Detective Comics #5

A comic review article by: Ray Tate

Batman feels the repercussions of the Joker's faked death. Meanwhile, the Penguin makes his move, and in a backup story, a new character with ties to an old villain debuts. The main story only lasts 12 pages. Those 12 pages are as good as the quality exhibited previously, but they're still only 12 pages, wherein Batman must try to nab a new assassin.

The New Guy

The assassin sports a Joker mask to blend in with the crowd. It turns out that the Joker has fans in Gotham City, and this crowd forces Batman to beat the crap out of them. I know. It's a dirty job. 

Making Omelets

Commentary from the crowd amuses, and the impediment explains the assassin's escape. Batman is in top form. So, had the assassin not used the Joker-worship as a physical distraction, Batman would have taken him down. You never doubt, and that certainty is indicative of Daniel's writing.

Give Him the Ooo-La-La

Meanwhile, spunky Bruce Wayne paramour Charlotte Rivers pulls a Lois Lane to infiltrate the Penguin's operations. The new 52 Penguin reflects the old Chuck Dixon version, only with broader strokes.

The Iceberg

The Penguin's nightclub is now a casino-islet for the rich and famous. The change in environment suits his sobriquet quite nicely. The isolation from civilization also facilitates the dirty bird's gangland secrets. 

While the cliffhanger suggests the Penguin hatches evil plans for Charlotte, it's extremely doubtful that he'd create such hazard for a member of the fourth estate. I suspect he'll instead likely create mischief to craft a false lead for her to follow.

The backup tale is a waste. Daniel would have been better off giving Detective Comics its full complement of pages for the main story, or using the remainder to define the old villain's life. We don't exactly know what counts in the New 52 Universe, and the Batman villain backlit in this backup has multiple incarnations. Daniel gives us one fact about him, and it's a boring one.



Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.

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