What makes Batman and Joker’s relationship so great is that they represent the perfect antithesis of one another. One kills, the other doesn’t. One dresses as a monster but is a hero, the other permanently looks like a clown but is a monster. Another example we could always use is that Bruce is a very handsome man, but lacks narcissism while the Joker, who is hideous, is incredibly vain. So imagine my surprise when at the end of Detective Comics #1 he hired someone to remove his iconic face. That cliffhanger ending made Detective Comics #2 an automatic buy for me because I HAD to know what happened next. I had a feeling it wouldn’t be good, but the curiosity was too much.
Unlike issue #1, this one starts out Bruce-centric. And we even get a glimpse of what Lucius Fox looks like in the new 52: younger, and not at all like Morgan Freeman (At least throw some freckles on them cheeks, DC!). Bruce is trying to acquire Mecha-North Corp (catchy, right?) to bring more jobs to Gotham and that company’s owner seems keen on selling to Wayne Enterprises even though Wayne’s been outbid. Seeing as how Tony Daniel took the time to introduce this physically fit owner of Mech-North Corp…it’s probably safe to say he’s going to turn out to be a villain or something down the line. We’ve all seen it played out a thousand times. The bigger surprise for everyone would be if he turned out to just be another nice millionaire and he and Bruce became buddies.
The opening segments with Bruce really set this book apart from Detective #1 and it felt like an entirely different series. In fact, after enjoying the Bruce Wayne bits so much I started to wonder how good a Bruce Wayne comic would be. Just focus on how Bruce handles life outside the cowl. Then again, most issues would probably just feature Bruce getting some Zs. Oh, and speaking of sleeping–Bruce and a reporter get-it-on! Though, not as explicitly as he and Selina did in Catwoman #1. So for those keeping count: Batman has been laid twice already in the New 52. Take that, Superman.
Although I really enjoyed the Bruce stuff, it doesn’t add much to the central story. You open up this comic immediately wanting to see what became of the Joker, but you don’t even get a look at Batman until page 6. It’s an awesome 2 page spread of Batman on a batcycle, yet another bat-vehicle to be shown off in the new 52. Oh, and that rocket ship he seems to be flying on the cover? Yeah, that doesn’t happen. Still a pretty cool cover though, right? Anyway, Joker’s face-removal IS mentioned and Gotham and Batman are reeling from that news. However! If you’re picking up this book for the sole purpose of finding out what Joker’s plan is you’ll be disappointed. Joker has vanished. What you do get, in this issue is some quality Gordon and Batman time. Seeing those two interact and actually team up on a case is great to see again and the events that transpire are riveting. Alright, now, the next paragraph I write is going to get a little spoiler-ish. So if you don’t want to know what Batman and Jim step into, I suggest you skip ahead and check out the score I gave it. I say buy it, it’s an even better drawn and better written comic than issue #1.
Are you a fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? If so, then great news: The Dollmaker and his “family” are apparently fans, too. The Dollmaker, not the Joker, is the villain you’ll find in the pages of Detective #2. He’s a creepy jigsaw/raggedy Andy/Leatherface looking psycho with an entire family of leatherfaces, including a hot daughter who dresses as a nurse. Not real nurse with scrubs mind you. Porn nurse. It’s a bit much. One of those designs you look at and go “Really?”
I was on the edge of my seat with this book until the end reveal of who was hiding in Taylor Street Imports. I just…I don’t know what to make of them. I think Dollmaker and crew are just a little too over the top for my taste, but the comic ends abruptly after we meet him so I can’t make an accurate assessment of the character. We see him and his family and then BAM! Daniel hits us with yet another cliffhanger ending that’s going to bring me back again for issue #3.