Wednesday, February 1, 2012

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #6

Here we meet Snakeskin, the killer from the last issue, aka Jack Houston, who once upon a time volunteered from some rouge medical experiments, got screwed up, gained the ability to change his face, sued the company, made millions, lost it all, turned to a life of crime with all of Gotham's casinos and loan sharks after him for money. He's with a woman with an eyepatch, who he calls Chase, as they discuss one more job, robbing the Penguin's new Iceberg Casino, as "Chase" has procured an invite card to the opening.

But then there's Batman.

In the shitty part of Gotham, Batman finds Snakeskin's finger prints all over the scene of Penguin's runner Raju. Bruce tells Alfred to run some data on Raju to find out where he'd been in the past 24 hours, and cell phone records indicate he had a conversation with a gun runner named Nicolas Pog, and a woman named Jill Hampton, a name both Bruce and Alfred recognize instantly.

Bruce pays a visit to a desk clerk named Louis Hill who houses some of Gotham's lowest scum. Hill tries to pull a shotgun on him, but only ends up shooting some of his own toes off. Bruce interrogates him as to this Jill Hampton's appearance at the location recently, and Hill confirms that a lady with an eyepatch was with Raju recently.

Inside the Casino, Bruce's girlfriend, Charlotte Rivers is snooping around a room, when she's attacked from behind by "Chase" or should we say Jill. TWIST! The two recognize each other, as it turns out that they're sisters. Their relationship seems... well, "strained" is a good way to put it, as Charlotte reveals that she's investigating a weapons operation that goes all the way to the top in Gotham, and it seems Jill's name has come up. Jill denies any illegal activity, saying her sister can't prove anything, but Charlotte continues to tell her that she has enough info to put her away for decades. Jill then breaks a wine bottle, and asks her sister if she really wants to play truth or dare.

Elsewhere in the Casino, Penguin is meeting with a band of weird looking criminals, offering his guidance, as they have begun to store all their money in the Casino's vaults. Disguised, Jill delivers drinks to the meeting, as she listens in on what the group says.

In Crime Alley, Bruce tracks down one of Pog's men and interrogates him. The thug brings Bruce to Pog's hideout, where Bruce sees lots of bomb making supplies, but no bombs. He demands to know where the weapons are, but the thug says a woman with one eye dropped off a case he assumed was full of money and took off. Last he heard Pog was saying they'd meet at the new casino. Bruce has the case that the thug assumed was full of money opened, and finds Pog's dismembered body on ice inside. With no other leads, Bruce heads to the casino.

Inside, as the Penguin begins the grand opening ceremony, Charlotte spies her sister, deciding to tail her. She follows Jill into the depths of the Casino, figuring that Jill probably already knows she's there. She calls out to her sister, but is suddenly silenced, as she's stabbed by Snakeskin.

As Batman, Bruce shows up moments later, throwing Snakeskin off Charlotte, who is loosing blood fast. He tries to tend to Charlotte, but Snakeskin ends up locking him in the room, which appears to be some storage room. Snakeskin presses a few buttons, and the two fall into a pit that looks to be filled with ice.


Alright. This issue was pretty sporadic. On one hand, I really do love the hardboiled, take no shit, scum punching tone Tony Daniel continues to bring to Batman. It's another aspect of the character that I take joy in reading, just to see him scare the shit out of people. Another highlight of the issue is the art. It's really pretty damn good looking, and Tomeu Morey's colors really compliment the feel for it.

The story though, a little all over the place. There were some logic gaps. I can't help but feel that Bruce knew all along that everything would end up at the Iceberg Casino, so why waste time around Gotham? If he just went to the casino, probably could have prevented Charlotte from getting shanked. I couldn't help but just have that in the back of my mind the whole issue. Also, this is definitely not a Penguin story, that's for damn sure, despite what the covers want you to believe. But eh. I've read worse.


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