The last issue of ‘Detective Comics’ ended on one of the most talked about splash pages in all of the new #1 issues. This issue continues after the Joker’s escape from Arkham Asylum as Batman tried to put the clues together to discover what is really going on. There is a serial killer on the loose, several criminals running around looking as if they’re wearing masks made of human flesh. How does it all tie together? At the end of this issue, Batman’s still not 100% sure but the villain behind it all is revealed.

Without being too spoiler-ish, this issue sadly does little to continue the shock that the last issue’s finale hinted at. The Joker is missing but doesn’t even show up in this issue! As he did last issue, scribe Tony Daniel does a solid job at making the story a creepy detective yarn. But, without the Joker, this issue doesn’t ramp up to the levels that myself and I’m sure many other readers were expecting. As it is, this issue is just that… it’s solid. It introduces a few new players, namely the new villain and a couple of business (and romantic) associates of Bruce Wayne. Of course, this is just another chapter in a larger arc so I’m sure things will get crazy before it’s all over.

Daniel, who is sharing art duties with Ryan Winn, and continues to deliver the same gritty action that is such a perfect fit for the Batman. When the final hideous villain is revealed, the level of gruesome detail makes him that much creepier.

If you liked last issue, I’d pick this one up to see where it’s going. If not, just borrow it or wait for the trade to get the whole story once it’s complete. Me? I’m sticking around for the ride because this issue felt like the slow ride up a huge roller coaster and we all know what that means… we’re about to get that mad rush as we plunge into the madness that is Gotham City.

Final verdict: BORROW

Written by TONY S. DANIEL