Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Detective Comics Annual #1 Review

Mud In Your Eye

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas and Sal Cipriano
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 31, 2018

I have been lukewarm overall on this entire run of Detective Comics, mainly due to the up and down nature of the narrative.  I love the idea of the Gotham Knights, but Tynion's insistence on never tying up his story threads completely is just so frustrating as a reader and a fan.  However, through all of the Colony and First Victim nonsense, one thing has remained constant...I love Clayface as a hero.  Of course, the last issue of Detective did more than just throw out the idea that Basil will return to being evil, it left us wondering if he will even survive.  Until we find out what's going on, we have this Clayface origin story to keep us occupied.  Is it any good?  Let's find out...

The issue starts with Basil's father talking to him about movie magic, makeup and the monster that lives behind the mask.  It felt a little forced with what we know will eventually happen, but it was okay nonetheless.

We then jump ahead twenty years to see Basil , the rising star who desperately wants the role in "Second Skin" and is forging a friendship with Glory...Mudface to all you who have been reading Detective up to now.  It's a nice scene that gives the reader some insight into why Basil wanted to act in the first place, but things take a really dark turn really quickly.

Tynion then shows us how and why Basil becomes Clayface.  It's not a matter of a freak accident here, but something even more desperate.  It's a look at a guy who would do anything to keep his dreams alive, even if it creates a nightmare.  Of course, all roads lead to Gotham and Batman and the Dark Knight gets involved when Basil starts his life of crime.  At this point, it's just to maintain his Basil Karlo good looks, but as we see, he is also already become a that is more than just skin deep.

Of course, we have to get to full out Clayface before the end and we do, but it was a little lackluster compared to everything else in the issue.  It really felt like an aside to get to the origin of Mudface instead.  That's fine and dandy, but I am more a fan of Clayface than I ever will be of Mudface.

This issue started out so strong only to peter out by the end.  Again, it felt as much a Mudface origin than Clayface, which is fine, but the Clayface part progressed so quick by the end and I wanted more of that. I hate to say it, but by the end, it all felt too unnecessary for me to recommend to anyone but those reading Detective and even then, you could easily guess what happened.  I did like Eddy Barrows' art a lot here, but it felt like the story held him back a bit by not giving us more Clayface.  I guess what I'm saying is, this issue needed more Clayface!!!

Bits and Pieces:

James Tynion gives us a Clayface origin that starts out really strong but ends with an unnecessary change of focus.  Eddy Barrows does some really good work here and fans of Clayface will get some insight into what created the monster, I just wanted more of him. 


1 comment:

  1. The art was good, but I think the continuity of everything about Glory and Basil set up in the series so far was thrown out the window in this issue. Basil turning Glory into Mudface seemed so random, and the story was very very very forced. I usually don't mind stand alone annual stories, if they're good; but, as a fan of Clayface (especially in this series), I really expected much better.