Detective Comics Annual #1 ReviewSeptember 17, 2012
Detective Comics has long been my favorite of all Batman titles. This is due to him getting to be a little more detective-y than fight-y more often than in other series. Batman acting out the role of the World’s Greatest Detective can be thought-provoking, gripping, and entertaining. While this isn’t always the case, I was hoping for a good detective story with this one.
Detective Comics Annual #1 was released on the last Wednesday of August, 2012. Writing the story is Tony S. Daniel, who has been writing the series for quite a while now. Romano Molenaar, Sandu Florea, and Pere Perez team up to handle the artwork.
Batman does look pretty cool on the cover with his dramatic pose and the exciting explosion. He looks prepared for the oncoming onslaught of villains about to descend on him. On the bottom are the words “Batman beaten by the Black Mask?” Cool! Black Mask’s reintroduction into the New 52 ought to be entertaining. Let’s turn the page, and see what we’ll find….
And it’s a load of garbage.
The story is sub-par. Daniel’s “surprise” villain was announced multiple times before his big “reveal” to the point where the full page splash he made is thoroughly underwhelming. The dialogue is arbitrary and awkward. The story didn’t even need Batman in it at all: This should’ve been something GCPD handled on its own without involving the illegal masked vigilante whose lap Gordon seemed all too eager to dump this case on. Batman’s detective work goes relatively unexplained and is mostly comprised of beating up the right goons to get them to talk. Gordon and Bullock do better legwork in two pages than Batman does during the entire book.
Don’t get me wrong: It’s okay to have Batman be second fiddle in a story about the villains. The rogues gallery is a great cast and should be explored a lot more often without the Bat stealing center stage all the time. The story would have been better if, even though the cops might’ve been able to handle this one on their own, the Batman was more involved in the detective work.
Except for the rendition of the fight scenes, the art isn’t anything to rave about. I stuck around those pages a little longer to study the choreography of the fights: Not bad and quite brutal. Faces smashed in, Batman getting thrown around, and bloodied spears made for fun times.
Perhaps I gave my opinion away by not listing previous works of the publication team so you might not be compelled to go find what else they’ve done because I was sadly disappointed with this annual. When a single issue comic demands five dollars of your hard earned cash, some work should be put into it. The reader should not be left wishing he spent the money on something else. This issue is more than likely destined for the $1 back-issue box in a little less than a year. Meh.