Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 3.9
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Written by John Layman
Art by Jason Fabok
Backup Art by Jock
Cover by Jason Fabok
Variant Cover by Jason Fabok

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

Last month we saw a fantastic debut of John Layman and Jason Fabok’s new run on this series. It was funny in places, Layman had a good voice for Batman, and Fabok’s art was mighty improved over his last outing in the Batman Annual. Detective Comics has not been what it once was in the last year so seeing this run start off with a bang gave me some real optimism. And then I turned to the first page of this issue…

That sounds a little harsh but I can’t say I enjoyed a good chunk of this issue. The excitement from the first issue drops significantly and what we get is endless word balloons of exposition. I get Layman is going to do this long story involving Penguin but I feel like this issue went into a random diverging with very little tie in. Maybe it was explained in the issue but as I said, there are endless word balloons and it felt like a first time writer trying to wrap around a story in a short amount of space. I feel like the more action there is in this the better because I found myself enjoying it, so really the opening and closing pages were what kept me going on this issue.

It’s not like Fabok’s pencils are bad either but I just don’t see the same improvements I saw from the last issue here. Faces are fugly in the open pages where I couldn’t even tell you if that was Bruce Wayne if the setting wasn’t at the Batcave. (That and we have another instance of an artist not knowing how to draw Damian as a kid.) Like the writing, it feels like the more action there is the better for Fabok. If there was more flaming ninja swords in this issue I’d probably wouldn’t complain as much. But still, even when the characters don’t look off model, he certainly can draw a pretty damn good looking Batman when the opportunity arises.

Even with a back up involving Andy Clarke can’t hold my interest with this particular issue. Nothing is really bad on a technical level, apart from Fabok messing around with characters’s faces, I just found myself being bored with this second go around. Layman certainly has a handle on Batman but everything else just couldn’t click with me this month. I’m hoping the next go around will be more of what we saw in #13 then what we got here. I want to read Detective Comics again because it should be a flagship title. But I’m afraid I’m just going to disappoint myself if I continue these high expectations.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 3 - Good


  1. I liked this a little bit better than you did, but not as much as I wanted to like it. I gave it a 3 all around which is not a bad score, but this book not thrilling me the way I hoped it would.

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