Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Detective Comics 2022 Annual #1 Review


Written by: Ram V
Art by: Christopher Mitten, Rafael Albuquerque, Hayden Sherman
Colors by: Lee Loughridge
Letters by: Deron Bennett
Cover art by: Evan Cagle
Cover price: $5.99
Release date: November 29, 2022

Detective Comics 2022 Annual spins a yarn of the early days of Gotham (called Gothame) and the machinations of predators vying for power.

Is It Good?

Ehh...Detective Comics 2022 Annual would have been better placed as an Elseworlds story. As a continuation of Ram V's never-ending setup to his first Act in the ongoing Detective Comics, it somewhat makes sense in some spots and doesn't make sense in others.

The point of this Annual is to establish the presence of the Orgham dynasty in Gotham during the Revolutionary War era of the city's history. The immortal Gael Orgham was present at the time (1776), and the long-term goal of the Orgham's involved planting a glowing gem, a piece of the Reality Engine, at the sport where Arkham Asylum would eventually be built.

Why? It's not quite clear, except perhaps, the piece of the Reality Engine was intended to make Gotham a darker or more powerful place. Unfortunately for the Orgham's, the emergence of Aldridge Pearce as the Revolutionary-era Batman sends a ripple through time to disrupt the Reality Engine's influence for centuries.

The concept is somewhat interesting, but there are a few wrinkles in the execution. First, the setting is explicitly set as 1776. but there are multiple points in the story where characters are described as taking advantage of a new day in the aftermath of war. The Revolutionary War didn't end until 1782.

Next, the dialog, especially in the first Act, is wildly modern for a story set in Colonial times. Little turns of phrase and a bit of vernacular don't come into use for another century or two, so the way some characters speak takes you out of the story.

The wrinkles above boil down to sloppy editing, which is inexcusable for the cover price. The story in and of itself is fine, but it doesn't match the history of the main Detective Comics title. You get a full Batman, complete with a cape and cowl. You get a green-skinned Poison Ivy and a face-scarred Two-Face. Effectively, ram v is telling a Batman story set in colonial times, and it doesn't make sense that modern Gotham would have no record of a Batman, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy set in Gotham's history.


Again, this is in Elseworld's story set in the main title. In isolation, it's fine, albeit long-winded, but it doesn't make sense as part of the main continuity.

As you can see from the credits, there is a gaggle of artists on this Annual. On the positive side, you can't tell where one artist leaves off and the other picks up. The quality is consistent the whole way through. On the downside, the art quality excels in dramatic panel compositions but lacks line work quality (pencils/inks). The art isn't crisp, and it looks like it was inked with a fine-point sharpie.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

Follow @ComicalOpinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Bits and Pieces:

Detective Comics 2022 Annual gets a B for concept and a C- for execution. The Elseworlds-style story is interesting but doesn't fit within the main title, and several editing flaws take you out of the reading experience.



No comments:

Post a Comment