Thursday, July 2, 2015

Detective Comics by Manapul & Buccelatto issue #41

I've  consistently expressed my desire for the tandem of Buccellato and Manapul to continue working on this title and it looks like I'm going to keep getting what I want when it comes to this. However, both men take a step back from illustrating their own stories this time and we get artist Fernando Blanco instead, giving their third arc for Detective Comics a completely different look and feel to the pages which is not necessarily a bad thing even if I will miss their beautiful landscape illustrations and gorgeous character details. If you haven't started reading their run then you are missing out on some of the best visual demonstrations of comic book action and stylistic panel sequences.

That being said, the cover was still drawn by my man Manapul and it's a style I've been very much fond of. It looks like a vintage recruitment poster which was probably intentional when we stop to consider the timeliness of it all, given the new Batman patrolling the streets of Gotham. Speaking of artistic styles: it is most considerable to talk about the fact that even though Blanco is responsible for the visual layout of this issue, the panel framework is familiarly Mana-Buc (I'll just shorten their names like this together from now on) with their careful division of panels across a full-paged spread that usually denote an extended series of action poses of some kind, or to showcase a fluid transition between two simultaneous scenes occuring in different places. It's a signature style I have now began to associate with their version of Detective Comics.

This issue entitled Reunion puts Harvey Bullock in a major role yet again which is one of the more creative highlights of the previous arc Anarky. His dislike and disconcerting rivalry with Batman as written by Mana-Buc had been entertaining and it's good to see him again in a role that is taken seriously and has so many potentials to grow and take over the entire thing. I am honestly riding the bandwagon of BULLOCK SHOULD BE THE STAR FOR DETECTIVE COMICS so hard right now. If that's going to be the case then I'm gonna have so much fun reading this series with more vigor and enthusiasm. I never considered myself a Bullock man but he's gotten great stories lately and I could definitely see him being able to carry half the load for this series.

The other half, of course, should belong to Batman. As spoiled in the last review and, really, this shouldn't be such a big surprise right now: James Gordon has been sponsored by this affluent businesswoman to don a Batman armor and work alongside law enforcement.  This issue mainly focused on how GCPD would adapt to this complication, particularly Bullock who was of course not a fan of the idea. I think he misses Batsy even in a begrudging, apathetic sort of way, and he will never see thr silver lining or advantage of working with a vigilante and only rightfully so. That is until he learns who is underneath the still-ridiculously named Robobat Bunny armor. 

Once again, I have great hopes that this new arc will offer me lots of material to digest, discuss and fangirl about. This opener was promising and I hope Mana-Buc will stick to Bullock being a major focus particularly his working relationship with the new Batman who was also one of his oldest friends and a trusted leader, someone he respects enough to maybe consider collaborating with him during cases. As for the upcoming central conflict in this arc, it looks like GCPD particlarly certain officers will have roles to play that might get antagonistic in the long run. 

With a new Batman, a new status quo has to be established which means a little shake-up is not only unavoidable but also necessary.


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