In the finale to ‘Detective Comics’ #11, Batman has collected a sample of radioactive material from Mr. Toxic only to have it explode all over the Batcave in the form of some kind of radioactive sludge.
As this issue begins, Batman is rushing to escape the flood of orange goo. In a bit of quick thinking (Does Batman think any other way?), he tosses a batarang at a gas canister and sets the goo ablaze. He then grabs a bit of the goo and prepares for more tests.
At Dunhill Laboratories, a man called Jeffrey is meeting with a Professor Manhart to discuss the recent explosion and the continuation of Manhart’s experiments. But before they can say much more… BOOM!! An explosion rips through the room and Mr. Toxic arrives with a radioactive sidekick in tow. He tells Professor Manhart that he needs to be fixed. (Well, Mr. Toxic, if you wanted Manhart to fix whatever is wrong with you, it might not have been such a good idea to explode the room with him in it. I’m just sayin’.)
Back at the Batcave, Batman is researching more on Hugh Marder. It seems that the clones, and random strange occurrences surrounding Marder have been because of his attempts at curing himself of a genetic disease. As it turns out, the experiments have driven him quite mad. It also made him into the side kick of Mr. Toxic… and somehow Mr. Toxic is also a clone of Marder. To make matters worse, if Marder isn’t cured, he may become a human nuclear bomb!
So, it’s Batman to the rescue. The Caped Crusader rushes to Marder’s lab to stop the madman. But before Batman can get too far, another experiment goes wrong and the entire lab turns into something that would fit right in with the finale to ‘Akira’. There’s goo, and tentacles, and human organs twisting all over the place. In the end, Batman saves Gotham (naturally) but at what cost?
Honestly, I’m glad that Tony S. Daniel’s run on this title is over with this issue. As an artist, he’s good but, as a writer… not so much. At first I kept chalking his seemingly random stories up to world building. Looking back over the first year of this series, though, has made it painfully clear that either Daniel was really just random or was trying to be deliberately strange like Grant Morrison. But, Mr. Daniel, I regret to inform you that you are no Grant Morrison. At least he’ll be handing over writing duties with the next issue, which actually comes in two months after next month’s #0 issue.
The backup story to this issue, thankfully written by James Tynion IV, features Harvey Bullock dealing with a new Gotham PD recruit. The new recruit, Nancy, is assigned night duty to watch over the Joker’s detached face. Bullock warns her that the last evidence room guy quit after just one night with the gruesome artifact. It’s a perfect setup for a cool little ghost story type tale as Nancy becomes more and more frightened of the Joker’s visage as the night goes on, even going so far as to begin hearing laughter from the thing. It’s a great little one-off tale and, if it weren’t for Tomasi’s story being the bulk of this issue, it would’ve earned a “buy” rating. But as it stands, this issue is all…
DETECTIVE COMICS #12
Story by Tony S. Daniel
Backup Story by James Tynion IV
Art by Tony S. Daniel, Richard Friend, & Szymon Kudranski
Cover by Tony S. Daniel