How huge is Poison Ivy in this issue? Is Penguin still a major villain in this comic book? Find out, read the review.

Story Plot: When Bruce Wayne’s life is saved by The Penguin, what surprises are in store for The Dark Knight? And in the backup story, an intimate look at Gotham City’s most dangerous foes provides a hint of the maelstrom to come.

Rating: Enjoyable issue, read carefully due to the time shifts in this issue.

Reaction: I was truly worried as well as intrigued by how Poison Ivy might have been used in this issue. Gratefully, she is not just a simple element used to push the story along. There was tons of suspense and excitement in this issue. The Penguin is actually a major villain who is involved in everything without being seen in every issue. As it has been stated before, Detective Comics is just like reading Batman: The Animated Series only by the end of each issue there’s a cliff hanger.

Praises: John Layman (current writer of Detective Comics) has done a phenomenal job at writing this comic book and bringing it back to its former glory. The best part about this issue is that Layman pays attention to the other Batman comic books’ continuity. For instance, Birds of Prey used to have Poison Ivy as a team member and Layman continued that story in this issue. He paid attention to Ivy’s failure in Birds of Prey and justifies her failure in the back-up story explaining her reasons for leaving the team. Layman does not only use Birds of Prey’s continunity, but also uses Batman & Robin, Batman, and Batman: The Dark Knight.

Layman understands the situation of the “Death of a Family” storyline and he makes sure to use a bit of the Joker in this issue. He also uses Natalya (Bruce’s love interest) as an element in this issue, where this character came from Batman: The Dark Knight. Layman paid close attention to portraying Damian Wayne as best as he can in this issue by giving Damian great dialogue such as “I thought she (Poison Ivy) was slumming it with Batgirl her fightin’ feather weights, or whatever they’re called.” Particularly, Layman knew how to portray Damian in this issue by continuing the ten year old’s sarcastic demeanor from Batman & Robin. What I absolutely loved about Detective Comics new direction is that each issue leaves you on a cliff hanger, which keeps you wanting to read the next issue.

Jason Fabok (current artist for Detective Comics) illustrations Batman as dark as he can. There are tons of cinematic illustrations that jump out of the page. It has a feeling of Batman: The Animated Series from the 1990’s. I love his artwork with a passion and I’m glad to see so much improvement in this comic book.

Disappointments: This is not Layman’s fault, but I thought that when Poison Ivy left Birds of Prey that there would be a continuation from where Ivy was slashed by Kantana in Issue #12. There wasn’t a continuation, but it was a more of an explanation why she used Birds of Prey. This has very little to do with Layman’s writing, but more of the continunity problem of Duane Swierczynski ‘s writing.

Fabok’s artwork is good, but I believe that this issue might have been a rush for him. I understand that Damian Wayne is Bruce’s son, but they’re not supposed to look alike in the face. Even Poison Ivy looks like a female version of Bruce Wayne’s face. I think that Fabok might be one of those artists who uses wigheads. When I say wigheads, I mean that each character looks the same in the face with just different colors or types of hair. It’s a downer on his part, but nonetheless Fabok does well with the cinematic appeal of this issue.

I’ve stated that Detective Comics would be one of the comic books this season that would surely be a hit. It’s looking like it’s possible with Layman’s writing and Fabok’s artwork that the two are perfect together.

Check out some of the panels that I thought were cool.

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