Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #32

Both Batman and Harvey Bullock continue to investigate the death of Elena Aguila, and once Bruce is done investigating her car that was thrown into the bay, he sends a tip over to Bullock, who still seems desperate to connect it to Wayne. After going through the car, knowing Batman has been there first, Bullock and the rest of the GCPD clean up the scene left by Batman, including Sumo and the kids he was trafficking, as well as looking into the details of a single shipping container missing from the dock.

That morning, before heading back into the cave, Bruce finds Elena's daughter on the docks by herself, pretty depressed, and potentially following some drug use, and gives her one of those inspirational Batman speeches, before disappearing. Meanwhile, we see a bit into Harvey's personal life, and boy does he love cats. Harvey also loves when his investigations link back to Bruce Wayne, so he's going to love that the shipping container that was missing got linked back to some Wayne Enterprises accountant, whose probably on the Kings of the Sun payroll. As that guy is trying to get rid of the paper trail, Bullock pays him a visit.

Elsewhere, Batman is on the trail of The Squid, which brings him to the old Aquarium, which Alfred points out is a bit cheap for a guy named "The Squid," but Bruce reminds him that Gotham villains aren't that subtle... Highlighted by the point that Bruce gets attacked by a giant squid not too long after that, while The Squid and his brother watch on.

But of course Bruce has got some gadgets to help him electrocute the squid and dump it into the ocean, but once he's gotten back on to dry land, The Kings of the Sun have shown up and are in a standoff with The Squid and his men.


The Good:

The art just keeps getting better from one issue to the next, especially the coloring. Brian Buccellato is really outdoing himself with these pages. The colors in the scene with the actual squid are phenomenal, especially the initial panel when the glass breaks and Batman is dragged into the water.

From a story perspective, the creative team does a good job of balancing personal moments with the big action set pieces. The Batman/Annie scene was nice and heartfelt, and I don't know what it was about seeing that Bullock is a crazy cat lady, but it humanizes him quite a bit, and it's fun to see someone other than Gordon in the spotlight with the Batman/Cop interaction bit.

The Bad: 

This run has gotten by on the art, and for good reason, that said, the story still leaves me wanting a bit more. Maybe it's because of the small scale nature of the story compared to other Batman books at the moment, but the lack of a real key antagonist is where I'm finding things to be a bit weaker. The threat at hand just seems to be very general instead of being this focused point. 

The Bottom Line:

Would I prefer the threat of this storyline to be more pressing and well defined? Sure. But the thing to remember is that Batman is character whose stories can vary in scale very drastically. This type of street level story that "Icarus" is turning out to be, is just as valid of a Batman story as is Batman being sent back through time being chased by some Darkseid monster which possesses a distant ancestor who--you know what, it's known. Manapul and Buccellato have set out to tell a very distinct type of Batman story, and not only do they do it well, but they do it with some of the most stunning art of any comic on the stands at the moment. 


1 comment :

  1. I've been in love with this series since Manapul and Buccellato stepping in. The art is gorgeous and I like them fleshing out Bullock a little. The whole thing feels pretty spot on for what I hoped to get from them. I'll probably collect this arc as a volume because it's so damned nice to gawk at.