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Review: Detective Comics #44

DC 44Detective Comics #44 has forced me to say something I never though I would. There is too much Batman and not nearly enough Harvey Bullock in this comic.

The story by Brian Buccellato opens with Harvey Bullock’s partner Yip, being bribed by the Falcone crime family in exchange for the seating position of every police officer at the upcoming circus. It is this story, that has been at the heart of the recent arc of Detective comics. Bullock continues his fight against Montoya to protect his partner, even though they both are aware of Yip’s corruption. This dynamic is endlessly interesting and the conclusion of their story at the end of the issue is well thought out and rewarding; even if the twist was a bit predictable. The problem with this comic is, the story spends too much time on Batman filler, rather than focusing on the relationships within the Gotham City Police Department. Batman spends a good portion of the issue fighting Joker’s Daughter and her enormous Joker robot. She is more of a farce than an actual threat to Batman though. Her reasoning for wanting to destroy the city also falls flat, deriving solely from seeing Batman in a suit and wanting one too. She is quickly dispatched and the narrative really gains nothing from the battle. This causes the conclusion of the Harvey, Montoya, and Yip story to feel rushed. Batman again quickly solves their problem with no real closer for those characters who urgently run to the scene to help but, do not actually do anything. With more time on the actual key characters in this story, this could have been a very solid tale of police drama and distrust.

The artwork by Fernando Blanco on the other hand is fantastic throughout. The Joker robot looks large and intimidating and the destruction it causes feels violent and visceral. There is also a great use of shadow throughout the issue, which takes place entirely at night. The panel layouts are solid and every panel flows well into the next, never taking away from what the fiction is trying to accomplish. Also, the lettering was fantastic in the conversations between Batman in his robot suit and the Joker robot. Each had their own distinct style which really added a uniqueness to the characters.

Overall, this is a solid issue with a bit too much filler in the middle. If you do not mind having Batman take up some space in the middle of a good story, then this is a worthy read.

Story: Brian Buccellato Art: Fernando Blanco
Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

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