New 52 – Detective Comics #3 review

Sigh. Detective Comics #3 is that book where you have to stop, dig up the previous issue and flip around to remind yourself what the heck everybody’s talking about. Does the name Wesley Mathis ring any bells for you? Didn’t think so. And with a series like Detective, which ironically has some of the poorest logic of any Batman title, tries to connect things and pull various plot twists– you have to do a little back flipping so you can stay in sync with the mental gymnastics being performed before your very eyes. Issue #1 was like moving into a new house. It was a fresh start for us all! I wasn’t sure about it at first, but it seemed okay and it would take some getting used to, sure. But issue #2 was like someone rang the doorbell of my new home and left a flaming bag on my doorstep. Stomping out the flames was exciting and it seemed like this new house would be a place of never ending adventure and frequent twists and turns… But issue #3 is the follow-up that has me unknowingly walk throughout my new home in poo-coated shoes. And that about sums up my experience with the first three issues of Detective Comics, albeit in a bit of a nonsensical tangent sort of way. Just like the hypothetical me traipsing through my home with crap on my soles, I looked back when all things were said and done and said “That’s a lot of s#!%.”

Catch-up Time

In issue #2 Gordon informed Batman that the little girl Olivia was taken from police custody by a man pretending to be her uncle, but is actually Ray Quimby. Quimby once aided a serial killer named Wesley Mathis who Gordon killed in his first year on the force (this fact doesn’t come up until issue #3). Gordon took down the license plate number of Quimby’s car and a cop car followed him to an abandoned building. Gordon told the cop via radio to keep his distance and call for backup. Batman jumped off the rooftop to get to the warehouse ASAP while the call between Gordon and the cop in car 242 got cut short—the cop must have just been killed. And so began the adventures of Stupid-Gordon and Pokey-Batman.

Even though Batman flew from rooftop to rooftop and then took the Batcycle, he still only beat Gordon to the scene by like a minute making either Batman seem slow or meaning Tony S. Daniel cheated us out of one bad-ass car ride with Gordon as he mounted curbs and plowed through pedestrians Grand Theft Auto style. Anyway, Gordon shows up without any backup—brilliant—and proceeds to inspect the empty police car only to be captured. Way to go, Jimbo. Batman on the other hand discovered Quimby’s body, got snuck up on and attacked by the creepy Dollmaker family including a sexy nurse daughter who injected Batman with a numbing serum of some kind raising eyebrows of Bat-fans across the nation as to how the needle was able to pierce Batman’s armor. A patchwork Gordon body flops to the floor and we end with yet another cliffhanger.

Detective Comics #3

Batman’s entire left side is numb and the shot Nursey McHotpants gave him is going to render him completely useless in a matter of seconds. Dollmaker announces that his plan isn’t to cut off Batman and Gordon’s face because he’s just creepy like that (which seemed like the obvious route the book was going), but to sell it at auction. Batman, none too keen on the idea decides to crack open a can of whoop ass from his utility belt and escapes, bringing the little court jester character with him. The final shot is of Batman dragging the runt behind him as he limps away to find a place to interrogate him…but shouldn’t Batman be K.O. by now? It’s like Daniel forgot all about the whole injection-thing that added drama to the scene just a page ago.

Gonna have a bunch of spoilers here, folks. I didn’t like this issue so I’m gonna rant for a bit. If you want to save 3 bucks then read on…

Gordon is locked away in…sigh…another abandoned building, trapped in a cage with only a free-roaming Olivia on the outside. He says to get help, she says if they get cops then they will kill her and Gordon—we need Batman. Gordon, sensing that this is probably a trap writes a note for Olivia to give to Batman that just says “Come to Mercy Hospital” (the abandoned building he’s held in) with the “r” written backwards. How this does not raise questions for Olivia is beyond me. Obviously, if you sent me for help I’m going to tell Batman where you’re at so there’s no need for a note, secondly you’re a grown man writing a backwards R.” she should’ve been able to pick up his treachery even easier than he sensed hers.

Batman can’t interrogate the jester because he has no tongue…nice detective work, Batman. So he goes back to his home and the batcomputer where he somehow pieces together photos of several victims and matches those to a photo that he SOMEHOW has of Dollmaker (who he just met like an hour ago) and comes up with a composite image of Wesley Mathis who had a son who Batman makes a composite image as well and then matches to Dollmaker and…SCIENCE HAPPENS.

Batman gets snuck-up again, because as we all know Batman is notoriously poor at stealth opera—oh wait, he’s awesome at it and Daniel just ignores that fact. Olivia turns out to be in on the whole Dollmaker thing dun-dun-dun and the final page shows how Dollmaker is going to make Batman fight Joker puppets in the next issue for the amusement of auction bidders and to prove that this is the real Batman…yup!

Is it a well-drawn book? Absolutely. The action is handled well, the characters look great, and all the doll-family looks as creepy as a bunch of leather-face knock-offs should. But when I pick up a comic with Detective in the title, I’d like to see smarter characters. And what’s with everybody getting the jump on Batman?

If you’re looking for some mindless violence but don’t want to go full-retard like Batman: The Dark Knight, then this is a good comic to pick up. But I’m quickly losing interest in this series.

SCORE: 4.5/10