Why you should get John Layman and Jason Fabok's Detective comics

Posted by broo1232 (1520 posts) - - Show Bio

Detective comics in the New 52 didn't have a very good reputation I have not read it but it sounds pretty bad. Yet with issue 13 the new Creative team of John Layman and Jason Fabok came onto the book and in my opinion the book has vastly improved to become the 3rd best Batman book after Batman and Batman Incorporated (not counting Batgirl, Nightwing and Batwoman) and now I'm going to tell you why.

Note: this is the first of several blog posts I will do on comic series.

Focus on the villains

In each issue of since 13 there has been a spotlight on a villain each issue first the Penguin then Poison Ivy then Clayface and then the League of Smiles. That isn't to say that John Layman hasn't forgotten about Batman he still has a large role in each issue but John Layman has added a lot to each of the villains (especially Clayface but more on that later). John Layman has decided to go in a different direction to what Batman is doing and he has done it very well introducing a new villain each issue but not forgetting the previous villains in the issue and not forcing the new villain in it is very well executed.

Giving Clayface a heart!!

As I mentioned earlier John Layman did something very good with Clayface he gave him emotions and a heart. This takes place in issue 15 and well that was the best part of the issue I mean Clayface I never really liked him before (maybe because of the silly version of him in Lego Batman but anyway) but now I really like him and the depth that was given to him in that issue wasn't forced at all and I hope Layman explores more of this in future issues since it was very well done.

Different types of tie-in

I admit I haven't read issue 16 but reading reviews on it I learnt that it was a different sort of Tie-in to DOTF not really focussing on Joker and Batman's fight but more showing the effect Joker has on Gotham and the nutters in it. To me this is a clever idea as Layman didn't decided to do something boring like just showing more Joker Batman fights but decided to show what the Joker does while not losing the direction and the Story he was writing as he still continues the Penguin story (or Emperor Penguin,Ogivily). It is a clever thing to do and makes good use of a tie-in something more comics should do.

Issue 19 is important!!

By that I mean when Detective comics ended before the New 52 it was on issue #881 so when the new Detective comics reached issue #19 that would be issue #900. So DC are doing something with that releasing a 80 page (or thereabouts) anniversary issue costing $7.99. Yeah I relasise that will stretch people's budget a bit but the issue does look interesting and I think it should be interesting. I'm sure it won't let us down and I'm sure it will be worth it.

The Backups add to the overall story.

One of the best things DC do at the minute is that if a comic is $3.99 they add on a 10 page backup this one of the things that DC do better than Marvel as you get better value for money. I am not saying that these backups are the greatest thing ever and they are beautifully written but they add an extra bit to the story that may not managed to be answered in the main story what I mean is if there wasn't the backup layman would have to include this part of the story in the main section like in 14 in the Backup there is a bit with Poison Ivy in Arkham Asylum this is an important part and if it was included in the main section it would have to be included in the main section which might push the overall story back so the arc might be even longer. It is a good use of Backups and some of them are quite good.

Jason Fabok is a fantastic artist!

If you have read my reviews for Detective comics you know I'm a big fan of Jason Fabok and with good reason. The first thing that will spring to mind if you look at the art is that Fabok's art is a lot like David Finch's this is because Fabok was mentored by Finch and I personally prefer Fabok. He has a cleaner style than Finch and the facial expressions are better I'm not saying I dislike David Finch I really like his art I just like Fabok's more. Fabok is insanely productive he manages to pencil, ink 20 pages of art plus a cover and they are all done to a high standard I mean every cover has been fantastic especially Detective Comics #15 and Detective Comics #16 (for #15 I'm talking about the originally solicited one not the Die-cut one) It all looks amazing and Fabok's art is dynamic especially the two page spreads. This is a great looking book and one of the best around.

Verdict

Give this book a try it is underrated it's understandable why it is living in the shadow of Batman and Batman Incorporated but for what you get it is a very good book and I hope this blog post has persuaded you to give it a try and it is fantastic I'm not saying it is perfect but it is worth trying out.

#1 Posted by Skewer (325 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah it's definitely something to get if you can avoid tony Daniel's run. The first two books are important, the rest is unmemorable. The new run is something fans should be buying right now because its so good.

#2 Posted by broo1232 (1520 posts) - - Show Bio

@Skewer: It is there is room for improvement but it's early days also no books are truly perfect.

#3 Posted by SupBatz (1815 posts) - - Show Bio

Agreed 100%. Detective Comics really feels like a unique book among Batman series. Everything since Layman took over has been fresh and interesting. And Fabok is such a great artist for the series. I can't wait to get issue 16 and see what they do with this League of Smiles.

Also, I'm hoping that Layman isn't afraid to drift away from Batman now and then. The nice thing about a Detective Comics series is that there's the opportunity to showcase other heroes (I'd love to see Renee Montoya re-introduced in the series as Question again sometime).

#4 Posted by knighthood (1725 posts) - - Show Bio

@broo1232: The Ivy & Clayface story was interesting. There is one thing I do wonder about. Clayface is a shapeshifter. I didn't understand why he just doesn't get all debonair and start man-whoring like Bruce.

Honestly issue 16 was hit and miss with me. I loved that some of the recent issues were referenced, but I had some issues with the layouts and some of the art choices.

The Emperor Penguin story line is okay. Hurwitz has add some needed depth into Penguin's character and storyline recently. I wonder how Hurwitz feels about Layman dismissing the Penguin so easily?

#5 Posted by broo1232 (1520 posts) - - Show Bio

@SupBatz: Hope it keeps the quality up. I haven't read issue 16 but it looks good can't wait for issue 19 even though it will stretch my budget a bit.

@knighthood said:

@broo1232: The Ivy & Clayface story was interesting. There is one thing I do wonder about. Clayface is a shapeshifter. I didn't understand why he just doesn't get all debonair and start man-whoring like Bruce.

Honestly issue 16 was hit and miss with me. I loved that some of the recent issues were referenced, but I had some issues with the layouts and some of the art choices.

The Emperor Penguin story line is okay. Hurwitz has add some needed depth into Penguin's character and storyline recently. I wonder how Hurwitz feels about Layman dismissing the Penguin so easily?

Sorry to hear you haven't liked some of it. I haven't read issue 16 so I can't judge it really but the use of the tie-in was good.

#6 Posted by Lvenger (21066 posts) - - Show Bio

Only have enough money for comics and in recent months I've been going for a more varied pull list. And Snyder has been knocking it out of the park with Court of Owls and Death of the Family. But I hear good things from Layman's run and this blog post cements it.

#7 Posted by broo1232 (1520 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger: Batman is better but this book is well worth getting. Sorry to hear you can't get it but I'm sure it will be good in trade as well.

#8 Posted by entropy_aegis (15472 posts) - - Show Bio

If nothing else atleast this book tries to create it's own unique place in the Batman line,while I have never been much of a crime fan it's refreshing to read a Batman book that's not all horror and slasher.

#9 Posted by broo1232 (1520 posts) - - Show Bio

@entropy_aegis: It is nice to read something like that with Batman being very creepy (Joker) and Dark Knight going for a horror take (scarecrow) .

#10 Posted by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

I didn't follow Detective Comics 1-12 because I didn't really like the story, and even when the present team came on I never really started reading. However, after reading this post, I gave 13-16 a chance and I really like it! John Layman's dialogue is solid, and Jason Fabok's art is just as consistent. Maybe not my favorite Bat series, but I think I'll start picking it up, along with Batman and Batman and Robin.

#11 Posted by broo1232 (1520 posts) - - Show Bio

@gotwillpower: Good to hear!

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