Some weirdness this issue. First off, Moench reveals Jason Todd doesn’t want to be called Robin either. It’s peculiar enough it doesn’t feel like more padding from Moench on the subject, even though it probably is just more fluff.
Then there’s Commissioner Gordon. He’s back at work and he’s a complete jerk. Moench shows the legal aftermath of Batman apprehending a suspect and it gives the impression no one Batman apprehends ever ends up in jail for a long time. Moench’s trying to be realistic, which sort of works. The scene’s good as long as one doesn’t think too hard.
Colan doesn’t spend a lot of time on the layouts–some pages are really spare–but with Alcala back, the art’s great.
The Green Arrow backup gets worse, with Cavalieri introducing a lame biker gang. The McManus inks aren’t interesting this time around, he’s barely visible. It’s embarrassingly bad stuff.
It’s an issue of inappropriate inking. Smith is so reductive on Colan’s Batman inks, the story loses any visceral impact. Instead, it becomes almost academic–seeing where Colan’s pencils have been too diluted for a page to work. The layouts are still fantastic, but not the finished art.
Moench resolves his Gordon storyline–while still stoking the Jason and Bruce one (and no one misses Alfred, which is strange)–and it’s a flop. It’s like no one told Moench Barbara Gordon was also Batgirl. And Moench attempts at inspirational flop painfully. It doesn’t help he’s got a bunch of hackneyed thugs out of a forties comic.
Still, great Colan layouts.
Then there’s the Green Arrow backup. Truly lame writing from Cavalieri can’t overshadow the odd art. Chuck Patton is a boring, superhero penciller. But Shawn McManus inks him, adding a lot of McManus lines. The story’s artistically interesting, if terrible.
Bob Smith is not the best inker for Colan. He reigns him in way too much. There’s still some great Colan panel layouts this issue though and his Joker has to be seen. Colan’s Joker is hideous with insanity, an awkwardly lump figure, not the usual anorexic. Every Joker panel is great in some way or another.
Moench’s story involves the Joker wanting to start a rival to Disneyland. It’s too absurd and contrived, but the art sells it and Moench’s writing of Batman and the Joker is strong. The humor’s good too. Moench has some good jokes here, especially those involving the Joker.
Alfred’s subplot is revealed and, once again, Moench seems to be rehabbing Harvey Bullock. Both are still too undeveloped to make much impression.
The Green Arrow back-up again has decent enough Moore art, but Cavalieri’s banter is terrible. The seven pages can’t end soon enough.
One could just read this issue for the art. Alcala beautifully complements Gene Colan. He sort of brings out the lusciousness, but reigns it in just enough. Colan’s never too lush; Alcala is never reductive.
The story’s not bad, but Moench doesn’t quite sell Jason Todd, detective. He investigates, but without any finesse. The scenes where Jason’s talking to potential witnesses flop; no one would talk freely considering Jason’s suspicious behavior.
For the finish, Moench makes an incredibly odd choice–he doesn’t reveal the villain’s face. I had to reread it to make sure I wasn’t missing it.
Moench’s ambition outpaces his skill on the difficult Bruce and Jason character drama.
The Green Arrow backup has decent, if strangely constrained art from Jerome Moore and Mike DeCarlo. Joey Cavalieri makes a funny Superman peanut butter joke. It’s nowhere near as bad as usual.
This issue is weird. It’s great too–I wonder if Moench created Nocturna with Colan in mind, since she basically looks like a vampire–but it’s weird.
There’s some action at the end, but the most striking parts of the comic aren’t the action scenes. Moench is serious about his rumination on darkness and he follows through with it at the end. It’s unexpected, but quite good.
The other striking scene is when Nocturna talks to Jason Todd. It’s a contrived encounter, but Moench sublimely makes the scene work. It’s also interesting to just hear Jason Todd try to explain his living situation. It pairs well with Bruce’s later order to Alfred–Alfred’s not allowed to report Jason missing.
The art from Colan and Giordano is fantastic. Moench’s securely in his stride now.
Cavalieri’s Green Arrow is, once again, incredibly lame. New penciller Adrian Gonzales has big problems with perspective.
I try to be open-minded about Cavalieri and Cullins’s Green Arrow back-ups, but this one peeved me. Moench doesn’t get enough time with his Batman story–which is his fault for not pacing it out right–but come on. Who carries about Green Arrow’s lame villain? Though inker Frank Giacoia does ruin Cullins’s pencils in sometimes amusing ways.
Moench and Colan (joined by Dick Giordano on inks), on the other hand, do a fabulous Batman story about Bruce losing. He loses in a fight (the bad guy has better costume material), he loses Vicki Vale and he’s about to lose Jason Todd. His life, as much as a billionaire’s life can, is falling apart.
And Moench and Colan nail it. There’s a slick noir tone–Colan excels–with Moench expounding on the idea of nighttime habits as they relates to Batman.
It’s great. Shame it runs too short.
Gene Colan’s first issue on Detective (with Moench) is unexpected. There’s a dreamy, otherworldly, emotive quality to it. Harvey Bullock oozes repulsiveness; the symbolism becomes clear at the startling conclusion. Moench knows how to surprise–even if the cliffhanger isn’t exactly unexpected, its degree is a shock.
The issue closes up–after Batman’s adventures with Man-Bat–the new villain Moench introduced in his first issue, the Savage Skull. It’s strange reading these pre-Miller Batman comics when it was more possible for Batman to get his butt kicked by a boxer or whatnot. Moench gets that human element, the possibility of failure.
Instead of following Batman, Moench concentrates on Gordon, who’s life is crumbling. It’s effectively done, with the exposition finally a lot smoother. Maybe because of Colan’s great art.
Cavalieri and Cullin’s Green Arrow is pretty weak though. It’s incredibly juvenile, like an overlong Hostess fruit pie advertisement.
Doug Moench sure does like exposition this issue. Batman can’t stop thinking about all the problems in his life (though he manages not to detect Gordon’s heart problem). But there’s also the regular narrative exposition, which Moench overwrites. It makes me wonder if he’s gearing Detective towards a younger audience. He’s not particularly confident; he keeps explaining himself.
The Dan Day artwork is okay without being good. Day, inked by Pablo Marcos, is competent but childish. His figures don’t show any maturity.
Towards the end of the issue, Moench juxtaposes Bruce and Jason getting ready to go to the movies (presumably not Zorro) and the problem becomes clear. Moench knows he’s writing about a difficult “real” issue, adoption, but he doesn’t know how to write it. It’s too bad
The Green Arrow backup from Joey Cavalieri and Paris Cullins has nice enough art from Cullins. Sadly, the story’s exceptionally silly.
If you illegally download, you want to watch psychopaths murder people. Krul makes the world so simple. I was shocked Ollie didn’t break the fourth wall to tell any comic book downloaders they were killing him.
Then the comic ends with this lame “growing up” speech. Krul forgot to make Ollie Steve Jobs and turned it into the Iron Man movie.
But I still appreciate Green Arrow as one of the new DC’s less offensive bad comics. It’s simple-minded and Krul’s not willing to commit to much (oh, the people watching Green Arrow get killed on the Internet aren’t bad… they’re just lonely), but the art’s competent superhero art.
Jurgens and Perez continue to make Arrow look like a book from the nineties. It’s like a book people tell you to read; you do and you’re perplexed. Then they say, “Oh, I meant the back issues, it’s crap now.”
What a dumb comic.
I mean, Krul’s a bad writer with bad dialogue and bad ideas. There’s nothing as strange as Ollie being Steve Jobs this issue, instead it’s Krul turning Paris Hilton into a supervillain. And then Green Arrow has a completely inappropriate conversation with her about whores or something.
Maybe if the art team were something new and hipster, it wouldn’t be so off, but it’s Jurgens and Perez. You’ve got classic DC artists–guys who drew comics when eight year-olds could read them without wondering what Green Arrow meant by “nasty”–and then Krul’s desperately modern scripting.
Besides the lame running around on rooftops sequence–oh, and in the New DC Universe, at least as Krul writes it, GPS is far from reliable–the art’s okay. It’s not good, but it’s that DC superhero stuff I grew up with. It’s inoffensively uncreative.
But Krul definitely offends.
Okay, I’m not recommending Green Arrow, but it needs to be read to be believed. Oliver Queen is Steve Jobs as a superhero and blond and young and single. Really. He made a “Q-Pad” and a “Q-Phone” and he uses the profits from those devices to run around the globe fighting really lame supervillains as Green Arrow.
Except, J.T. Krul apparently read a lot of Birds of Prey so he decided to give Ollie an Oracle stand-in. That’s right… the new Green Arrow is the old Black Canary. Only as Steve Jobs.
It’s a terrible comic—Ollie lectures the bad guys about wasting their lives and yada yada when he’s fighting them—but it’s so bewildering, it must be read.
And Dan Jurgens? With George Perez inks? It’s classic nineties DC, only with an idiotic “new media” bent.
If DC were really committed, Ollie’d have a Facebook.
Let me see if I can summarize the dumbest thing about this issue. DC hired Denny O’Neil to write a flashback to seventies Green Lantern—back when it was Green Lantern/Green Arrow, they let O’Neil turn in a script mostly about Green Arrow, then they hired Mike Grell to illustrate it—Grell being known as a Arrow, not Lantern, artist—and then they didn’t put Green Arrow in the title?
And I’m not just calling it dumb because the Green Arrow stuff is well-written—the Green Lantern stuff is so awful anything would be better (O’Neil doesn’t even maintain his points of view)—or because Grell’s art is better on the Green Arrow part (again, it’s unfair… Grell’s Green Lantern is hideous).
It’s a terrible comic book. I’ve never been a Grell fan, but his Lantern half is borderline incompetent. But… still… DC should have titled it appropriately.
Hmm. Young Dan Jurgens. Guess it’s why Bruce looks like Clark Kent without glasses.
I’m curious to see Conway’s original script–he includes expository scene after expository scene, all the fill in space–and there only good scene is incomplete. Bruce breaks it off with Vicki by acting like a thoughtless ass, but it’s never made clear if he’s really just being an ass or if it’s to get rid of her.
The Killer Croc stuff is also a problem… Batman’s convinced his subconscious keeps letting Croc win. His suspicion is based on Croc letting him escape from the Squid’s gang–Batman thinks he can’t let himself take Croc in.
Apparently, Croc being a savage murderer doesn’t bother Batman in this circumstance.
Jurgen’s has some good layouts–his Batman is weak–and the art’s passable superhero stuff.
The Green Arrow backup continues to offend. At least Ollie keeps the unions safe following a rousing speech.
Confrontation; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Dan Jurgens; inker, Dick Giordano; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Mob Rule!, Part Three: The Irresistible Rise of Machiavelli; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Ron Randall; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Phil Felix. Editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.
Once again, if Bruce, Dick and Alfred weren’t stupid enough to leave the door unlocked with Vicki Vale, Jim Gordon and a bunch of strangers in Wayne Manor, they wouldn’t have to kill Jason Todd’s mom for finding out Bruce is Batman….
Oh, wait, some of that statement is incorrect. I guess they don’t decide to kill her, just Dick is going to talk her into keeping it a secret. Thank goodness she’s going to get killed in an issue or two anyway.
The story is otherwise indistinct. Killer Croc shoots the Squid, which is a sad sendoff for Conway’s Eisner homage, though it’s not like the character worked in a serious setting.
Beautiful art from Newton and Giordano makes it a fine issue… though the ending leaves something to be desired.
The Novick art is better than usual on the Green Arrow backup, which is too silly for words.
Deathgrip; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Don Newton; inker, Dick Giordano; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Todd Klein. Mob Rule!, Part Two: Heat of the Moment!; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Ron Randall; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Phil Felix. Editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.