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Saturday, May 28, 2011

DAMN Good Comic of the Week -- DETECTIVE COMICS #877

I understand that DC Comics' Flashpoint mini-series is supposed to be the catalyst for relaunching the DC Universe in September, but one title I really don't want messed with has to be Detective Comics.

Like many fans, I was a bit concerned about this book after Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III's stellar Batwoman feature ended, but the current creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock have quietly crafted this series into one of DC's best books at the moment.  Starting with Jock's stunning front cover that looks like a frame from the opening credits of a James Bond film (try and ignore the annoying Green Lantern movie ad at the top), we open with the other Batman, Dick Grayson, thinking his way out of a car crusher deathtrap.

From there, we're treated to scenes like Other Batman crunching the cybernetically-enhanced legs of the new criminal Roadrunner, Batman confronting the daughter of the man who killed his parents, and Red Robin teasing Batman about being attracted to said daughter.  Snyder spreads these little gems across the entire issue, distinguishing Dick Grayson from a mere Bruce Wayne replacement and developing him as his own Batman even if he's now just another member of Bruce's growing army of Batmen in Batman, Incorporated.

Meanwhile, Jock complements Snyder's script nicely, providing iconic images of Batman rocketing out of the car crusher, swooping in from a moonlight sky to take out the Roadrunner's henchmen, and sailing across Gotham Harbor in a stylish Batboat.  I had a small issue with his decision to show Batman diving deep into the harbor water with his impractical long cape still attached, but you have to admit that it just plain looks cooler with it on.  This is as Batman as Batman gets, so let's just savor this goodness while we have it.

Oh, and did I mention that this is only Part 2 of the three-part "Hungry City" storyline?  The real Big Bad behind this mystery is apparently someone called Tiger Shark that Batfans may have met before way, way back in another age of comics.  That's right, there's actually an obscure Batman villain that Grant Morrison hasn't resurrected yet.  Who knew?  But hey, if Part 3 turns out as good as the first two, Snyder can bring back the Signalman for all I care...

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