Graphic Novel Reviews: Detective Comics 013

The Story
The night the Martha Wayne Wing of the Nevile community center is meant to be opened, the Penguin hires assassins to take out Bruce Wayne, and thugs to waylay Batman so he can’t interfere with the assassination. Batman makes it to the dedication anyway, just in time to discover that the Penguin has bribed the chairman of the community center to rename the children’s wing as the Cobblepot wing.

In the backup story Ogilvy and a newcomer to Gotham break into a bank and steal some codes. After the breakout the newcomer turns out to be too clever for his own good and Ogilvy murders him.

The Review
I’d heard that Detective Comics was picking up the slack, so I figured I’d give it a look see. After the supernatural vibe of Batman and Robin, it’s nice to see a more down to earth kind of story where the focus is on regular crime and assassination, and motives that are driven by human motives.

The Penguin’s desire to leave behind a legacy other than the one he has built for himself works well for the character, and I enjoy his current interpretation. Rather than being a super villain whose every scheme is bird themed, he is played off more as a mob boss and member of high society. Given how comics have been distancing themselves from the more silver age kinds of characters and stories, it’s nice to see the Penguin simplified down to his essence.

Throughout the entire book Batman is very much the detective he is meant to be. With all his abilities focused on his use of knowledge and deductive ability. The art is gorgeous, with Batman’s design following the more realistic approach that Jim Lee’s design has taken in the past. Personally I very much prefer this design of Batman over many past versions.

The backup story gives a good sense of life in Gotham from the perspective of the common criminal. I’ve been liking the stories that give us a view of the city that isn’t from the point of view of one of the major players. It helps make the franchise feel more real.

The Grade

3/5

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