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Review: Detective Comics #759 (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Comic Book Culture' started by James Harvey, Jun 16, 2001.

  1. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
    Staff Member Administrator Moderator Reporter

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    Detective Comics #759

    The Mad Hatter has tagged almost a third of the Gotham City Police Force with his Coffee Cards of Doom, forcing the police to commit robberies for him.

    The Mad Hatter is one goofy little monkey, and it’s not often that you can find a neat twist on a guy who controls people and really, really likes Lewis Carroll. Greg Rucka, of course, is no slouch, and he not only finds a way to work the Hatter in an interesting way, but do it while Batman faces some interesting problems in his personal life.

    I’m glad we’re seeing more of Bruce Wayne’s bodyguard, Sasha. As a big fan of the of Rucka’s Atticus Kodiak novels, it’s nice to see a Rucka bodyguard in the comics form (although I do wonder how common it is for Secret Service agents to quit and go into business for themselves). This arc has been told from her point of view, mainly with her trying to deal with that fact that she’s Batman’s bodyguard, and how blatantly useless she is in that capacity. For me, this issue’s highlight was Bruce and Sasha sitting down and dropping all the “pretending not to know what you know” pretense and getting down to the nitty gritty. Sasha needs to feel useful, and in a strange way, is beginning to fill Alfred’s shoes (he’s still off playing butler to Tim Drake, annoyed at Bruce from the “Officer Down” storyline). Her demeanor around him while he’s in the costume is remarkably funny as well. When he’s in full-on ***** mode, Batman can turn anyone into a stumbling idiot (one of the good points of JLA: Incarnations #2, btw).

    This issue also shines with the interaction of Bullock and the new Commissioner Atkins. The threat that the Hatter’s control over an unknown number of police is a daunting one, and it’s nice to see these two men try to deal with it while they are still new to each other. I’m glad we’re seeing more Atkins. He’s an interesting character, especially after the backup story from last issue. Much like Gotham Knights is focusing on the interactions of the Bat-cast, Detective seems to be focusing on the police supporting cast, which Rucka writes marvelously.

    Martinbrough’s art is great yet again, and the coffee-colored theme amused me, as the Hatter is tagging cops with cards from coffee kiosks he’s placed outside police precincts. The coffee/tea thing is something I haven’t seen done with the Hatter before, and it’s nice to see his minions not just controlled by giant playing cards behind their ears.

    The “Trail of the Catwoman” backup, by Ed Brubaker (writer) and Darwyn Cooke/Cameron Stewart (artists) is interesting as well. I haven’t read Catwoman in years, and don’t really have to get this story. Slam Bradley (who, before you, ah, slam the name, was a featured character in Detective Comics before issue #27, so he’s way old school) has been hired by Gotham’s mayor (who hates Catwoman, due to conflicts they had in her book) to make sure that she is really dead. I’m a little surprised Batman hasn’t stuck his nose into that, but the Catwoman/Batman dynamic has cooled remarkably since she got her town title. It’s only natural, but still, those two fawning over each other is just as much a staple as the Batarang. This first Slam Bradley installment gets the ball rolling, and the Cooke/Stewart art is well matched with Brubaker’s dingy/gritty/noir-ish tale. I’ve never seen their work before (I’m assuming she pencils, he inks), but I’ll keep my eye out for them in the future.

    Rating: 4/5
     
  2. Beyond Batman

    Beyond Batman The Tomorrow Knight

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    Some thoughts on #759

    Detective seems to be progressing well and it's interesting to see the interaction between Sasha and Bruce. Have you noticed, he never says flat out "I'm Batman" or doesn't even come close to saying that in context. Everything he says is implied but could easily be dismissed.

    Commissioner Atkins. I'm glad they're focusing on him... but then again, I think they have to. Afterall, he has to fill big shoes after following Gordon. But it seems Commissioner Atkins is trusting Batman a little too much for being introduced for only a short while. I remember when Gordon first encoutered Batman, there was a scent of defiance between the Commish and the Caped Crusader. But then again, Batman didn't really have the notariety he has now.

    My personal rating of Detective #759 would also be a 4/5
     

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