Review: Detective Comics #44

by Nat Brehmer
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Writer: Brian Buccellato
Penciller: Fernando Blanco

I’m still not sure how I feel about the flagship Detective Comics title becoming a fighting robots sort of comic, but this issue has an easier flow and reading style than the previous. The character relationships are a little tighter here. Like the last issue, Bullock is the most interesting character this time out. He feels a responsibility here, and as abrasive as the character has been in the past, his heart was in it and it’s clear that in this issue he definitely is trying to make things right.

We ended the previous issue with the promise of a Batman vs. Joker Robot fight and this issue definitely delivers on that promise, which is actually better than I thought it would be. There’s some opportunity to use the absurdity of this fight to satirize the Batman/Joker relationship, and luckily every opportunity is taken there. The robot says that a Batman robot can’t exist without a Joker one, that they’re two sides of the same kind, classic archetypal lines that actually add a nice element of humor to the overall story.

Yip’s double-crossing of her colleagues is also more interesting and layered than it appeared to be in the previous issue. She has her own motivations for things, she never seems to be saying everything to anyone at any given time.

The Joker robot’s King Kong styled rampage is where we slide back into hokey territory, but everything around this kind of needless spectacle is pretty solid. The B-Plot, centering on Bullock trying to stop Falcone from targeting cops at the circus, is much more interesting. But this presents a similar problem to last month as Batman is once again the most uninteresting thing in his own issue. That could, however, simply be a testament to the strength of the supporting cast and the GCPD crew who usually play second-fiddle.


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