Review: Detective Comics #2

Can the New 52 buzz linger long enough to keep the excitement going for the new, renumbered mainstay?  Not a chance.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Detective Comics #2

With the #2 issues of the DC reboot being released, some of the buzz says that the new stories won’t hold up for long, and that the only stories that worked were the ones that had continuity on some level with the old DCU.  One book not helping to dissuade that argument is Detective Comics #2. What we have here is a comic book so badly written it borders on insulting. In trying to reinvent Bruce Wayne at an earlier time in his life, writer Tony Daniel has stripped away that which is most inherently Batman and left us with romance novel-level writing, a ridiculously clichéd villain and a series that has lost this long time Detective Comics fan until a new writer comes on board.

The lackluster story kicks off with Bruce Wayne trading Alpha Male barbs with some guy that heads up a company he wants to buy. Gee, I wonder if that will come into play later in the series? Next comes the romance novel section. Bruce has an “interview” with a hot young reporter. After a few ridiculously cloying remarks to one another, they have the following exchange:

Reporter : My eyes are up here

Bruce Wayne: I can see that. And they’re shooting daggers

Reporter: Then kiss me before you bleed to death

Bruce Wayne: You don’t have to ask me twice

Reporter: It’s so bright in here

Bruce Wayne: I can fix that

Reporter: You have a fix for almost anything I bet.

Bruce Wayne: I don’t know. You tell me.

Reporter: Later…..

Seriously? A high school writing teacher would toss garbage like this out and DC releases it? I know this is supposed to be a younger Bruce Wayne, but why involve him in the kind of love scene better left to Fabio or the Twilight novels? The entire section dealing with Bruce and this woman is almost unbearable to read. Following that, we get this bad tough-guy talk from Commissioner Gordon towards the head of Arkham. It seems not only has the Joker escaped with no face but also a little girl was kidnapped.

Cue Batman who, after a clumsily written exchange with Gordon, runs off to try and rescue the kidnapped girl. Instead, he finds the villain of the piece,  who is so B-Horror grade that I promise you’ll start laughing. This villain wears a Doctor’s outfit with a butcher’s apron along with a mask of human skin he’s stitched onto himself. Great, its Texas ChainSAW Massacre. If the Doctor wasn’t bad enough, his flunkies are the pièce de résistance.

One goon is a giant bruiser with a human skin attached to him giving an air of Frankenstein. There’s, I kid you not, a mean looking court jester that comes off more like an ICP fan on crystal meth. Saving the best for last, it’s the Doctor’s daughter who is costumed in a sexy/dirty nurses outfit with a blank facemask.. She utters really great dialog like “I found him first. Promise me I get to work on him.” See, see? That’s the scary part, she says weird things but dressed like a nurse. Get it? It’s scary!

The very last page has the Doctor throwing James Gordon’s limp body with a stitched up face to Batman who screams “What have you done to him?”  Wow, the world’s greatest detective didn’t notice that, for no reason, Gordon has purple gloves on? I’m no detective, but if I link the gloves with the escaped no-face Joker, I might just make a connection. If it were the Joker, you’d think he’d have had the good sense to take the gloves off. It doesn’t matter. Detective Comics #2 is so stupid the details are the least of its worries.

I’m supposing the rush to write this debacle left Daniel’s no room to make the art count. For some reason, Bruce Wayne always looks like an Asian man who just went swimming and Commissioner Gordon looks like Boner Rex, The Seventies Porn Star. I was especially mystified as to why Harvey Bullock now looks like seventies TV cop Baretta had a kid with Claude Akins. Detective Comics #2 is not only an embarrassment to Dark Knight fans, but to comic fans in general.