Review: Detective Comics #1

Last week Justice League #1 started the all new DC 52 line up.  This week 13 new comics join it including Detective Comics #1.  I warn you now about possible spoilers.

It starts off explaining that the Joker murdered 114 people over the last six years, so unless I’m looking at that wrong it basically points at Batman working for a little more than six years – probably seven or eight.  I am saying this at least for the fact that in previous history, Batman was the one who caused the Joker to become Joker.  Thus Batman had to be around before Joker starting around town.  If I’m looking at it right, this really crunches things up for the various Robins, but that can be looked at later when more precise information is given.

Anyways, Batman is trying to track the Joker (who is oddly naked and fighting someone) through Gotham.  We quickly get to see some of Batman’s gadgets as well as what may be a new line for Batman of “I own the night” which he says to an escaping Joker.  Kind of a different take on the more iconic “I am the night!”  This issue really comes off a bit padded, much like Justice League #1 did last week.  We find out the city (excluding Gordon) is after Batman to the point the police almost spend more time chasing Batman than they do Joker.  Bruce Wayne of course is constantly missing dates as well giving us a hint that he’s still a playboy as Bruce but far more concerned about his life as Batman.

The dialect really is a bit disappointing to me.  Unlike with Justice League when we saw slightly different takes on characters we enjoyed, this issue just felt filled with things people would expect.  Well except one minor thing being Batman referring to himself either as owning the night or being part of the actual city itself.  Nothing that is really new, just something that is done more in a single issue than most are probably use to.

The end of this issue does set up for more to follow and of course to get the reader to buy the next issue, but even then I still have found this to be less entertaining than Justice League.  There we at least got a continuous banter back and forth, in this issue just very minor moments between characters that didn’t really make me feel any sort of connection between the characters.  Art isn’t bad, but we seem to get lots of full body shots of Batman or over the shoulder looks that seem almost identical in each one.  I’m not kidding when I say all those over-the-shoulder panels look almost identical and we rarely get treated to Batman being cloaked in the shadows.

I sadly wish I had more to write on this issue, but I really don’t besides to say that it just falls extremely short to me in what I’d expect from ANY Batman issue, much less the brand new #1 of Detective Comics.

Action Comics #1

Animal Man #1

Batgirl #1

Batwing #1

Green Arrow #1

Hawk and Dove #1

Justice League International #1

Men of War #1


Static Shock #1

Stormwatch #1

Swamp Thing #1

More on the New 52


About xxadverbxx

I'm a fan of comics. I use to love DC, but events pretty much starting with the New 52 had pushed me off of them for years. Lately though titles like Gotham Academy and We Are Robin have brought me back to them. I'm much more still a Marvel fan though at this moment who I moved to since New 52 slowly kept pushing me away from DC. Often a fan of X-Men titles while I've really been loving Spider-Gwen series. Film wise I'm upset at DC though I really really want them to do good. At least their TV series are mostly enjoyable (though Arrow has dipped in quality), while I'm a huge fan of the Marvel films. Also, I still really hate Dan Didio and still view him as at least most of what has been going wrong with DC comic wise lately.

7 thoughts on “Review: Detective Comics #1

  1. Yeah, at least I got to tag “Joker Nude” and can see if we get any hits off that one now!

    Either way, this issue seems like it was trying too much to get to too many things to the point it didn’t get into good details on any of them. You are right too on the Joker for as I read it I did feel he was influenced off Ledger’s Joker a little.

    If the story continues like it has though, I doubt I will keep up on reading it as well. The thing was rather disappointing to me.

    • I saw and there have actually been quite a few times that this article has had more hits than the home page. This issue will outsell most probably just due to the title, though hopefully your review of Animal Man and my review for Men of War will help get their second issues more sales.

  2. Just read it.

    My first impression is that the plot (though a little padded, as you say) was quite intriguing. The dialogue, however, and the transitions from one panel to the next, however, were pretty terrible. It makes me strongly believe that Daniel probably needs a co-writer to shore of his weaknesses at the craft (even if it’s a junior partner and he’s doing most fo the plotting).

    The corny lines, like “I own the night”, made me really, really cringe.

    As for “Joker naked”, I didn’t even realise he WAS naked until pages later when Batman’s internal monologue mentions it.

    I found that the panel transitions sometimes made it difficult for me to know what exactly was happening. The Ro-Bat scene required me to re-read it and still it felt very clumsy. Similarly we have one panel where Batman think “No one is helping [the young girl]” and the very next panel is an off-panel character (obviously a cop) helping her. So what was the point of that? I got that the police were obsurdly fixated on Batman, but it was just clunky as hell. And was there a point to the bit about the new hologram?

    All in all, I didn’t hate this comic, but bits of it annoyed me. I hope the story is worth the bumpy ride.

  3. A little late to the party here but I have just got round to writing my own review of this. Approaching it from a new reader and casual fan point of view it ticked all the boxes for me and kept me intrigued to the very end. And that last panel was very cool! Can’t wait to see what happens next.

    All in all I think that DC are trying to play a balancing act between attracting new readers like me AND appealing to long term readers as well. That’s not easy and I can see why some fans would be disappointed in this. I don’t think that they got that balance right here. Your review is completely polar to mine ( for the very reasons I’ve mentioned here.

    • Yeah, Cal Cleary’s NewU Review Week One painted Detective Comics basically as good, but just passable for staunch fans, and I guess I’ve read enough Batman titles to be counted as a staunch fan. It did end on a good note, but not enough I thought to pick up for the rest of the issue that I had found lacking. Action Comics really hit that balance you mentioned at least, but it is a hard line to walk on.

  4. Ha! Yeah I guess they’ll probably be like that for a while until they can bring the new fans (like me) up to speed and then pick up from where things had left off in the prior universe. I heard word that the events of Batman Inc are to be respected in the DCnU. How the hell does that even work??

    Oh and I agree about Action Comics. I hope to do my review of that next so I’ll chip in here when I get it done.

    • That is part of why I kind of wish Detective Comics went the route of Action Comics and started us off with an actual origin story first. They could have put some new light to early Batman to give something to those who are older readers, while letting the newer ones know (if they didn’t already) just how he got started.

      And events of Batman Inc I’m not fully sure yet. Batwing came out last week (didn’t read it) and this week’s Batman and Robin has a little in it dealing with Batman Inc. So far it seems to be fitting in nicely at least with the new 52, but time may change that.

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