Art by: Fernando Blanco and Brian Buccellato
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 10, 2015
I love Batman. Most people do, but there are those (let's call them jerk offs) that complain that DC Comics is a bit too Batman heavy. Here at Weird Science, we don't negotiate with jerk offs, If you do, the jerk offs win and who wants that? I like all the Batman books and don't mind the Dark Knight being the focus of other books as well. So, with everything that's happened to Batman recently (original and unleaded version), it's no shock that he has been featured in even more books than usual. Again, haters gonna hate, but I've enjoyed every one so far because each has offered it's own unique perspective. None so more than Detective Comics. How do Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul deal with the changes in Gotham? Is it good? Let's find out...
Buccellato and Manapul have been writing Detective Comics as more of a street level book since taking over and while some readers may have been put off with the increasing shift in focus towards Harvey Bullock, it's really starting to pay off now. With Bruce Wayne gone (for now?) and the "Bat-Robot" still new and fresh, it's great to see things through the everyman that is Bullock.
After a brief intro that really sets up trouble down the line, we get to see what Bullock really thinks of the new Batman program. To put it bluntly, he hates it. While it came off as a bit over the top and unreasonable, I do like the idea that he believes that Batman is alive and wants to find him. That's put on hold for a bit because Harvey needs to make a choice, head the new Batman Task Force or get back in the regular rotation. He picks the later...for now.
We then shift to some setup concerning the big circus in Gotham and while it factors heavily into the cliffhanger, it's not the big concern this month. It does end with Jim Gordon telling Commissioner Sawyer that he would talk to Bullock about joining the Task Force. While I thought that was the key to getting Harvey involved, it took a blast from his past to seal the deal.
Besides the whole mecha Batman thing, the big news concerning this issue was the introduction of Renee Montoya. I thought it would get more hype than it did and after seeing her in action, it should have. She is funny, tough and awesome. Buccellato and Manapul give her and Bullock an instant connection that I can't wait to see more of. She also gives Harvey an offer he can't refuse.
The book ends with everything set in place for the future of this book and I can't complain about it one bit. The next couple issues should be action packed, but also heart breaking. If you've read the awesome sneak peek last month, things are starting to make more sense.
If you looked at the credits above, you probably noticed that Francis Manapul is not on art. However, Fernando Blanco takes over this issue and while I'm usually a big fan of his, this issue isn't his strongest. His action scenes are big and explosive and pretty damn great, but the character work is a bit off. The big, emotional moments have less of an impact because of the flat expressions of the main characters.
Bits and Pieces:
With everything that has happened in Gotham, it's great to see it through the eyes of an old friend. Harvey Bullock is the star here and Buccellato and Manapul make the most of it. The story is gritty and street level and great. The art is a mixed bag, but the writing pulls everything together so well that it didn't bother me as much as it normally would. Even if you are sick of the "Bat-Robot" already, you'll enjoy this book because Bullock is right there with you. Recommended.