Sometimes you don’t review every comic, but when a 50 story Joker robot appears you listen. I take a look at the new robo-Batman’s battle with the Joker robot to determine, is it good?
Detective Comics #44 (DC Comics)
This issue is largely Lt. Montoya and Harvey Bullock’s story as a plot to stop Falcone comes to rest. This gives the emotional heart to the story as Batman takes on the giant robot and sticks mostly to action. Harvey is following his heart a bit as Detective Yip is clearly up to some fishy business, but he trusts her. She’s apparently working with Falcone and that’s no good at all.
Doesn’t it look like it’s from the animated series?
Writer Brian Buccellato balances this and the Batman vs. Joker robot well as we cut back and forth and things get dicier on both ends. I didn’t find the Batman sequence that gripping, considering Gordon is never really scared or unsure of himself. It’s basically a lumbering giant thing that’s more a threat to the public than Batman, which makes some sense when we find out who’s inside, but it hurts the tension of the sequence. You never worry too much about Montoya and Bullock saving the day either, as they rush to the circus (seriously, what is the deal with Gotham circuses being death traps?), but Batman showing up is a nice surprise.
The issue’s climax comes four or so pages early so that things can get wrapped up for our heroes. That makes the end feel a bit too exposition-heavy and the actual climax lighter than it could have been, but clearly this is a character driven type of story so it works alright. It does hamper an already mediocre issue as far as suspense is concerned.
The circus is a very dangerous place.
The most interesting scene is good only because it works. It shouldn’t, but damn it I was fooled and it’s a gripping and powerful moment.
Artist Fernando Blanco does a bang-up job throughout with a very nice thick line. The bulbous looking Joker robot tends to look a bit animated with his style which makes it look almost too simple. There’s some nice details around the hips though. I have to say Batman’s suit looks pretty darn cool under Blanco’s pen and might actually be my favorite version compared to the other much more detailed looks. Something about the suit is simple enough to be animated; when it’s effusive with extra detail it just doesn’t look quite as nice to me.
Wouldn’t that kill whoever is inside?
Is It Good?
This is a good issue in that it wraps things up across the board, but the lack of suspense and tension really hampers the enjoyment factor. Raise the stakes people!