Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Detective Comics #48 Review

The Thigh Bone's Connected...

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Fernando Pasarin, Matt Ryan, Chris Sotomayor and Wes Abbott
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 6, 2016

I was thrilled when it was announced that Peter J. Tomasi was jumping on Detective Comics.  I can never get enough Tomasi and It's my belief that only a couple of writers at DC get Batman more than him.  Of course, this is the Jim Gordon Batman, but that only made we more excited to see what he would bring to the character and this book.  Well, thanks to DC’s poor planning and insistence on a Robin War crossover, Tomasi’s first arc was shredded down from six issues to two and it showed.  Obviously, I don't blame him at all and actually commend him for cobbling together a story that may not have been great, but in the end was at least fun.  However, I am here to announce that Detective Comics is the official unofficial (I’ve heard that somewhere before) start of Tomasi’s run on Detective Comics.  So, did he started off with a bang?  Let’s find out….

This issue opens up with one of the coldest cold openers I've read in years. In fact, it's downright freezing. A mysterious person is loading a flintlock pistol, while reciting a famous quote from George Washington. We only see the pistol and the scene ends with the gun being pointed right at us, the readers. While I was way confused here, I was also excited in strange way.

Tomasi doesn't give us time to figure things out as shoots us up to the Gotham rooftops where we see a suited up Jim Gordon checking out the view in a driving rainstorm.  Actually, he's being a bit of a peeping tom as he watches various families go through their nightly routines.  It obviously makes him miss his daughter, so he calls her up.  Is it a shock that Barbara is also busy with her night job?

This all leads to a classic action/comedy scene where two people are talking on the phone, pretending something else is happening besides the crazy beat-em up action that really is.  Jim says he's getting a pizza while Babs says she's waiting for a movie to start.   It's all good fun, though I really think that Barbara should have said she was already watching the movie (all the fighting and noise going on), but maybe I'm nitpicking.  It's interrupted by a gunshot that sends Jim running...and almost falling.

I had a little problem here.  Detective Comics has been the book showing Jim Gordon going through the biggest learning curve of becoming the Bat, but we should be behind that by now.  Can't we get a Jim Gordon who is good at his job?  With Bruce supposedly getting back in the cowl for issue #50, I'd like to have more than one issue with a proficient Gordon.  This is one of the biggest reasons why I can't commit to calling Jim Gordon "Batman" and I guess I never will.  I CAN call Jim a detective, however, and Tomasi plays that up in this issue.

When Gordon gets to where the gunshot came from, he is greeted by a crazy scene...George Washington is lying dead in an alley.  He quickly realizes he is not alone with the Father of our Country, but before he can get his bearings, he is shot...in the head! He calls for the Bat Blimp as he begins to blackout.

Now that was a crazy scene, huh?  Putting that together with the crazy beginning, I came up with...nothing!  I was so stumped, but the tension and craziness of it all had me very intrigued to say the least.  I wanted more information and thankfully, Tomasi gave it, though more information does in no way mean I understood anything going on.

We see who has to be the villain going back to his hideout and things really took a turn down insane street.  After cleaning himself up a bit, our Mr. X walks to a wall full of heads...or faces, removes his and puts it in it's rightful place.  WTF?!?  At this point, my guess is this is False Face and if it is, I'll be so pumped up.  I still will be if it isn't, but come on...False Face!  We then see he's got a captive audience for a brief narration of  Allan Shepard's famous golfing exhibition on the Moon.  Again, crazy!

The issue then jumps to the Gotham Morgue where Gordon and Bullock are talking over the dead body from the alley.  We find out that it's not really George Washington (surprising, I know), that Gordon might be a better medical examiner than the one collecting a paycheck and the bullet that hit him in the head was made of rubber.  While it may have gone on a little too long, didn't give us any usable information (yet) and was a little forced, it ended in fine fashion as Gordon pulls the "disappearing Batman" routine on Bullock.  Hilarious.

The issue ends with Gordon on the Bat Blimp checking out a weather balloon stuck on the top of Wayne Tower.  Guess what?  It's not a weather balloon, but instead something out of this world!  It's cool, mysterious, crazy and ties in perfectly with what the villain was doing earlier.

I really have no idea what is going on in this issue, but that is already the fun of it.  Tomasi is setting up a crazy detective story and isn't that what we want from this book, after all?  This issue gave me the same feeling as reading Rob Williams' Martian Manhunter for the first time and that is a high compliment.  I am really interested in figuring out what is going on or at least trying.  

Fernando Pasarin did a really good job on art with the highlight being his character models. That's a good thing as there is little action going on, but instead of punches and explosions, we get a huge, creepy wall of faces and it's as awesome as it sounds.  I had fun looking at the wall and picking out what appeared to be Morgan Freeman's face among others.

Bits and Pieces:

This was a crazy, insane beginning to this arc, but it also happened to be a very intriguing mystery.  I have no idea what's going on, but to Tomasi's credit, I really want to figure it all out.  The story and art do a great job in giving the reader a moody and creepy story that I hope is the setup to something special.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.



  1. Intriguing review. I like the delusional George Washington bit. This might prove to be an interesting story arc although brief.

    1. Yea, this feel like it could have been a really good slow burn story, but #50 is probably going to cut it short. Hopefully that's not the case.

  2. I was a fan of this issue ... it finally feels like it wont be a bunch of nonsense of a forced wrapped up story. I dont think they would do that to Tomasi again.

    The art of this issue is super detailed and I really enjoyed it. Detective was one of the first books I started reading when I got back into Batman so Im hoping this pays off a little anyway.

    1. I'm afraid the big #50 issue will cut it short, but it can't...right???

  3. Ya three issue arcs don't fill trades so it's weird they keep doing this epically to him. Why put him on Detective to just screw w his mojo