Thursday, September 3, 2015

Detective Comics #44 Review

Written by: Brian Buccellato
Art by: Fernando Blanco and Brian Buccellato
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 2, 2015

This is the End...

I have really enjoyed Manapul and Buccellato's run on Detective Comics.  They transformed the book into more of a Gotham Central story than just another bat book on the shelf.  It doesn't hurt that I am a Harvey Bullock fan and he has been the star of their run.  While this final arc has included the shiny new Bat-Bot, it still has centered around Gotham's best overweight detective.  The mystery of what Yip is up to and the (re)appearance of Renee Montoya have been awesome to read about, especially through Harvey's eyes.  I still can't help but wonder if this was the story that Manapul and Buccellato signed on for all those issues ago, but no matter what the case, they did a really good job.  So, did this final issue tie everything up into a nice, satisfying bow?  Let's find out...

The issue starts with Bullock desperately trying to get a hold of Yip, but only getting her voicemail.  He leaves her a passionate and heartfelt message that I would normally have loved, except that it's with Montoya right there.  With everything going down with Yip, Harvey has been walking on thin ice as it is, but this seems to go a bit over the line.

We then cut to Yip getting the she is getting paid by the Falcone's for flipping.  The scene is short as panel length goes, but way too short in information.  I want to know why she is doing what she is doing, but it seems like that is going to remain a secret.  Because of that, the scene falls flat.  It ends with Yip calling Harvey to pick her up.

Meanwhile, the Bat Bot is battling it out with the Joker Bot and while that sounds really silly, I was looking forward to seeing it.  The battle itself is okay, but I do like the dialogue and the idea that Gotham will always have a Joker/Batman dynamic, even if it's with robots.  I also like that Gordon uses his detective skills and realizes that the Joker Bot should be kicking his ass, but instead is on the run from him.  He calls up to Julia and Daryl to figure out a new plan of attack.

They do come up with a plan, but not before the events of the June sneak peek come into full effect.  The Joker Bot sends Montoya, Bullock and Yip's vehicle airborne and while Gordon saves them, only Harvey and Renee walk away.  Yip is alive, just trapped, but then Harvey does the unthinkable and it really looks like Yip is gone.

I loved the June preview, but it really took away from the surprise of this scene.  We all knew it was coming and when it arrived, I really didn't have the emotional response I thought I would.

There is no time for mourning and Bullock and Montoya speed off towards the circus run-through. We learn that the hit is indeed happening tonight and the targets are police officers not cooperating with the Falcones.  I really like this twist, even if it was not a surprise at all.

The issue ends with Batman defeating the Joker Bot and hopefully getting rid of the Joker's Daughter for good and the Circus craziness finally coming to an end with the responsible parties behind bars. In a sort of epilogue, Harvey and Gordon wrap things up in a forced little bow before laughing it up and ending this chapter of Detective Comics.

I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but this issue really felt rushed.  After the slow burn build that lead up to it, it felt like a sprint to the finish line.  What bothers me most is that we never really found out why Yip did what she did.  Did she need the money?  Was she trying to expose the crooked cops?  Was it part of a bigger plan?  If it was any of those, I really think she could have gone at it in a different and more well thought out way.  Then there was the Joker's Daughter.  Why introduce her late in the story just to have her get defeated and sent to Arkham?  I don't like repeating myself, but it all felt rushed.

I have really grown to enjoy Fernando Blanco's art and this issue was one of his best.  The action scenes had a real zip to them and the character expressions really helped sell the story.  I'll miss his art on this book.

Bits and Pieces:

This finale felt rushed and forced which is a shame because I have really enjoyed Buccellato's (and Manapul's) run on Detective Comics.  Everything is wrapped up and ready for Peter J. Tomasi to take over next month, but after the slow burn that lead to this issue, everything ends too quickly.  What made me more upset is that we are left with just as many questions as we get answers and I doubt we will ever get the proper closure this story deserves.  Overall, I really enjoyed this run, just not it's final issue.



  1. I love how Batman just crapped all over everything that made joker's daughter wrong XD

    1. That was the best part of the entire issue and maybe Buccellato's run...maybe she will finally go away forever