Wednesday, October 2, 2013

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #24

Remember how E.D. Caldwell came to Gotham, and provided the GCPD with new body armor in a time where the Wrath was assassinating cops, only for Caldwell to be the Wrath and the body armor to be booby trapped with electrical charges strong enough to kill people after prolonged exposure? Yeah, good bad times. Batman is dealing with it, but he's also dealing with Wrath's warship on his ass.  Bruce decides that now is a good time to destroy another one of his planes, which damages Wrath's ship, and allows him to escape on some crazy metamaterial glider he's come up with.

With the Wrath having temporarily retreated, Bruce meets Alfred in Caldwell's war bunker, and Alfred has found some interesting info on Caldwell, that he had kept hidden. Turns out Caldwell's father was apparently crook who stole some diamonds, and was shot and killed by some crook cops, but the diamonds were never found... so there you go, Caldwell doesn't like cops. Knowing that Wrath is far from done, Bruce comes up with a plan to stop him once and for all.

A short time later, Wrath shows up to the largest Gotham precinct with a giant tank, and blows the front wall clean off. Too bad that Batman had convinced Gordon to evacuate the building, and was waiting for Wrath in an armored suit of his own, then proceeds to kick the Wrath's ass.

When Wrath asks Batman where his justice is, Bruce decides to show him. Knowing that Gordon and the GCPD wouldn't have sat this one out, Bruce throws Wrath outside, where they're waiting, needing "the win." So (knowing Wrath's suit can take it) Gordon orders one of his men to open fire with the energy tank on him. With Wrath defeated, Bruce rubs some salt in that wound, telling him that Gordon was the man who took down the crooked cops that killed his father, because JUSTICE! Finally, before Bruce leaves the scene, the cop who has shown up here and there talking mad shit about him gives a long winded apology, saying that maybe the bats aren't so bad...


Well there are some bad bats, as a bunch of them swarm some dude and a leave nothing behind!


Days later in Blackgate, Gordon is showing Caldwell the case on his father, having reopened it and cleared his name. The gesture is lost on Caldwell, who still is transported back to his cell, where across the way, Ogilvy starts talking to him, noticing he has some big plans, and suggesting that they should talk.


The Good:

Layman and Fabok provide a great Batman, that much is known, but I love how many just sort of off the wall things they include. Random metamaterial glider? Sure! Crazy tech war suit to use for ass kicking, why not!? You can tell that those involved with producing this series are really just having fun with it, and that fun translates towards the page. It also helps that Jason Fabok and Blond's art is just so... so Batman it hurts. Yeah, Batman is a adjective now. The ending also made it seem like Layman and company have some big plans with all the threads that they've been playing with lately, which really gets me excited.

The Bad:

Previous issues of this run had a little more detective element to them, but this issue was pretty much straight action. From the start there was no question who Wrath was (even though people tried to come up with one?) so this all just ended up being a little too straight forward for it's own good. Don't get me wrong, still a fun issue and arc overall, but it could have had a little more going for it, based on past issues. 

Also, this isn't a knock on the creative team or anything, but DC has once again done away with back ups, only this time, keeping the price the same, but "justifying it" by allowing the $3.99 books to be over 20 pages (in this case, 22). That sucks. If there was one book that really used the back-ups well, it was this one. The supplemental stories provided so much more than back-ups usually do to the main story, and the lack of them going forward definitely doesn't give you as much bang for your buck.

The Bottom Line:

Layman, Fabok and company once again deliver another fun, sort of off the wall at times, issue, which is nothing to complain about. While the arc itself was a little too point A to B straight forward, it still provided lots of fun, while reinventing an obscure rogue, giving the character a good presence amongst Batman's rogues. While I'm going to miss the stories and value added by the stellar back-ups, Detective still remains one of the best Batman books every month, one year after this team's first issue.


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