Today, Drew and Scott are discussing Detective Comics 16, originally released January 9th, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Drew: Batman, as an idea, is essentially a very elaborate scared-straight program. The whole reason Bruce Wayne dresses up like a bat is because he believes criminals — a superstitious and cowardly lot — will be too afraid to commit crime in Gotham. Sure, some criminals are too cocksure to fear him, or simply don’t believe that he exists, but pretty much everybody runs once he actually shows up. Joker is different. For whatever reason — that he doesn’t feel fear, doesn’t mind fear, or just that he just sees Batman as a guy in a costume who keeps insisting that everybody take him seriously — the idea of Batman doesn’t deter Joker from crime. In fact, modern interpretations of the character suggest that he commits crimes in order to gain Batman’s attention. That notion is what’s made their struggle such a fundamental one, and also explains why the Joker has so many fictional fans — if he can not blink in the face of terror, so can others. The idea that the Joker could be an empowering figure is a fascinating one, but unfortunately, Detective Comics 16 doesn’t take the time to do it justice. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Patrick are discussing Detective Comics 15, originally released December 5th, 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.Scott: It can be surprisingly easy to convince yourself of something that is obviously not true. I had a crush on a girl in elementary school and then some years later, I retroactively convinced myself that she had been my girlfriend. I don’t know how exactly it happened, but over time I came to believe this to be true, and only when I really stopped to think about it did I have the sad realization that I never had a girlfriend in elementary school at all. I also more recently convinced myself that this story sounded cute, and not at all desperate and creepy, which again may not be totally true. Regardless, I can sympathize with the Clayface arc that dominates Detective Comics 15: discovering that a love you believed in never existed sucks.
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Detective Comics 14, originally released November 7th, 2012.
Shelby: Scott Snyder has spoiled us with his work on Batman. His take on the Dark Knight is complex and expansive, allowing for a lot of personal growth for the character as well as massive cross-over events. It’s gotten so that is what I expect from Batman; epic, sweeping narratives on a grand scale. It’s easy to forget the fun to be had in a simple Batman vs. bad guys story. That’s exactly what John Layman gives us in Detective Comics; Batman chasing the baddies, being a detective. While the storytelling is a little bit clunky, it’s still a fun little jaunt into an old-school Batman adventure.
Today, Scott and Patrick are discussing Detective Comics 13, originally released October 3rd, 2012.
Scott: My former boss created a “Law and Order” cheat-sheet, a minute by minute breakdown of every plot point, twist and reveal that occurs over the course of an episode. Each episode follows this same format, almost down to the second. Even more impressive though, is that the show still manages to captivate, and even surprise the audience. Even though the format is totally predictable, they withhold just enough information that we still feel like we’re solving the crime along with the detectives, and revelations that we might have known were coming are completely satisfying. Withholding that information is key, and it’s also where Detective Comics 13 falters; what could have been an interesting mystery ultimately lacks intrigue because it gives away too much at the start. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and (special guest writer) Scott Baumgartner are discussing Detective Comics 0, originally released September 5, 2012. Detective Comics 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Drew: I have kind of a strange relationship to Detective Comics. As the original home of Batman, and the namesake of DC Comics, I have nothing but respect for the history of the title — I want to like it. Unfortunately, since the relaunch, the title has been marred by embarrassingly clunky writing, leading it to be the perennial “RetconPunchingBag” until we unceremoniously dropped it after issue 9. Most of that blame falls on the shoulders of writer/artist Tony Daniel, whose overly grim tone and unnecessarily convoluted plotting made the title a real slog. Well then, the fact that Daniel is off of writing duties as of this issue should be a good thing, right? Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Detective Comics 9, originally released May 2nd, 2012. This issue is part of the Night of the Owls crossover event. Click here for complete NotO coverage. Not caught up on Detective Comics? No problem! Get up to speed with our video Cram Session.
Patrick: If I had to put my finger on the one thing that made me like Detective Comics less than the rest of the Batman series, I’d say it’s the pointless darkness. In other titles, dark themes and images reflect the twisted nature of Bruce’s obsession with justice or the strained relationship between Bruce and Damian. But every time DetCon reaches for that same darkness, it comes off like precocious child that has borrowed his dad’s power tools. It has all the pieces of something I love – including unlimited access to Batman’s rogues gallery – but cobbles them together into a largely incompetent whole. You almost get the sense that with a little guidance from someone who knows better, Tony Daniel would be able to wield these tools more effectively. With the guiding light of Scott Snyder’s Night of the Owls cross-over, this sense is proven only marginally true. Continue reading →
It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.
Retcon Punch got you covered.
If you’re already reading Batman, then you might not see the point of another series featuring the characters as the hero. Or, you could be like the Retcon Punchers and have read every issue and still don’t see the point of this series. Well you don’t have to read it to find out what happened in issues 1-8.
Today, Peter and Drew are discussing Detective Comics 8, originally released April 4th, 2012.
Peter: If there is one thing I can’t do it’s throw in the towel. I’m a bit of a completionist. Sometimes, it’s really easy for me to finish something because it’s really good. Sometimes it’s really easy for me to finish something because despite it being impossibly hard, I enjoy doing it, and at the end, I feel extremely satisfied, even if completing it was stupidly hard and I probably will never be able to do it again. (Battletoads, I’m looking at you!) But I will say that continuing to read Detective Comics is putting me to the test. Continue reading →
Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing Detective Comics 7, originally released March 7th 2012.
Peter: Tony Daniel has a great history with DC Comics. He has written and/or drawn some great books. In fact, he drew one of my favorite books, The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #13. His art couples with a great story, and unfortunately, results with the death of Bart Allen. In his new run of Detective Comics, Daniel does a great job with the art, hands down, giving it that noir, shadow-y feel that I would expect in a detective story. However, Daniel is still leaving something to be desired from a story point of view. I have enjoyed some of his previous writing, such as Battle for the Cowl, or even Detective Comics #1, but as his story progresses and comes to a close in the second story arc, I’m still dazed and confused as to what is going on and why should I care.
Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing Detective Comics 1-6, originally released September 7th, 20122, October 5th, 2011, November 2nd, 2011, December 7th, 2011, January 4th, 2012, and February 1st, 2012.
Patrick: I’m a bit of a completionist. Any time I take up a new hobby, I have to fight my collectorly urges and pace my intake of that hobby. When I discovered Green Lantern in the Fall of 2010, I was fortunate enough to be working a high-paying administrative gig. I threw down laughably large amounts of money on every trade paperback with the words “Green” and “Lantern” printed on them somewhere. They weren’t all classics, but damn it all, I wanted to know what was going on. DC Comics understands this impulse so very, very well. That’s why there are four series in the New 52 starring Batman (Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin and The Dark Knight) with seven other series that have already featured Batman in prominent roles (Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, Batwing, Catwoman, Justice League and Justice League International) and a few where I assume he’ll show up sooner or later (Red Hood and the Outlaws and Birds of Prey). DC is in the goddamned Batman business.Continue reading →