Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Detective Comics #881 - Review


In the last issue of Detective Comics in this run, Batman (Dick Grayson) races to try and save Barbara Gordon from her sociopathic brother James, who has put her in a surefire death trap. As Batman struggles to locate her, James reveals his twisted plan to turn Gotham's next generation of children into sadistic sociopaths just like himself and The Joker. His plan -- spike the city's supply of popular baby formula with a reverse engineered medication that will actually encourage mental illness. It's up to Batman to finally put down the black sheep of the Gordon family once and for all. But Commissioner Gordon isn't going to sit this one out.

Written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Jock and Francesco Francavilla, this last issue of Detective Comics was a great sendoff to the Dick Grayson Batman. The writing was spot on, James Gordon was scary as hell, and Barbara Gordon got to show off just how much of an ass-kicker she still is. Even Commissioner Gordon got his chance to shine, and not in the usual backseat way that many writers do with the character.

The artwork in this issue was fantastic. Both Jock and Francavilla have been my favorite artists on this title, and pairing them together really worked. The color palettes were the beautiful purples, oranges, and blacks that I've come to love in these last few issues, and the style of storytelling was more like a horror movie than a superhero epic this time around. It was welcomed, as James Gordon feels like a talkative Michael Myers. In fact there's a very similar scene from Halloween that could be a direct reference, but I can't be sure. Either way, it worked.

So that's it. That's the end of my favorite Batman team. Let's hope that Snyder gets to continue his magic on the main Batman title, and that someone keeps the tradition of grittier stories for Detective Comics. It's always been my favorite in the sense that it does treat it more like crime noir and less like a superhero romp. When this collection comes out in trades you better pick it up. I mean it. Do it.

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