Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Detective Comics #1008 Review

Kickin' it Old School

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Dave Baron, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 24th, 2019

Review by Joey Casco of

The Clown Prince of Crime is back for a one-shot and he brings with him a bit of a nostalgic feel. It's a maniac on the loose doing maniac things and endangering citizens in a rather isolated space rather than on a city-wide or global scale, with really no other motivation other than he's just a maniac. Put aside your pickiness and enjoy a story that at its core is a modern-day version of a Silver Age Batman issue, and what should have been Tomasi's Detective #1000 contribution.

Can I just take a moment to say how much I hate word bubbles on covers? I don't know why but I just don't like it. Never have, never will. So now with that out of the way...

We start with Alfred waking up Bruce and handing him a tablet showing an invitation to everybody from the Joker to come have a good time down at the amusement park. "No Gotham police with their scary super-scopes and super-snipers or everyone dies happy together." Even right there I caught a bit of nostalgia because that's something you could see Joker doing by sending out flyers way back in the day. Bruce, seeing that he has a busy night, gets up and uses the pole to get down to the Batcave.

From here we get the Joker just walking around the carnival harassing everybody in attendance. Making comments, forcing them to do things, feeding kids hot dogs while he's freaking them out, and just having a good time terrorizing citizens. But we find out that everyone there has a clown-faced device around their necks that, at Joker's will, releases chemicals to their face and Jokerizes them.

Batman arrives on the scene and Joker shows him around. They do the High Striker, go on the Ferris Wheel together, bumper cars, Tunnel of Love, and then finally they step up to Zorak the Fortune Teller! Joker's fortune card says "The Sky's The Limit" while Batman's says "Hearts of Fire Grow Old". Batman punches Joker right in the face and starts breaking open the Zorak machine, saying that he knew if he played along the Joker would bring him right to the main device that held these people captive. He finds the device and deactivates the necklaces while the Joker gets away.

And man, it's so great. The Joker is flying away holding onto balloons. He's trying to escape with balloons! How's he gonna get down from that? Where is he going? We don't know! He doesn't know! The guy is freakin' nuts! But Batman placed a device on Joker's back earlier and Batman activates it, sending a swarm of bats after Joker and causing him to let go of the balloons and fall into the bay. Gordon and the GCPD  show up but it looks like the Joker got away yet again.

This was another Year of the Villain "The Offer" issue and the offer here is for Doctor Freeze. Didn't we just see him in Arkham looking all sexy with no shirt on in this very same Tomasi run not that long ago? Well, he's out now.

Bits and Pieces

With everything being so huge and world-changing in DC right now, Tomasi has brought their most epic villain back to his basics for at least one issue. The Joker is free and he's terrorizing a carnival just because. I mean, that's it. There's no complication here. And he does it so goddamn well with each individual that he threatens. This really felt to me like an ode to the classic Batman and Joker rivalry.  The art was great with the one exception of the most important character in the story: the Joker. I didn't like the way he looked, but I really liked the story.



  1. And this story is proof that DC can do a Joker story with minimal loss of life. I feel like if Tom King were writing this everybody would be dead by the time Batman arrived. That's what really turned me off to King's Batman, gratuitist civilian deaths. If it's essential for the story, that's one thing, but in a lot of cases (like Batman #48 where Batman didn't even save anybody what kinda crap was that?!) it's totally unnecessary.

    1. My issue with King is similar...he couldn't seem to progress a story or character without a death - a lot of times, it was with children (Kite Man origin, Swamp Thing Story, Up is the Sky beginning...) It actually is pretty disgusting!

    2. Good point. To be fair though, a lot of the Batbook writers during the New52 era did the same thing. I'm remembering a scene from a Batgirl issue that tied in with "Death of the Family" where a roller rink full of people including children were killed with Joker gas. That was even more disgusting in my opinion because they could have had Batgirl meet them in an abandoned building or something and the story would have played out the same way just like in Batman #48 King could have had Joker hold the church hostage til Batman got there then have Batman give them time to escape then the rest of that story could have still played out the same way. Innocent deaths when not essential to the story is worse in my opinion.