How can a comic book series so visually stunning with dynamic panel layouts and great action sequences so well-put together have such A WORTHLESS CRAP OF STORY to tell?
I swear to all that is holy and Loki, Tony Daniel's Detective Comics has produced one of the worst Batman interpretations in recent memory. Only five issues in his run and I already want to bang my head against any if not ALL hard surfaces in close proximity. I haven't been this frustrated since reading Tomasi's traumatic He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named villain and that forgettable two-issued zombie fiasco of his. But at least Tomasi has also given me great stories in his Batman and Robin run that have more than equalized the bad shit he put me through sometimes. I can't say the same for New 52's Detective Comics since this is the very first Tony Daniel work I read and it's lousy and ambiguous at best, writing-wise.
The only thing that is redeemable about his issues is the consistently brilliant artwork he presents readily but I'm sorry to say, Mr. D. You're going to have to give me something more than pretty pictures now. Sadly, any hope for that is squashed by this "story".
Actually, my biggest problem is that this issue is composed of TWO UNRELATED STORIES. The first part is the continuation from the previous issue where Batman IS STILL NOT LOOKING FOR the Dollmaker IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM for NO CLEAR REASON WHATSOVER WHY THE FUCK NOT, and was more focused with the mob of Joker supporters that are occupying Gotham streets in protest. Also, there's the Penguin. And Charlotte Rivers, Bruce Wayne's journalist girlfriend, who cosplays her way into the Penguin's lair. My notable complaint about EVERYTHING is that THE CHARACTERS' ACTIONS HAVE NO PLAUSIBLE MOTIVATIONS. Why are the Joker supporters fighting for the clown prince? Why is Charlotte Rivers going undercover to expose the Penguin? What leads does she have in the first place? Why should I care if she's in danger?
None of these simple plot elements are answered because we only have 12 PAGES TO TELL THIS STORY AND THE BREVITY COMPLETELY MADE IT SUFFER WITH ITS LACK OF DEVELOPMENT.
But this is surprisingly not the worst offender of them all. It has to go be the second "story" that came out of nowhere. Artist Kudranski has some interesting art choices for this issue and I certainly want to see more of his work on other comic books, but it was still a "story" written by Daniel himself. And the reason why it is yet another bullet-point to the growing list of offenses that this series has committed that personally offends me is that the story is about the illegitimate son of...ugh, I can't believe I'm typing his name again...Daniel's second "story" is about the illegitimate son of DR. HUGO STRANGE WHOM I BLOODY HATED in Prey, and in fact was the reason why I didn't always enjoy Dough Moench's graphic novel while I was reading that last February because Hugo Strange is the most unlikable, ugliest and lamest Bat-villain EVER. And you want me to believe that HE somehow PROCREATED WITH SOME POOR WOMAN AND HAVE AN OFFSPRING WHO NOW BECOMES A NEW VILLAIN FOR NEW 52--this is getting ridiculous! There are tons of exciting and complex iconic Bat-villains already. We really don't need new ones. Sometimes they do work for the story framing they are told in (Tomasi's NoBody and Erin McKellen are great examples) and sometimes they just take away significant page time from well-established characters from the historical Bat-canon.
This new character Eli Strange does absolutely nothing but sit there and play cards while talking like any boring immovable plot device as opposed to a dynamic character. Catwoman appears for a shitty reason to save this man's ass and then I was left feeling numb in the precious corners of my soul. As you can see from my caps-locking, I AM EXTREMELY UNHAPPY RIGHT NOW. I still have TWO ISSUES LEFT OF THE FIRST COLLECTED VOLUME and I am not looking forward to reviewing them by the end of the week at all. Luckily, I have the third episode of Gotham to review tomorrow. Thank Loki. And fuck the rest with the hammer of Thor.
NOT RECOMMENDED: 4/10