Remember in Batman Begins when Jim Gordon tells Batman that he is afraid about crime escalation in Gotham City? Well, his fears are made real as Batman fights a three-way battle in the premiere issue of Detective Comics #1. Like its counter-part, Action Comics, this series has never been re-numbered until now. The series began in 1937, but it was made famous when Detective Comics #27 came out and introduced us to the Dark Knight himself.
Warning: Contains Spoilers
Detective Comics #1 was written and drawn by Daniel. Tony Daniel has been the writer and artist for the most recent Batman issues until the reboot. He is known among Batman fans as the writer for “Battle for the Cowl.”
The issue puts the reader right in the middle of the action as Batman is hunting down the Joker. What Daniel does well is that he quickly gives us a background about what’s going on in the current story. As Batman is getting closer to the Joker’s location, someone has all ready beat him to the Joker, but as he soon learns, anyone who goes against the Joker that isn’t Batman will be quickly killed. The dark atmosphere and gritty tone are two of the things that work really well in this issue. Batman’s obsession with finding and stopping the Joker is also seen and, to be honest, is refreshing to see a classic Batman vs Joker story.
Towards the end the reader gets a glimpse at the new villain that Batman is trying to hunt down along with the Joker, a man who calls himself “DollMaker.” This is worrisome because with Daniel and his run on Batman, he either introduces new characters and we don’t see them until their first appearance or we get a plot twist at the end and it’s never mentioned in the next issue. For example, in one issue, Dick Grayson, the first Robin, finds out that Bruce Wayne, Batman, had a file about his parents’ murder and he never told Dick about it. This point was never mentioned again. Daniel wants the reader to think that it’s a cliffhanger for the next issue but it really has nothing to do with the upcoming issue; it’s just a tease.
This issue definitely brought back elements that drew fans into Batman comics: the dark atmosphere, the gritty tone and the hero obsessing over stopping the villain at all costs. This is a Batman story, plain and simple. Even though it’s worrisome how much of a role the DollMaker will play in upcoming stories, this issue is recommended for any Batman fan.