Detective Comics #21

Posted by G-Man (35119 posts) - - Show Bio

The Good

I've been enjoying the Emperor Penguin storyline but I'm thankful to see a different threat take the center stage. In what seems like a typical assassin-comes-Gotham story, we soon find out there's much more to the mysterious assassin. John Layman is quickly becoming the Master of Continuity with several key mentions to current Bat-events. You also have to wonder if the mention of 'assassins' will have anything to do recent events in RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS...

The assassin here happens to have a deeper connection. Is that too coincidental? If so, it's fine with me. I love where Hickman takes the story and how it ties this all together. The opening pages gets me even more excited for future events.

Then of course there's Harper Row. It seems many are conflicted when it comes to her character. People either love her or hate her. I'm on the pro-Harper side. What is her fate or destiny in the future of Batman comics? I'm not too concerned with her future but more focused on what her present situation is. Layman fills us in on what she's been up to since Batman gave her a firm talking to after Damian's death. I'm fascinated with what is being done with her and can't wait to see where she'll turn up next...if she survives this issue.

Layman and Andy Clarke also continue the story of Kirk Langstrom and his recent Man-Bat problems. The story isn't over and there's some big implications building.

The Bad

While I did enjoy the main story, I am a little torn over whether or not the assassin's presence in Gotham is too much of a coincidence. The killer had been out of action for quite a while and their first mission happens to be in Batman's backyard. Still, it was a fun story.

Scot Eaton's art works for the most part. There are just moments where Harper and her brother look a little...older.

Hopefully you are caught up on BATMAN: DARK KNIGHT. While Layman continues to give nods to events in other Batman comics (which is great), a pretty big event was mentioned.

The Verdict

An assassin comes to Gotham and of course Batman will soon get involved. We'll soon discover that this is no ordinary assassin as a bigger picture begins to unfold. Harper Row makes her return as well and we find out what she's been up to since her last appearance. Layman is keeping a tight ship in terms of continuity. We see lots of mentions of events happening in the other Bat-titles and the back up. We'll have to wait and see if the main story results in further repercussions, especially considering the current events in RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS. Layman is building up his corner of Gotham and you don't want to miss out on it.

Staff
#1 Edited by Scott757 (55 posts) - - Show Bio

can't wait to read it!

#2 Edited by kilomac29 (323 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought this issue was great except for the backup story. I'm not really sure we need a two-part story for that character. I felt like it was paced kind of slow just so it could be made into two parts.

#3 Posted by Sleepbutnodream15 (570 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate Harper Row...but I'll probably still read this issue.

#4 Posted by SupBrosef (1 posts) - - Show Bio

"The assassin here happens to have a deeper connection. Is that too coincidental? If so, it's fine with me. I love where Hickman takes the story and how it ties this all together. The opening pages gets me even more excited for future events."

Read this back to back with Avengers, eh?

#5 Posted by doordoor123 (3721 posts) - - Show Bio

I was a pretty big fan of Layman, but his Detective has swayed me even more in his direction. I love his writing. Is he the best writer? Probably not. But he IS my favorite writer.

#6 Posted by Dark_Guyver (2322 posts) - - Show Bio

Ugh.. No matter how hard I try, I just can't like Harper Row. She's actually starting to turn me off from anything she's in.

Online
#7 Posted by akbogert (3224 posts) - - Show Bio

@g_man said:

I'm fascinated with what is being done with her and can't wait to see where she'll turn up next...if she survives this issue.

What does this mean?

#8 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

Harper Row isn't just passively unappealing, she's actively off-putting. Since the reboot, some characters seem to be passively unappealing to me, like Green Arrow. There's nothing that bothers me about him, or his book, it just fails to grab me like Animal Man did in Rotworld, or Earth-2. But the way Harper's written, especially given Damian's death and the way Lobdell RUINED Tim Drake's origin, she went from a mildly irritating know-it-all to a crappy imitation of a beloved Robin, meant to replace another beloved Robin.

#9 Posted by TeamUnitedNerds (402 posts) - - Show Bio

Layman holding the key to Bat-canon? *vomits*

#10 Edited by madfriday (5 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait, people hate Harper Row? Weird. Personally she's one of my favourite new characters. From the looks of it, they're looking at maybe transitioning her into the next female Robin, which would be cool; with a female Robin I think there may almost be as many women in the bat-family as men.

#11 Posted by Squatch De Sas (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for the cool review.

#12 Edited by akbogert (3224 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait, people hate Harper Row? Weird. Personally she's one of my favourite new characters. From the looks of it, they're looking at maybe transitioning her into the next female Robin, which would be cool; with a female Robin I think there may almost be as many women in the bat-family as men.

I don't understand the hate either.

When she first appeared, but briefly, I was immediately intrigued and actually added her to my list here of characters I wanted to see more of. I've liked her from the beginning. Some folks seem to have missed that Snyder introduced her well before the whole Damian mess, and are now holding the potential she has to be made into Damian's replacement against her, and loathe anything about her that remotely suggests her being important in Batman's life. Which I consider quite petty.

The one semi-valid complaint I've seen is that they seem to have borrowed a lot of her backstory from Tim, whom many fans consider the New 52 to have ruined.

#13 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio

Dont really Care for Harper. There is nothing really original about her. But im going to pick up this issue anyway.

#14 Edited by Avenger85 (1874 posts) - - Show Bio

Ugh. Crapper Row.

#15 Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub (5080 posts) - - Show Bio

Harper Row is a bad character, not sure why DC is forcing her down everyones throats.

#16 Posted by SmashBrawler (5823 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert: Dunno about the rest but I hate her because I flat out dislike her personality :P

Good issue, though.

#17 Posted by akbogert (3224 posts) - - Show Bio

@smashbrawler: It just annoys me because people are disproportionately hostile towards her. Honestly, if Damian were still alive, most people would probably not have thought twice about Harper. Now they assume she'll be the new Robin and that magnifies whatever traits might have just been eye-roll-worthy earlier. I get people finding her unlikeable but calling her a terrible character or hating her makes no sense.

Moreover, Snyder created her years ago. Whatever purpose DC is bending her towards, putting her in other books, etc., it really isn't his fault, and it doesn't make her a bad character. People don't have to like her but I think the majority of the hostility is completely unwarranted.

#18 Posted by SmashBrawler (5823 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert: Yeah, I see where you're coming from. It kinda annoys me at times too because, like you said, it's an argument that doesn't really make that much sense.

#19 Posted by iaconpoint (1363 posts) - - Show Bio

I find it funny that anytime Harper Row is the focus of an issue, the main artist takes off. She needs to permanently go bye bye.

#20 Posted by akbogert (3224 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert: Yeah, I see where you're coming from. It kinda annoys me at times too because, like you said, it's an argument that doesn't really make that much sense.

Gotta say, I find it amusing that the next comment after that was

I find it funny that anytime Harper Row is the focus of an issue, the main artist takes off. She needs to permanently go bye bye.

...you know?

I can't tell who's lazier/less thoughtful: the fans who want anyone they find uninteresting to be killed off, or the writers who actually kill them.

#21 Posted by iaconpoint (1363 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert: yeah, having an opinion about a character isn't the way to go about life, from now on I'll just take what they give me and beg for more no matter what it is...

#22 Posted by akbogert (3224 posts) - - Show Bio

@iaconpoint: Disliking a character is one thing. Saying that they should be killed off because of your opinion is a different thing entirely, and unfortunately a very prevalent thing at that. Which is what I said: that death is a lazy way to deal with characters.

#23 Posted by iaconpoint (1363 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert: you assume an awful lot, I never said death as that usually means more press , I honesty don't care if she falls off a cliff, moves in with Peter Parker or gets a bad case of diarrhea so long as she disappears from the Batverse

#24 Edited by FiveLetters (12 posts) - - Show Bio

Can someone please kill off Harper Row already?

#25 Posted by Perfect 10 (1073 posts) - - Show Bio

havent read detective since issue 8, picked this up for the cover. too bad mio seemingly is dealt with, another cool female bites the dust. one of the many reasons zenescope is surpassing other comic companies

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