Batman: Detective Comics #1008 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Doug Mahnke, Artist; Jaime Mendoza, Inker; Dave Baron, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Peter Tomasi has been pulling back from larger arcs and moving towards short one and two-shots as his run proceeds, and the title’s been better for it. Now he has to tie in with Year of the Villain, as almost every book this month does, and before he gets to the main event (an upgraded Mr. Freeze, teased at the end of Detective Comics #1007) he has a one-shot for us bringing Joker back to Gotham in Detective Comics #1008. Joker has been busy with the Legion of Doom, alternately helping and betraying Luthor as he escalates his war, but now Luthor’s ready to take over the world and Joker knows things are about to get very dysfunctional. So he decides to do what only Joker can do – create chaos as a sort of last hurrah before a massive war he might not survive. So this issue takes Joker back to one of his favorite settings – a Gotham carnival that he intends to turn into a slaughterhouse – complete with an invitation for Batman to join the chaos.
This issue has a distinct Batman: the Animated Series vibe to it, with Doug Mahnke’s art being brighter and flashier than normally. The opening half of the issue, with Joker tormenting a group of trapped civilians, has a darkly comic vibe that features quite a few squicks like an allergic man being force-fed peanuts. Once Batman shows up, the issue feels a bit lighter as set pieces like a sinister fortune teller and a giant float of balloons add to the quirky animated vibe.
And can I say how much I love the fact that Batman can summon a giant flock of bats now? An ideal weapon. There’s nothing really groundbreaking in this issue, but it does have a Joker characterization that nicely bridges the gap between Snyder’s more sinister, cosmic Joker and Dini’s offbeat version. All hell is about to break loose in Gotham in more than one book, so a breather issue pitting Batman against his nemesis is a fun change of pace.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.