DETECTIVE COMICS #3
Written and Drawn by Tony Salvador Daniel
Inks by Sando Florea
Colors by Tomeu Morey
Review by Brad Jones
It’s rare in comics that I find a sequence of a character sitting in a chair talking to himself to be compelling: if you had read my most recent review for Superman #2, you’d find I sometimes downright loathe it. However, watching Bruce Wayne sitting at his Batcomputer in the Batcave, figuring out the identity of our over-arching villain, the Dollmaker, was really cool for me. I love when Batman is in full-on detective mode, so to see him actually do some detecting in this book was a treat.
This book also does a great job establishing motive for the Dollmaker, who up until now had just been another (albeit, well-designed) Bat-villain. In this issue, we learn Gordon had shot and killed the Dollmaker’s father – a serial killer who would force his young son to watch the slayings and possibly partake in eating the victims – decades ago. This reveal adds real gravitas to our current murderous mastermind and the threat of Gordon’s life ticking away is rooted in real, character-driven drama.
The other big reveal of this issue is the discovery that a certain character – one we had assumed this whole time was an almost-victim of the Dollmaker’s scheme – has really been central to the plot, and part of our villain’s pieced-together “family.” This twist and the way it’s delivered give me increased confidence in Tony Daniel and his vision for this series. It’s clear Daniel’s has some well-thought ideas and a rather brilliantly-laid trap for the Dark Knight that is unfolding beautifully without some of the cheap teasers-to-cop-out maneuvers some of the other 52 have pulled to keep readers interested in their books. Instead, Detective Comics #3 begins to show us the grander picture of the entire arch in interesting, character-driven ways, each panel pushing the players and plot forward with determination and direction.
The depth this book brings to the newer characters established in the first two issues elevated Detective Comics from a series I really liked to one I really love. I can’t wait for the next installment, and with mucho gusto, I say, “Buy it!”