SPOILERS: Detective Comics #976

Just making way for the Outsiders given recent news.

SPOILERS: Batman #42

I feel like there's something you could infer here...

SPOILERS: Batman: White Knight #6

At the end of the day, this is just a super weird love story.

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #975

Bet you can't guess where this is going based on the solicited covers!

SPOILERS: Batman #41

It's been too long since Batman punched his friends and loved ones.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #48

This sure is going to be a quick write up.

The Spoilers:

There's a killer who wears faces (I don't think it's Jane Doe) and dresses their victims up as historical figures, and Gordon needs to stop them. Yeah, that's pretty much it. Also, the killer shot Gordon with a musket, but only with a rubber bullet, because reasons.


The Opinion:

Earlier on Twitter, I talked about how I hope this book goes in a unique direction when Bruce comes back and another change obviously comes, because right now it's just a "me too" sort of book. There's nothing unique about it and it doesn't strive to stand out. Don't give me the "it's the street level crime scene investigation" line, because that's bullshit, Batman has that too, just spitting that line out doesn't help this book's case. 

This issue sums up what my general fears for GorBats originally were, just a haphazard decision to put Gordon in the suit and not be able to back it up with anything. Ironically, Batman backed that up with doing some interesting shit with Bruce, and I've gone on record that Gordon and Bloom have become the least interesting parts of that book at the moment. So what do we have here... there's some killer in Gotham and Gordon needs to find out who it is to stop them. That's it. There's zero ambition, zero stakes, zero substance. It has all the trappings of an issue that truly doesn't matter. As with the past couple of issues, the relevance fades as soon as Thursday hits. There's no reason to talk about this issue, there's no reason to think about it.

To be clear, I'm not blaming Peter Tomasi's writing on this. He got stuck with the unenviable job to be the Detective Comics writer stuck in the middle of the last creative team leaving and another change coming on the horizon. This is entirely DC's fault. Snyder has recently said that he always knew that Gordon was going to be a single story and that'd be that (he wishes he had more time though, also, I knew this too as I got a few DMs from people after we found out about Gordon and I was having a crisis, I digress), so what does DC have this book become? The B-plot book that's just more Gordon in the suit, because. This would have ben the opportune time to do something drastic with this book, make it relevant, take a risk, have it star somebody else (and I don't mean the easy way out "have it be about the GCPD!" no, why don't we think a little outside the box?). But no... it's just the side book, and nothing more.

"Detective Comics! It's like Batman, but with no substance!"


  1. They could have used it to run a year-long (10-issue, whatever) storyline featuring the greater Bat-cast (some sort of mystery they all have to band together and solve), but that isn't even possible because of Eternal. So as you say, we're left with "The Continuing Adventures of GorBat (Featuring The GCPD or Justice League)." And no, Tomasi isn't to blame at all. He's proven that given any sort of meaningful title and characters, he'll do something original and interesting. Passe to complain about DC editorial, but there is a distinct lack of life in much of the line right now. Yet another round of changes likely coming in April/May/June, I suppose. As with the last one, we can just hope there are a few gems in there.

  2. I mean, yeah, it's inconsequential, but at the same time, Tomasi writes a great Jim Gordon, and at the end of the day, it's an enjoyable story with good characterization. That's what Tomasi's best at. He's always the B-list writer, but his best stuff is when he just gets to have these characters interact without any major events going on.

  3. This is the best issue of Tomasi's run thus far BECAUSE it's not part of some big event or storyline and yet is really solidly written and introduces a compelling mystery.

    1. I'm not saying it has to be a part of a big event, I'm saying this book has zero ambition to do anything but make up some forgettable villain and go "I don't know, do Batman stuff"

    2. Many of the best Batman stories are like that. Stuff by Milligan, Robbins, even Barr and O'Neil were contained "just do Batman stuff" stories. And I personally find a dude who quotes the famous people he has masks of while he dresses up his victims and kills them is pretty memorable.

    3. And those stories were of a time and place. This is not one of those stories. This is an incredibly safe, zero ambition, stop gap of a title, just biding its time until Bruce becomes Batman again. It could be turned into something else other than the "B-Plot" Batman book and it should be, that is a fact that no one can make an argument against. If anyone looks me in the eyes and says "It's fine that this book doesn't amount to much and will forever be in the main book's shadow" I'll call that for what it is: defeatist bullshit.

      So I'll say it again, this book should be better. It's not. And that sucks.

      And memorable? Who's even talking about this book? Did it set the world on fire today? No. There's nothing to discuss. Sure, people could say "Oh yeah that mask thing is kind of interesting." But that's about fucking it. When that's the high point, saying this entire *thing* will be a point of discussion anywhere past the following month when this arc ends, is 100% laughable.

    4. You're being too dismissive of it. Some of the best Batman stories of the past few years have been "B-plot" stories. Dini's Detective run was always overshadowed by whatever Morrison was doing. Snyder's best Batman material was when he was just writing about Dick solving murders. Tomasi's Batman and Robin was at its best early on, when it was just Damian and Bruce, or Damian interacting with the Robins.

      A story doesn't need to be event-driven to be good. In fact, a lot of criticisms about Snyder's current stuff is that it's too over-the-top and focused on game-changing events. Too much of the focus is on teasing whether or not Bruce will remember, and not enough on Jim himself.

    5. For the love of god, I never said the book had to be "event-driven" for it to be good. I said this book needs a reason to exist. It has a distinct lack of ambition to be anything other than a paint by numbers Batman story forced to sit in the shadow of Snyder and Capullo. It doesn't create believable stakes. It doesn't utilize continuity past the basics. It doesn't do anything to stand out. The only thing people have to say about it is "well it has good characterization" well so does Batman. "It has nice detective aspects" well so does Batman. This book has "me too" written all over it and if you want to drink the koolaid and settle for that, then by all means, but I'd rather spend my money on something that at least tries something new or stands out in anyway possible. When all the other books in Gotham were getting big shake ups, this one remained stagnate like a puddle of water. Dick Grayson went in an entirely different direction, Batgirl got a total style and attitude makeover, new titles like Gotham Academy played and used continuity in new perspectives, etc, etc. Detective Comics does nothing new, nothing special, it's fucking boring.

  4. As long as there is (for lack of a better term) a showrunner of the Batman line, this will be a thing. When you've got multiple books starring the same character, they're either working in concert or one is driving. Snyder's clearly driving, so DC can either put Detective under the umbrella of one of his buddies (say, JTIV) and have it expand on the main title, or use the series to tell more ancillary, meat-and-potatoes stories. Clearly they've chosen the latter approach.

    I do think there's room for a Batman title that's just about Batman doing Batman stuff, without affecting the larger continuity or having "stakes" beyond apprehending the bad guy. That sort of thing may not be to everyone's taste, but hey, DC's got the main Batman title as well as Eternal for folks who prefer the continuity-heavy stuff. Personally I like a mix - Snyder & Capullo's book is wonderful but sometimes I just want to see Batman solve a murder or something.

  5. Just because this isn't the flagship Batman title doesn't mean that it is doomed to have smaller stories that don't matter in the long run. In fact they have attempted bigger stories involving the GCPT, Bullock, and (I can't believe I'm saying this) Joker's Daughter. That was a big story involving police corruption, assassins, and a joker robot attacking the city. The reason nobody is talking about it now is because...IT SUCKED. There was no character development, emotional connection, or larger repercussions. The scale of the story isn't what matters and the "high stakes" aren't very essential either. What matters is the story making us understand the character in a way that we haven't seen yet and become emotionally invested in them.

    This is the perfect opportunity for Detective to do a smaller, character-driven story around Gordon that may not change what happens in Batman, but makes us more emotionally invested and engaged in the character. For hecks sake you have James Gordon Jr. just sitting in continuity purgatory after suicide squad used him for some bullshit stupid reason. Have him return to Gotham, make Gordon question if he is good enough to be Bat after failing his son, anything really. Rather than two-part fill in stories. I mean this book has been acting like a fill-in issue for the past 6 months. It's time to do something different and embrace that it's not the flagship, but use what it has to mean something.

    1. "Just because this isn't the flagship Batman title doesn't mean that it is doomed to have smaller stories that don't matter in the long run"

      I stopped reading there. 1. Because I'm tired of this conversation 2. Sure, it doesn't mean it HAS to be doomed to have stories that don't matter, but guess what, it already has stories that are doomed to never matter. My whole fucking argument is that we should be getting those better stories, this book should be something different, it should matter. But it doesn't. If you're going to sit here really banking on this story to pay off in some meaningful way, then that's your mistake. Because I'm telling your right now, DC doesn't give a shit about the content of this book, as long as it's safe paint by numbers Batman side stories. Just look at what it has been since Tomasi took over. At first we were lead to believe that it would be the title in which Gordon would team up with the League, that'd be cool, but no, it was a two issue filler arc with some dumb monster in a cave that no one gave a shit about, so the book would have some content between then and Robin War. Then Tomasi didn't even write the Robin war issue. Now it's just more filler to have content between now and whenever Bruce comes back and it changes again. This book is directionless filler content. That's all it is.