Sunday, September 25, 2011

The New 52: Detective Comics #1


“One-hundred fourteen murders over the past six years. That’s nineteen murders a year. And I can pin them all on him, even if the courts can’t.” – Batman, Detective Comics #1

Confession: Even though I have just about all the first issues of the released comics for the new reboot, I haven’t been clamoring to read them. After only thinking that Justice League #1 was only okay, even for someone who’s not-really-new-but-not-really-old to DC’s main continuity, I haven’t had a real desire to keep up at this point. I know everyone’s latest thing is the whole Catwoman issue, so I decided NOT to start there. As with Justice League #1, I have not read many thoughts on this comic (or any of the others in the reboot). I prefer to read first without the thoughts of others tempering how I go into this story.

Slight spoilers ahead.

The story starts with Batman briefly recounting Joker’s misdeeds in the past six years while heading to a seedy hotel where he believes the Joker is holed up. He’s correct (of course), but apparently, a naked Joker stabbing away on someone isn’t just disturbing for the reader. It’s disturbing for Batman as well. After years of not thinking there’s a pattern to Joker’s madness, Batman is starting to doubt that assumption. He thinks that there’s something very specific about the way Joker is operating in this comic, but he’s unable to understand what it might be.

There’s nothing really new here in the way of Batman. His personal life as Bruce is still a mess. He’s still tangled up with a certain cat lover and thief. He’s still gruffly brooding and feels that everything bad that happens in Gotham is a personal reflection of his own failures. He’s still Gordon’s BFF while the GCPD loathes him, and he still looks to Alfred to be on top of the game. There’s nothing wrong with this at all. Even if they make a million changes to everyone else, no one really wants to see Batman change into something he’s not—even for a reboot.

Instead of a stab-happy Joker, I'll give you Bullock instead.
However, there is a dark optimism there that I don’t quite recall Batman having before. Batman asserts throughout this comic that he is the dark, that he is Gotham. Yes, he even says it aloud no matter how cheesy it may sound. When Gordon tells him that Gotham will always be a hellhole, Batman responds, “Like hell it will,” showing that he believes things will get better, that he can somehow make things better. Maybe this is how Batman initially felt when he was years younger and maybe as this story goes on we’ll start to see less of that hinted optimism. However, I like it.

I also like that there’s more focus on Batman’s detective skills something that I felt was lost in some of the past Batman issues (before the reboot) or kind of glossed over in favor of getting straight to the punching part that everyone so loves. While he doesn’t expound for pages, there was a moment where Batman explains how he taught himself to search for anomalies in a crowd and what particular one he was searching for—a guilty reaction.

One thing I wanted to note is that this was much more brutal than Justice League #1 and there’s less back story build up. Not saying that JL #1 was all sunshine and happiness, but there was a much darker, brutal tone in Batman’s personal story—even the cover was a promise that this was not going to be a pretty story. And it wasn’t. While I’d be totally fine with my son flipping through JL #1, there’s no way I’d allow him to look at this. Starting from the first glimpse of the Joker brutally stabbing someone to death (while naked I have to mention again, but don’t worry no man bits are shown) right down to the Batman vs. Joker fight that went on for pages until Batman finally bests Joker and dumps him at Arkham. 

It begins.

The final image in the comic itself is somewhat haunting and gives a glimpse at the villain Joker will become while hinting at the new threats that Batman will face. No pun intended there for those of you who have read this one.

Did I enjoy this? Yes, I did. I liked this introduction to the coming Batman/Joker feud (though I did have one complaint about the end that I’ll go into with people who’ve already read this). And maybe part of the reason I like this is because Batman feels the same. I don’t really see much different about him or the way he perceives things other than there being some optimism in him for the city he loves.

In fact, all the familiar faces feel the same here like nothing really changed except they’re younger.
I literally couldn’t stop turning the pages as I wondered if we’d find out so soon what the Joker was up to and how this first confrontation between Joker and Batman would go. I’ll probably continue to pick up this series. 

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This blog is a mishmash of thoughts, pictures, and rantings among other things about games I've played, games I will play, and games I am currently playing. From time to time, I may post book reviews that I've written that are about different games and/or game worlds. Feel free to recommend games or add me on the platforms I've listed. I don't do competitive multiplayer much anymore, but I'm always down for some co-op these days. I'm usually DigitalTempest everywhere unless otherwise specified.

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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Tiara has read 6 books toward her goal of 52 books.
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Tiara's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Elfstones Of Shannara
tagged: upcoming-reads, currently-reading, 2016-audiobook-challenge, classi...
Gardens of the Moon
tagged: currently-reading, fantasy, z-narrator-ralph-lister, 2016-audiobook...

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Tiara's bookshelf: read

Deceived
really liked it
Review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge and 2016-audiobook-challenge
The Girl from the Well
liked it
More reviews @ The Bibliosanctum TL;DR Review 2.5 to 3 stars. Not badly written… I’m just disappointed by the squandered potential. I’m going to reread Anna Dressed in Blood to make myself feel better about this Longer Review: T...
tagged: 2016-women-of-genre-fiction-reading, horror, and young-adult
Thirteen Reasons Why
I don't think this quite captures the complexity of bullying and suicide, and some of the issues that Hannah started facing toward the end of the novel really seemed to detract even more from the feelings she was going through by having ...
tagged: young-adult, popsugar-2016-reading-challenge, 2016-audiobook-challe...
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
liked it
Spoiler free review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge
The Phantom of the Opera
really liked it
tagged: classic-horror, classics, audiobook, 2016-audiobook-challenge, horr...

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