RATING: Read if you’re bored, cool art direction and fight sequences.
This is the last of Tony Daniel as writer of Detective Comics. Daniel’s writing is not poor, but it is not as great. He gets the story where it needs to be, which is to be told and then to move on from there. For those who love Tony Daniel, this annual must have been a sad day for you; much sympathy and empathy for you.
Tony Daniel picked up where “Night of the Owls” started for Detective Comics #9, where Roman Sionis escaped from Arkham Asylum with his Black Mask and gathered his False Face Society once again. Daniel gives a little back story on how the Black Mask was made and how the False Face Society came to be. It was interesting to see Mad Hatter in this annual, but Daniel kind of spoon fed the idea that Mad Hatter would appear at the beginning of the annual. As I said, it was interesting to see the Mad Hatter; but if Daniel was going for a surprise. It wasn’t all that surprising. Mad Hatter is a popular character, but he is more of a mental games character than fighting and the character’s role in this annual was not exciting.
From Detective Comics Annual #1, more or less the hype line is “Batman beaten by the Black Mask?” This would make you jump up and say “A match-up between Batman and Black Mask, sweet.” Yea, the hype line was right. However, it was a little too exaggerated. The artwork was done by Romano Molenaar who will be head artist in the upcoming, Birds of Prey, his work was neat and fresh throughout the annual. It was a joy to read the panels and to see decent fight sequences. I personally loved seeing Batman crashing into something while he was on fire. Molenaar’s art was quite riveting with beautiful perspectives that made the annual a bit suspenseful. In one page, Molenaar showed more fight sequences than an artist could do in three pages. Even though, Molenaar praises Daniel as a writer who knows how to write for artists. Molenaar has to get his props for doing this annual.
The annual did fine. It was not the best nor the worst. It is a nice bow out for Tony Daniel to leave Detective Comics and to start doing art for other comic books. Daniel will be seen again in the Justice League doing cover art and back up art. For Romano Molenaar, really can’t wait for Birds of Prey#13 to come out. October can’t come any sooner.
Check out some of the panels that I thought were cool.