Detective Comics #13

 

John Layman (Chew)  is now writing Detective

I’m glad to see a new author writing Detective Comics. Tony Daniel’s first few arcs where too convoluted and never really accomplished anything. The only time I’ve felt satisfied with the New 52 Detective is at the end of #12 when we finally revisited the weirdness behind the Joker skin that was developed in the first issue. And that feeling came partially from the fact that I knew that Daniel would no longer be writing this title. And it was also nice to see the weird story about nuclear energy come to closure competently.

I’ve never read Chew, but I’ve heard that John Layman’s calling called about an unusual FDA agent is great, so I’m glad to see Layman writing the title character in Detective Comics. What sets Detective apart from the other Batman titles in my eyes is that they are normally slow burning, focusing on a long-winded mystery while solving a few minor cases along the way. Daniel did a good job with this aspect of writing Detective by giving us the Joker’s face to figuratively chew on at the beginning of #1, and then not giving us another clue about it Detective #12, in which the audience is giving a chilling preview to what’s to come in the upcoming Batman v. Joker arc. In #13, the preamble to the slow burning aspect of the upcoming arc is the Penguin’s desire to give his image a face-lift. He is tired of Bruce Wayne giving money so Penguin hires a group of Chinese assassins to get rid of Wayne on the red carpet of his new philanthropic venture. Penguin’s plan backfires when he makes arrangements for Batman to be kept busy while Wayne arrived promptly to the event, and so Cobblepot is forced to change his plans in the last minute. He doubles Wayne’s donation and has the wing renamed for his own mother. So sweet. Except that he threatened the charities director in order to pull it off. I’m looking forward to the development of this in the coming issues.

The backstory, also written by Layman, was well written, but what I liked even more was Andy Clarke’s art. I’ll read anything drawn by Clarke. I love his art, mostly because it reminds me of Ron Barrett’s illustrations in the children’s book “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” The way Clarke draws lines on his characters to indicate light is the main reason I see resemblance, but as long as Clarke continues to draw for DC, I’ll pick it up no matter what.

–John

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