We are kick-starting month three now, and DC’s New 52 relaunch seems to be gathering steam, having already garnered quite a bit of praise on titles like Justice League, and Action Comics. One title I’ve been following closely is Detective Comics, now in it’s third issue. Tony S Daniel is the writer and artist for the book, and we are starting to see a whole new world unfold around Batman.
We continue the story of the Dollmaker, a psychotic new villain who seems to be hellbent on turning his victims into grotesque human dolls. The Dollmaker has captured Batmanand Commissioner Gordon for the purpose of killing them in front of a video audience and selling the stitched up remains. We learn the names of the Dollmaker’s henchmen, Jack in the Box and Bentley. Batman has now been drugged repeatedly Of course Batman is not like your ordinary man, and the drugs don’t have as strong of an impact. He manages to break free and fight off Dollmaker’s goons and escape. Gordon however is not so lucky.
Gordon meets Olivia who, for some reason, is walking freely in the rundown hospital. Gordon, caged up, tells Olivia to escape and contact Batman. Batman manages to take one of he goons prisoner but is unable to get any information out of him. He goes back to his cave and tries to figure out the origin of this new villain. Through sophisticated facial recognition program, he learns what could possibly be the Dollmaker’s true identity. Olivia manages to signal Batman and gives him a note from Gordon, which is leading him straight into another trap. Will he be able to save Gordon in time? And what is Olivia’s role in what’s going on?
Another solid issue of Detective Comics, with the writing being pretty good. Daniel has quickly become one of my favorite writers. He weaves a story that seems like a very demented episode of Criminal Minds. We see Batman as a confident detective, but one who can make mistakes, yet learn from those mistakes. Although some o of the dialogue does become a bit cringe worthy, but mostly the henchmen that falter there. The story is very intriguing, with the premise that there could be a whole underground Black Market that is thriving 0n the human doll business.
The artwork is great, like the previous issues. Quite a few good panels of Batman kicking major butt. The shadow work again is done brilliantly. The goons and Dollmaker himself look very grotesque. The color really highlights the artwork as well. One of my favorite panels is of the dark knight dragging one of the goons along, just the way everything is drawn looks very impressive.
My only complaint is it seems this storyline has dragged on a little too long. Where most other titles have had multiple villains at this point, In this title, it’s been focusing on the same day now for two issues. Although the strength of the writing does carry it on quite well, and the setup does seem poised to deliver with the next issue.