Wednesday, July 31, 2013

SPOILERS: Detective Comics Annual #2

Note: Full disclosure, I'm on a vacation of sorts, and my internet connection is less than ideal (zero, at the moment of writing). Due to the circumstances, I'm going to go light on the spoiler section of these posts, and not really go through page by page so to speak. So, quick summaries, then the review. Good? Good.

This issue sees John Layman and Joshua Williamson introduce Jane Doe into the New 52. If you're not familiar with her, she's an expert mimic with no skin, who assumes the identities of her victims. She starts committing a few crimes in Gotham, and during a confrontation with Batman, gets picked up by the Wrath, who tells her he could use someone on the inside of the GCPD.

Later, while Batman helps the GCPD investigate some killings committed by the Wrath, Gordon introduces Bruce to a psych profiler named Abigail Wilbur, who Harvey Bullock has taken a liking to, cleaning himself up a bit. Long story short, we expect Wilbur to be Jane Doe in disguise, but when we see her pulling a knife on Bullock, it turns out that Jane was posing as Harvey the whole time. Bullock had taken a recent interest in tons of missing persons cases, and Batman ended up piecing it together. The real Bullock had been locked away, and forced to watch Doe take over his life, until she decided to move on and eventually kill him. Bullock also witnessed "his" relationship with Wilbur, and things are a bit tense between them afterwards, with Bullock falling into a depression of sorts.

As Jane Doe is taken away, she gives off a hint as to her next target, mimicking Batman's voice.

Following the main feature, there are two short stories featuring Bullock and Jane Doe. The first sees Bullock visiting Arkham to speak with both Wilbur and Jane Doe, but it turns out it's all Jane having a conversation with herself, with all three people, because, you know, she's crazy.

The final story sees Bullock tied up, as Jane lives his life, with hidden cameras on her (so Bullock can watch). The difference between real Bullock and Jane-Bullock? Jane-Bullock lives Harvey's life better. No one suspects a thing, just think that Harvey has gotten his shit together. When one of the people Jane-Bullock helped finds Harvey in a bar, he thanks him, but Harvey insists the kid has the wrong person.


The Good:

Wasn't expecting Jane Doe to be introduced at all, and this falls in line with what I've been enjoying about Layman's run on this title, his use of old/obscure characters, in new and interesting ways. I also wasn't expecting those two short stories, as this was only solicited with Scot Eaton on art (who I'm now looking forward to a lot on Arkham War), and I have to say I may have enjoyed the two short stories more, just because they were so personal. Jane's "solo" story was probably the better of the two.

The Bad:

Not a whole lot to complain about, honestly.

The Bottom Line:

Was this an AMAZING story? No, not really, but like I said, it continues the general theme that I've enjoyed in Layman's run. What really sold me on the issue were those stories after the main feature that expanded upon main story. If it weren't for those two stories, this would have been a generally good issue, but those two stories leant a needed emotional impact, that gave the story as a whole much more depth.


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