Comic Review: Detective Comics #1008 (DC Comics)

The Joker has returned to Gotham City after his departure from The Legion of Doom, but this time, he has returned with an amusement park and crew. The civilians at […]

The Joker has returned to Gotham City after his departure from The Legion of Doom, but this time, he has returned with an amusement park and crew.

The civilians at the amusement park are all held hostage by the Joker, which catches the attention of the Caped Crusader. What is the Joker trying to accomplish that he hasn’t already done this time around? What are his goals and intent this time around?

This one-shot issue was a pretty fun issue. I feel that nowadays when it comes to Joker stories, everyone that writes a Joker storyline feels the need to write these overarching arcs where The Joker has this massive evil plan, which has been done over and over to death. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Joker, he’s a fave Batman villain, but he is always used for big stories that sometimes we forget what makes any character great, which is by using them in small doses. Having iconic characters being used in stories in small increments always leave a stronger impression amongst readers than the over usage of them. Which is what I love about this issue. Tomasi has written a nice small one-shot issue that perfectly showcases what Batman and The Joker’s antagonistic relationship to each other is like without doing anything beyond that.

What I enjoy most about Tomasi’s writing is how well he understands Batman as a character. Obviously, he is no stranger to the character, but it’s great to see a strong depiction of Batman that is well rounded, and logical without coming across as unhinged or unable to make reasonable decisions with people. One of my favorite things about this issue is how simple and small it is. Its a nice breather issue after the whole Arkham Knight and Specter arcs. I feel that this issue could have been stretched into two parts like the Specter arc, but thankfully it was written as it needed to be, being a self-contained one-shot that reminds readers that not every Batman story has to be these huge gargantuan arcs as done by other writers on other Batman books. And that is not to knock the other writers on the other ongoing Batman titles, because there is some merit to their work.

In regards to the art department, Mahnke’s pencils, Mendoza’s inks, and Baron’s coloring is a wonderful match made in heaven for this issue. They continue to prove why they make such a trio whenever they work on a project together. One of my favorite pages is the splash page of The Joker’s face, whether it is the illustration, the lighting, and color contrasts, the redness around the Joker’s eyelids, they manage to capture the beautiful madness of the character and embody it on that page beautifully. Rob Leigh does a fantastic job with the lettering on this issue, and for some reason, it just seems to stand out so much more than ever before. Maybe because his style of lettering matches the artwork so well that it makes it a smooth read throughout the issue.

I just feel that it’s just nice to see a story where the characters feel like the actual characters that readers know and love, instead of the characters that are written out of character just for the sake of a storyline that begs for them to be. Tomasi does a great job at writing this issue, sprinkling little references to The Killing Joke and Dark Knight Returns and other pieces of Batman lore. In some cases, I feel that the way Tomasi wrote this issue, it’s as though this could have easily been in an episode of the classic Batman: The Animated Series, which makes this issue all the more enjoyable. I feel that in Tomasi’s own way, this issue feels like a twisted version of his depiction of the carnival in Superman issue 7 (2016) which is a nice parallel to that issue. Whether intentional or not, I don’t know, but it’s fun to compare these one-shot issues.

Overall, for a one-shot, there is a stinger that sets up Luthor’s plans for the comic wide line Year of The Villain storyline, which sets up a new arc for this series, that I think readers will surely want to stick around and see. I think this was a fun issue, although nothing world-changing happens in this issue, I think that sometimes the best stories are the ones that don’t require a change in the status quo. If you’re new to comics, I feel that this will be a nice jumping on point since its a one-shot that focuses on Batman and Joker, doing what they do best as characters, and that alone is worth adding to the pull list just to see what Tomasi is going to do next in the upcoming arc.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

About Anthony Andujar Jr.