After reading Grant Morrison’s ‘Action Comics’ #1 earlier today, I knew that the new DCU was going to be a great ride and Tony Daniel didn’t disappoint with Batman’s first outing in the new DC Universe. (I’m not counting ‘Justice League’ #1 since that was actually supposed to be a third week book that got released early.)
This issue, like Morrison’s turn in ‘Action Comics’, does a wonderful job of setting up the status quo for the new DCU. The opening scenes left me feeling a ‘Batman: Year One’ vibe in the way that it has Batman tracking down the Joker while avoiding the Gotham police force. Amidst all the Bat-fun, readers are introduced to most of the main players of Gotham. In addition to the Batman, we meet the new, and often younger, versions of Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Bullock, and, of course, the Joker (plus the hint of a new villain that I won’t spoil here). Daniel’s Joker is a flawlessly demented take on the character. When we first see him, he’s butt-naked and stabbing a man to death and it only gets stranger from there. By the final few pages, I was already in love with the new Joker… but the final splash page cranked that up to 11!
Other than Batman’s new armor looking odd in spots, Daniel’s art is great for the book. He makes it both gritty and action-filled all at once and that’s what ‘Detective Comics’ should be. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the New 52, but ‘Action’ and ‘Detective’ have certainly thrown down the gauntlet. If the 49 remaining series are this good, Marvel Comics may finally lose its hold on the top comic publisher spot.
DETECTIVE COMICS #1
Written by TONY S. DANIEL
Art by TONY S. DANIEL and RYAN WINN
Cover by TONY S. DANIEL