Review of Detective Comics #8
“I’m going to count to zero before I snap your neck like I did your wrist.”
Just in case you haven’t read Issues 5-7, I will do a brief recap. Although honestly this is a good book and you really should have been reading it this whole time. In issue 5 we see that the public is hating on Batman, they think he kidnapped and mutilated the Joker. This has lead to a series of protests against Batman. The mayor doesn’t want to lose the anti-Batman vote in an election year so he allows them. Batman drives on, not caring about public opinion. A very skilled assassin takes out a low level criminal he was tailing and loses Batman in the protest crowds. His only clue leads Batman to Penguin’s new casino. We also have a Catwoman story where we meet to son of Hugo Strange,more on him later.
In issues 6 and 7 Batman goes to the Casino, which is where Bruce Wayne is supposed to meet Charlotte(His reporter friend from Detective Comics #2) However Charlotte is happy for Bruce’s delay as she has other business at the casino. It turns out she is there looking for her sister Jill who is working with a shape-shifting criminal named Snakeskin. Meanwhile Penguin is convincing a bunch of third tier Gotham criminals that their money is safer in his vault than anywhere else. Of course guys like Gas-Man and Mr. Combustible fall for it. Charlotte is stabbed by Snakeskin as she continues to snoop around and Alfred remembers to throw in a plug for I, Vampire before dropping Bruce off. Batman arrives just after the stabbing and his emotions for CHarlotte cause him to delay leaving them buried in ice and then heading towards a giant fan. Batman is able to escape certain death by having the Batsub lock onto his location and crash through the wall. Alfred calls in a bomb threat and gets Charlotte to safety while Batman goes back for Snakeskin and Jill. Snakeskin goes to kill the Penguin but explodes before he can do it. The Penguins new “partners” go to the vault, where security saw Snakeskin’s accomplice (Jill). Batman arrives in time to save them, because he knew it was a trap. Jill gets away and goes to the Penguin for her share of the third tier’s money. The part that gets me is that she is actually surprised when Penguin double crosses her. I mean a criminal hires you to help him double cross and kill a bunch of other criminals and you expect him to pay you? Fortunately for Jill (sort of) Batman shows up and turns her over to the police. Although it turns out that Snakeskin isn’t dead and is in fact sent to finish Jill off while she is in custody.
Alright, now I have caught you up. Lets get into issue #8.
Issue #8 opens with Catwoman running out of Gotham City’s Disease Control Labs. She is under the influence of Scarecrow’s fear toxin. As luck would have it Batman already has an antidote whipped up. It turns out 15 minutes prior to this Batman goes to see Commissioner Gordon, who was in turn contacted by Scarecrow. Scarecrow calls Gordon after Batman gets there and explains the rules. Batman has one hour to find Catwoman, discover who she is meeting with and find them. He claims that great harm will come to someone if Batman does not do as he says. Batman tries to snap Catwoman out of her confusion and get the name of who she was going to deliver what she stole(anti fer toxin). Apparently things between Bats and Catwoman have been rocky as of late. SHe finally gives him the name and Batman applies his trademark gentle touch to get some information out of the man Catwoman named. The drug dealer/ dog fight organizer tells him that he was working with someone else and he coughs up an address. Batman makes a quick detour to Scarecrow to find out why he is playing this game. Scarecrow wants his competition eliminated and he knows Batman will do it, because it makes Gotham that much safer. Scarecrow gives him a picture of a boy who can only be saved if Batman stops Scarecrow’s competition.
Who do we find at the address? Eli Strange(son of Hugo Strange, I mentioned him earlier) and a whole gang dressed up like scarecrows. Batman dispatches them with relative ease and before you know it Young Hugo is in police custody. Catastrophe averted, but Batman still isn’t happy about everything.
I really like Detective Comics, not as much as Batman or Batman and Robin, but it is still a damn fine read. I think one thing I really like is the artwork. The artwork tends to be darker and grittier, but it matches the story arcs so far. Speaking of story arcs next month we get our first Bat-Family event, The Night of the Owls. If you have been reading the Batman series then you have some idea what that entails.