Saturday, September 26, 2015

Detective Comics by Buccelatto issue #44

To answer the elephant smashing its way into the room: NO. Hell to Leslie Knope, I can honestly say that it also never crossed my mind that there was ever a need for Joker Robot to make any appearance at all but Detective Comics disagreed with me about this--and that ballsy and campy response in the face of logical storytelling simultaneously makes me hate what I just read and enjoy it all at once. I can't for the life of me believed that none of the characters in this issue just took a step back to re-asses the absurdity of their situation so they can recalibrate a better response; something akin along the lines of flat-out just asking a higher power, "Jesus fuck, are we in a comic book?" because that kind of biting self-awareness and breaking-the-fourth-wall snideness would be feel right at home next to whatever the goddamn shit just happened in Buccelatto's piece right now. The only saving grace from this is that it's thankfully over. I close this comic book issue and immediately forgot about it until I had to write a review and revisit the stupidity of it all over again.

Now, to be fair, when this arc first started, it felt like a promising premise for some gritty crime drama with lots of intrigue and deception as the story's meat and bones, but then it slowly devolved into this weird, theatrical farce that I think even the writer themselves know is utter shite but decided to go along with, possibly due to creative restrictions. However, I may just be theorizing blindly about that but it's only because I'd like to give more credit to the combined talents of Manapul and Buccelatto, so I simply chose to believe that this wasn't near their best effort. I've seen it firsthand in Icarus sans the concluding issue. Anarky was also strong follow-up, but whatever the fuck this was with the fucking robots and goddamn Joker's Daughter part of the plot--it's an awful mumbo jumbo that is so easy to criticize and dismiss as a prank all in itself.

Harvey Bullock's share of the story could have worked so much more riveting as a standalone piece; the man is proving to be a compelling character of his own right since Manapul and Buccelatto took the mantel for Detective Comics and started including him in more assertive and integral roles into the cases they were weaving. Since Anarky, Bullock has been engrossing to see on page especially his strained relationship with the previous Batman and now with the new Batman who happens to be his long-time friend and colleague, Gordon. I would've loved to have more of an intimate exploration to this relationship now that the dynamics between them have drastically changed. That could have been something worth my time.

But instead of that, we got Bullock's one-off romance with the newbie Nancy Yip whose questionable moral compass is pretty damn ridiculous that I don't buy her turncloaking and then regretting her actions later in just a span of two measly issues or so. Even more unbelievable enough is Bullock's insistence to see the good in her, justifying that she deserves a second chance so he helped her fake her death so she can start over. If there is any character who isn't worthy of forgiveness in this issue, it's Yip. She basically just explains to Stefan Falcone that the reason she became crooked was because it was the only option and her pure survival instinct kicked in. She sounded as if she didn't even bother to try fighting the corruption and the temptation; the girl simply rolled over and took the pile of shit that collapsed on her. It's so unrealistic and it made her character so heinous because her amoral stance was contradictory to the part of her character that claimed to be in love with Bullock. She was just so inconsistent! I was glad to be rid of her when this story ended. I feel like getting a shower just to scrub away her stink.

Speaking of grimy filth you can never wash off, my favorite part of this comic book had to be the confrontation between Jim Gordon, still clad in his BatRoboBunny armor, and Joker's Daughter who has been piloting the Joker Robot ever since the La Muerto dudes stole the nuclear power source last issue so rhat JD can have her very own cheesy and stupid machine in the game because she's a cunt and I swear to god, DC, if you incorporate her character into any Bat-story one more time, I will go commit my own murder spree--a hyperbole, sure, but I hope the gravitas of my sentiment were perfectly understood. This is why I was so relieved and a tad bit sadistically overjoyed when Jim smacks the bitch down and succinctly summarized everyone's thoughts about JD as a useless waste of space that doesn't even deserve to be deemed as a character. Gotham City is more of a character than this asshole. Isn't it just so damn cathartic to see Jim humiliate her this way. Stop being a hypocrite and agree with me!

Joker's Daughter can go ahead and eat a rotten dick and nobody will mourn her

It's sad to come to terms with this but I will always remember that artist-writer power duo Francis Manapul and Brian Bucelatto had a great run in Detective Comics while it lasted; it's just a little tragic that this was their last contribution to the title, though. I grieve them profusely but I was also elated to find out that Peter J. Tomasi (former writer for New 52 Batman and Robin) will replace them from here on, along with artist Marcio Takara whose illustrations I'm very excited to see. I've heard great stuff about him and now my expectations are set. Overall, this bizarre and ridiculously uneven storyline at least managed to have great moments in between, particularly the parts with Bullock and Stefano Falcone's plan to corrupt every GCPD officer so they can all be in his payroll and those who won't comply will be executed. I liked that part of the narrative enough; the rest with BatRoboBunny (RoboBatBunny? Goddammit, I could never get it right...) and Joker Robot is now forever suppressed in the depths of my memory and will hopefully never resurface in my waking life.


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