After last month’s disappointing ‘Night of the Owls’ tie-in issue, it’s nice to see ‘Detective Comics’ getting back to where it should be… good detective stories.

As the issue opens an armored car in Gotham’s Business District is attacked… by a group of gun-toting Batmen! (To see this opening for free, check out our exclusive first look at this issue.) But what are the Batmen after?

Back at Gotham Memorial Hospital, Bruce Wayne is seeking to Charlotte, the reporter who was injured at Penguin’s Iceberg Casino back in ‘Detective Comics’ #7. It’s a nice little aside that lends some humanity to the usually cold demeanor of Batman.

Meanwhile Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, and the rest of the Gotham PD are chasing the fake Batmen through the streets of Gotham. When one of the Batmen pulls a rocket launcher on the cops, it attracts the attention of Bruce and the real deal is headed to stop the impostors.

When Batman discovers what it is that the thieving Batmen were after, he starts assembling the clues but they don’t seem to make much sense. As the issue closes, Batman comes face to face with a new villain!

Writer Tony Daniel has been all over with this series. Most of his stories have been world building and introduction of villains (both old and new). Even the big stories, like the one with the Penguin, read like filler. This has led to some issues being nice stand-alone stories, while others just fall flat. This is especially disappointing since Daniel started off this series with hints at The Joker and here we are nearly a year into the run and those hints still haven’t paid off.

That said, this story was one of those fun reads. It’s a good detective yarn and yet again introduces a new character (or rather re-introduces since he’s been seen before). But as inconsistent as Daniel has been, I fear that the story will just jump to more action-based fluff again next month. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Verdict: Buy

Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter
Cover by Tony Daniel