading this:

    I’ve heard conjecture (from readers, mostly) that Detective Comics reads like Batman years before. Like what Action Comics is to Superman. Before he was seasoned, experienced, and as good as he is in present continuity, which – by that same theory – would be in the Batman series. That occured to me while reading the paragraph about how Batman fell for the obvious trap set by the Dollmaker.

    Mind you, I’m not using that to excuse or justofy the book. Not debating the merits of the review, but rather getting your thoughts on that angle of it.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. John-Michael (Batman25JM) says:

    You guys kinda called me out on the PoP!-Cast about not liking the first issue, but I knew this would happen! I knew that Daniel would let down at least some of the people that liked the first issue. I had the same problems with issue #1 that you had with issue #2 (I had the problems with issue #2 as well). After reading Daniel’s previous Batman work I knew what to expect. Tony Daniel just sucks as a writer.

    • John-Michael (Batman25JM) says:

      Just like the ending to issue #1, I felt the ending to issue #2 was done for nothing more than shock value.

    • Dan Mahoney says:

      You’re forgetting, I didn’t call you out on the PoP!-Cast. I called you out on the PoP!-Cast AND on Twitter. But enough about that, pop that shirt off and let’s climb rocks and talk bidness.

  4. Justin Schultz (ZeroSkull21) says:

    I liked the issue a lot personally. I was under the impression that Detective Comics takes place before Batman in terms of timeline, so I find it believable that isn’t the badass we all know he is yet. Getting sucker-punched by two guys? Yeah, I can see it.

    • Dan Mahoney says:

      I’m somewhat okay with the sucker punching. That didn’t bother me as much as the timeline bending final page or the fact that (SPOILER) there’s barely a mention of the Joker. Show me the Joker’s face Tony Daniel. SHOW ME THE FACE.

  5. I’ve not seen or read anything that says this takes place in the past at all. If it did, the unBatman parts would be a little better, but the issue would still be fundamentally flawed.

    • John-Michael (Batman25JM) says:

      I haven’t seen anything in the book or from anyone at DC to indicate that this book is set in the past either. And didn’t Batman say something in the first issue about having been dealing with the Joker for six years? If that’s the case he’s been around for at least six years.

  6. Juggalojohn says:

    see i finally got to a comic shop this friday, and i picked up both #1&2, the stuff in the office just felt like a shift in the story, but i read them back to back. and the part about him falling into the trap i agree it was stupid, but what they had joker say in the #1, was that Batman has tunnel vison when it comes to the Joker. So his Focus is off thinking Joker is the mastermind, when he was clearly bate in this story.

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