Detective Comics 27
Brad Meltzer, Peter J. Tomasi, Scott Snyder, Gregg Hurwitz, John Layman, Francesco Francavilla, Bryan Hitch, Jason Fabok, Neal Adams, Sean Murphy, Ian Berthram
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Well, let me just start out by saying that with a price tag like this (lengthy anniversary issue in fancy schmancy prestige format with a sweet Greg Capullo cover or not) should be a perfect comic. Not good. Not great. But perfect. So, that being said, anything less than a perfect 5/5 score on a book like this is, unfortunately, not worth it unless you’re a die hard Batman fan like I am. So… Here’s the gist of the whole thing: It’s got some great stuff. It’s got some good stuff. And it’s got some bad stuff. All in all, it’s a fun read and I don’t mind owning it and adding it to my collection. But would I recommend it? Well, you decide.
We get several short stories in this anthology. The first one is arguably the strongest. Brad Meltzer makes his triumphant (and hopefully not temporary) comic book return with an all-too familiar (yet visually striking and emotionally-appealing) origin story with the help of the always-excellent Bryan Hitch. Then we get an example of writer Gregg Hurwitz trying his best to make an uninteresting filler story interesting, serving as a painful reminder of just how great artist Neal Adams used to be. Then we are treated with a story by Peter J. Tomasi that is part Batman Beyond and part The Dark Knight Returns, with a little New 52 thrown in to make things confusing but fun, with artist Ian Berthram making (to my knowledge) his very welcome debut. We also get a great little Francesco Francavilla Batman saving James Gordon Jr. piece which is stylish and short and altogether compelling storytelling. We also get some beautifully-drawn Jason Fabok story with a crap script from John Layman that is so cliche it is almost painful. But then we end the issue with a great Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy piece that could (and hopefully will) serve as the basis for future Bat tales. The overall theme of the issue is easy to grasp. And the order that they are presented makes sense (excluding the Gothtopia prologue, which reeks of desperation). All-in-all, it’s a solid little (or should I say big) read.
But is it worth the dough? For lifers like me, sure. For newcomers, probably not. And for lapsed fans who are questioning even the slightest detail of Bat history of DC Comics money-grabbing marketing ploys, absolutely not. Putting high profile names on a book like this was a must, but the price tag is obnoxious and downright shameful. If you’re going to do a special issue like this, lower the price and make the reader feel like they’re getting a reward for his or her devotion and hard-earned cash. And for the love of God, DC… Stick to your guns on “Drawing the line at 2.99” and “the New 52” aspects of your company. There haven’t been 52 titles in months… stop putting the banner on all of your books. And though you’re putting out quality titles, taking ones like this (which is actually the only DC title I don’t currently buy regularly) and jacking up the prices for these imagined “anniversaries” is just adding insult to injury. Figure it out. Or you’re going to make me… Well… Write a scathing review. *
My Rating: 4/5
* In retrospect… Naw. I’ll still probably give it a decent one. But still… Be nice!