My Take On Detective Comics #1


Writer and Art: Tony Salvador Daniel

Inks: Ryan Winn

Colours: Tomu Morey

Lettering: Jared K. Fletcher

Cover: Tony Salvador Daniel

I am not normally a follower of Batman within the comic book world, not because I in any way dislike the character quite the opposite, but purely because financial constraints in the past have forced me to follow just one superhero. This has always been Spider-Man (apologies to the DC hardcore fans).

However with the rise of digital comics, DC’s ‘New 52’ and the same day digital push the practically impossible to resist temptation to jump on the bandwagon now and follow a Batman series was impossible to resist. I have chosen Detective Comics over the Batman series purely because I liked the thought of following a series that had more focus on the detective and investigative side of things, rather than all out action. Therefore I approach this series as a completely new reader and we shall see if the book is successful or not from that angle.

Now onto my thoughts on the cover of this debut issue. I think it is very striking and ever so slightly disturbing, what with having a demonic-looking Batman peering down at the reader and the crazed and bloodied Joker’s head grinning inanely, surrounded by decapitated dolls heads. A suggestion of the direction that the comic will take perhaps? A series that might be indulging in themes of horror and suspense. I think that the art of the cover ultimately works well with the maniacal Joker being my favourite part of it.

I think that the story in this issue is fantastic. Although I am aware that the previous continuity within the series is pretty much still in place, at no point in this issue did I feel lost or feel that I did not know enough about any of the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed Batman’s chase of Joker throughout the issue and I think that having the entire issue narrated by Batman’s thoughts was brilliant; I only hope that this style of storytelling is maintained as it could continue to be a highly immersive path into the mind of Batman. I just have to comment on the final page of this issue, it was admittedly shocking, but oh so unexpected and brutal. It leaves me fervently wondering what Joker’s plan is and how doing that to him will fit into it all.

I think that the art overall in this issue is of a very high standard and Daniel has done a very good job what with writing it as well. The drawing of Joker was definitely the highlight of it all for me; I think he looked perfect, insane and dangerous, but perfect. The mood of the story is captured well by the good use of colours and I look forward to seeing what Daniel can do in the next issue.

Overall I think that this debut issue lived up to the hype. The story gripped me from start to finish and the art was brilliant. I shall definitely be getting issue #2.

Issue Rating – 9/10

24 Responses to My Take On Detective Comics #1

  1. Scott says:

    I thought this was good but underwhelming…right up until that last page, whereupon the clicking noise of a jaw dropping open was utterly deafening.

    Awesome. Can’t wait for #2, and may subscribe.

  2. lebeau says:


    Thanks for the interesting write-up. It’s good to get the POV of someone who’s relatively new to Batman. I’d love to get some of your thoughts on the Spider-man books!

    Now would probably be a good time to pimp your site. If you want to read more of Adrian’s stuff, he maintains a comic book and movie review blog here:

    To answer your question, most older Batman readers feeli like Daniels recycled a lot of old Batman stories and boiled them down to something that was accessible, but fairly derivative. He didn’t bring much new to the table beyond a final page that was polarizing.

    • Thanks for the kind comments lebeau. I am more than happy to share my thoughts on issue #2 of Ulitmate Comics: Spider-Man when I receive a copy. Also thanks for answering my Batman question, intriguing to see what older readers are thinking of it so far and it will be interesting to see if in their eyes Daniels continues to simply recycle old stories or not.

      • lebeau says:

        There was a pretty heavy (some might say heavy-handed) Frank Miller influence in this issue. I imagine Daniels was trying to pay tribute. The other thing you have to understand is that many readers (myself included) have a bias against Daniel based on his lackluster work on books like Battle for the Cowl. So, we may not be th most forgiving readers.

        I look forward to whatever you care to contribute. Amazingly, we’ve never had a regular Spider-fan writing here.

  3. Some interesting thoughts there, thanks lebeau. Do you think that Detective Comics has the potential to be a great series, or do you think that Batman will always be the better one (as the reviews I have read have been more positive for Batman)?

    • lebeau says:

      Purely based on my thoughts on the creative teams, I think Snyder has the potential to be great and Daniel doesn’t. But I admitted to being biased. Daniel did exceed my expectations (which were low) in Detective Comics #1. So maybe he has it within him to one day be great. His efforts so far appear to be good enough for many.

  4. xxadverbxx says:

    Yeah, pretty much what Lebeau stated is why most of the older Bat-fans didn’t like this. You can read my article and comments on it that I linked on my own review if you want more of a sample of that. Besides the general rehashing of ideas though I also didn’t get any real feel of connection between Batman and Gordon or Alfred while feeling that Daniels referring a decent amount of times to Batman being (owning) the night or part of Gotham a bit too heavy for just one issue. That and the vibe that Joker was being written to more closely resemble Ledger’s version seemed a bit odd to me. After the art of Batman #1 though, it seems like that isn’t just Daniel but probably hopes to better real in fans of The Dark Knight who never picked up a Batman comic until now.

    I mostly have enjoyed Daniel’s art in the past though, so I wasn’t looking negatively at him for that. To be honest until recently though I never paid attention to his name but doing TT retrospective I’ve noticed his name quite a bit and enjoyed his work in there. And though it has been a while since I read Battle for the Cowl (which I only now realized he worked on) I recall enjoying the art in there too.

  5. comickata says:

    I agree with your points. I too am a new reader using the DCnU as a jumping on point. You can read my take on Detective Comics #1 here:

    I think I’ll be sticking with this one for a while to see how things play out. There are too many Batman titles to read them all so I’m kind of backing this horse for now.

    • xxadverbxx says:

      One more Batman specific to go (not counting Bat-family or JL as Batman)! If you want plain Batman though so far I’d suggest “Batman” myself; Snyder does a good job. Little behind that “Batman & Robin”.

      Wondering though Comickata, have you so far read all the Batman based books (again not counting the Bat-family or JL ones)? If you have and you being a new reader I am a little curious which one(s) you think you’d follow along. Same goes for Adrian really as I think he’s a new reader too (at least to Batman).

      • What other Batman based books are you referring to xxadverbxx? Do you think that there will be a noticable difference between Detective and Batman on how Batman acts? As the reason I chose Detective was because I wanted a more investigative approach.

      • lebeau says:

        In theory, Batman has traditionally been the “super hero” book and Detective has been the “crime” book. So, generally speaking, you would expect to see more detective work in Detective Comics and more punch-outs in Batman. In practice, it’s more a matter of who’s writing which book. With that said, I expect Snyder will likely play up the detective elements more than Daniels.

      • xxadverbxx says:

        Well the Batman specific books I’d count as (in order of release):

        Detective Comics
        Batman & Robin
        Batman the Dark Knight

        As I said, my first choice so far is Batman followed by B&R. Not sure of course how Dark Knight will be yet as it comes out tomorrow.

    • Thanks for the comment comickata, really good review by the way! Glad to see that as new readers of Detective Comics that we are on the same page. I’m throughly looking forward to issue #2

      • lebeau says:

        If Detective is appealing to new readers (as seems to be the case) then it’s a homerun for DC. Like Adverb, I’d encourage anyone who wants to branch out to pick up Batman. In the long run, I expect it will be the better book. But as long as you’re enjoying Tec, that’s really all that matters. I know I’ll be reading all the Batbooks for a while longer anyway.

  6. Thanks for that lebeau, what makes you think that Snyder will play up the detective elements more than Daniels?

    • xxadverbxx says:

      I’m not too familiar with Daniel’s writing (does he even have much history as a writer?) but I know Snyder just got done with Detective Comics writing it while Dick was Batman and I caught the end of that. He did a great job with the detective aspect in that from what I saw at least.

      • lebeau says:

        I think he started writing with Battle for the Cowl and then Batman after Winick’s breif return. It was pretty standard super hero-style Batman stuff. But now that he’s on Detective, he may emphasize that element of the character more.

  7. Ah I see thanks xxadverbxx, this might be a stupid question but would Snyder be allowed to emphasise the detective elements within Batman if readers are going to Detective and expect to see it there?

    • lebeau says:

      I would imagine he’s got free reign to do so. Having said that, his first issue suggests more of a super hero slant than his work on Detective did. But I think it’s a subtle difference.

  8. xxadverbxx says:

    Lebeau – Oh so he did. Again me reading along and not even paying attention to the writer. I didn’t mind his run in Batman then. Nothing I recall too outstanding but I’m pretty sure I still enjoyed it mostly. Kind of a while since I’ve been through those Daniel written issues though.

    Adrian – Maybe Lebeau has a better answer but I’m not quite sure. Batman no matter the comic often continues to have some detective aspect in it, some just more than others. Partially will depend on the writer and editorial mandate along with that.

  9. Fair enough, well i’m still going to stick with Detective Comics for the time being. If it goes downhill rapidly then i’ll switch to Batman

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