Sunday, October 5, 2014

Detective Comics by Tony Daniel issue #3

So that wasn't Commissioner Jim Gordon after all. I confess that I was half-hoping that it was which is odd because it's not like I'm actively wishing harm on Jimmy but I thought that if that ragdoll semi-alive body was his then things might finally get interesting for the plot of Detective Comics and it's a pretty embarrassing thing to admit here because now it seems like I want the people I care about in this comics to actually die if it saves me from the humdrum material I've been reading so far. Three issues in and Tony Daniel is consistently underperforming, writing-wise, but his illustrations are nonetheless deftly produced. The man knows how to draw visually-gripping action sequences. Sadly, I could not praise him for his writing.

The Dollmaker storyline is all crazy fun with lots of punching and kicking from the Dark Knight--but my biggest complaint of the four issues I just finished (my review for the next issue is not going to be more encouraging, sorry) was that the story lacks heart in general which I can give a pass because this is clearly more of a plot-driven narrative than a character-driven one. HOWEVER I would like my Detective Comics to show me Batman solving something; to perform the detective function of his job description. I could be wrong but this title is supposed to showcase Batsy uncovering and unravelling cases through his mental faculties. And I think that's what's so hard to swallow about Daniel's interpretation of the character. Batman in here feels like he's always beating up villains which is not what all that he's about, of course. Batman doesn't just flex his muscles and showcase his fighting abilities when he could use other means to press for information and that's why this take is beginning to irritate me.

And every time he monologues or speaks up--I have to stop myself from flinching violently away from the comic book I'm holding. He just sounds wrong. He sounds like some 'roided-up machine seething with barely-controlled rage and always so goddamn eager to prove that physical strength wins all the time--and that is not the Batman I know and admire. It's one thing if Daniel wants to have his own distinct interpretation of Batman but this is just inconsistent with the way Scott Snyder and Peter J. Tomasi have been writing him in their respective titles (and those two styles of characterization for Batman actually complement each other). Something just feels out of place when I'm reading Batman in this title. I am not enjoying the story unfold because I don't care about ANYONE, not even Jim Gordon who was at least someone I recognize.

As for the rest of the elements, particularly on Bruce Wayne as his own character, I feel nothing for him especially since all I see him doing is canoodling with some reporter who barely has any intact personality to actually make me want to see her make-out with Bruce whenever she's in the pages. I have no idea this is how I feel until I wrote this review. Glad to have this out in the open then. Once again, the rating I've chosen is reflective of the artwork which is probably the single thing I could praise for in this issue alone.


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