Detective Comics #1


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Detective Comics #1


  • Words: Tony S. Daniel
  • Art: Tony S. Daniel
  • Inks: Ryan Winn
  • Colors: Tomeu Morey
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 7, 2011

Tony S. Daniel’s first foray with Batman in Detective Comics is incredibly stylistic, but not much more.

Daniel’s first foray with Batman in Detective Comics is incredibly stylistic, but not much more. Batman pursues the murderous Joker across Gotham in classic fashion, providing DC’s fabled “new readers” with a familiar starting point. Daniel makes every panel and word reek of the Dark Knight, but the plot does not give all that grittiness much to stand on.

During a fight with the Joker, Batman gets poisoned and stabbed with knives, but he shrugs it off, saying “I’m Batman.”  Read it quick enough and it might come off as badass, but merely stopping to think about it will make any reader wonder why he did not reach for some Bat-gauze instead. This Batman seems like a rookie. He admits he was unprepared and he is unable to understand the Joker’s mind. He also says the Joker has been killing for six years, but when does this take place? Given how Jim Gordon has red hair, it appears to be a tale from the past before Batman became an expert hero.

Praise should be given to Daniel for taking up both art and writing duties on this title. His Batman design borrows elements from Frank Miller’s Year One and Jeff Loeb’s The Long Halloween, which looks great in motion, but there’s an awkward shot of him standing upright where his body proportions and suit details seem off. The scene with Gordon makes excellent use of paneling to accent the parallels in their relationship. His pages are full of gothic buildings, fiery explosions, and harsh action scenes, which all work well together, but the Joker’s cartoonish face stands out too much to coexist with such realistic elements (his mouth looks big enough to eat a football).

A highlight of this first issue is the gruesome cliffhanger having to do with a new villain, the Dollmaker. It immediately brings Grant Morrison’s Professor Pyg to mind, but it will be interesting to see where Daniel takes it with the Joker thrown into the mix. This starting story is undeniably Batman, almost too much so, but will satisfy anyone looking for a Batman detective story.

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  • Joshua Yehl

    Joshua Yehl Sep 8, 2011 at 4:05pm

    Other way-too-Batman quotes include "I OWN the night." and "Never again. Never. Again." #seewhatimean?

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