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Detective Comics #4-7 by Ammar Al Subahi

Detective Comics #4 Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tony Salvador Daniel
Artist: Tony Salvador Daniel
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Tomeu Morey

Overall: 2.5/5

Premise: Batman finds himself an unwilling gladiator in the Dollmaker's hideout and must find a way to escape.

What's up with Batman falling for ambushes and getting trapped recently? 5 to 6 years in the game, according to the new DC continuity, you'd expect him to not fall for this type of stuff.

Anyhow: Dollmaker is making Batman fight goons dressed up as the Joker for the amusement of potential buyers wishing to finally get their hands on Batman. That's a lot of people, by the way. But the highest bidder is one whose name should be pretty familiar. Of course, Batman manages to break free and sets out to save commisioner Gordon and escape. Considering the way he manages to break free from the Dollmaker's (literal) strings, one wonders why he didn't try to break out sooner. Oh well.

It's pretty frustrating that this comic -- that is dubbed "DETECTIVE" comics -- is all about cheap cliffhangers, predictable plot lines, and boring, oh so boring, action. You'd think more thought and soul would go into producing this title, which is the one where Batman first made his debut. But no such luck.

It's not all bad, though. The art is still pretty. And maybe this will pick up once we get to see some REAL villains mix up with Batman instead of this paper cut out Buffallo Bill rip-off, whom we've hopefully seen the last of.

Detective Comics #5
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tony Salvador Daniel
Artist: Tony Salvador Daniel & Szymon Kudranski
Inker: Sandu Florea & Rob Hunter
Colorist: Tomeu Morey

Overall: 2.5/5

Premise: An unknown hitman has emerged in Gotham + The introduction of a new character to the Bat mythos.

Instead of following up on the Penguin lead from the last issue, Batman decides to stake out some Russian gangster he's been following for the last few days, it seems. Not because this is somehow related to either the disappearance of Joker or the Dollman, but rather just... because?

Anyhow, suddenly an assassin appears and kills the suspect. Batman tries to catch him, but this guy is good, good enough to evade even Batman, and so the chase begins.

I'm not going to bother going in-depth with the writing or the story here. All I'm going to say is that I really believe Daniel would benefit from having a co-writer attached to this title, as the story here is so unfocused and not being thoroughly thought out. Which is a shame considering that the art is really good, better than it has been the last few issues. But good art only takes you so far.

As for the back-up feature, which is unconnected to the main story: it's about a new character - a kid named Eli - who acts as a bait/distraction for another Gotham vigilante who wants to put the hurt on the Russian mob. Also, this back-up feature is narrated by a third character who's identity and connection to Eli is revealed at the end. Anyhow, why this vigilante used Eli as a bait or distraction, or whatever function he was supposed to fill, remains a mystery as it becomes clear that our vigilante could've gotten in and wreck these fools without using Eli.

Once again, it seems as if Daniel isn't thinking things through when it comes to his story. Not only is this back-up unrelated to the main story (with the exception of the above mentioned Russian gangster's name being dropped as a reference), but the story itself is thin and filled with holes, serving only to lead up to the last page reveal. And, surprise, this has yet again nothing to do with the main story. Maybe this story will be folded into the main storyline, assuming Daniel will follow up on this, but then why complicate things even more?

The guest artist is pretty good, though. Kudranski's style is dark and gritty, a perfect fit for crime-oriented books like this one (or at least, what it is supposed to be).

It's just too bad it's being wasted on such a boring and insipid story.

Detective Comics #6 and #7
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tony Salvador Daniel
Artist: Tony Salvador Daniel (with background assists by Joel Gomez in #7)
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Tomeu Morey

Overall: 1/5

Premise: Tony S. Daniel does his best Grant Morrison impression... but will he manage to pull it off? Wait, you're wondering what Batman is doing this issue? Me too.

Today we're making a special double issue review! The reason for that is simply because I can't be bothered to write about this book twice after reading these issues. So instead, as the story arc is wrapping up (sort of), I'll save myself the trouble and the pain of wasting my time reviewing these books with this one review.

In short, these issues stunk. This whole arc stunk. And I want to kill myself for reading them.

I have no idea what is going on, who all these new characters are and what their connections are supposed to mean; all I know is that I'm really sick of it. Not only are the characters poor, but the whole plotline is ridiculous and confusing and has absolutely nothing to do with Joker's escape. As a reviewer, I'm supposed to elaborate, and all, but I really can't be bothered with it. This book simply sucks.

And, oh yeah, the Grant Morrison thing.

See, obviously Tony S. Daniel picked up an influence or two from Morrison back when they were working together in Batman before the New 52 revamp. You can specifically see it here with all the overtly corny characters with their super corny names and their super corny everything. Then he tries to connect it all to some bigger picture: this is related to this and this who's related to her... but quite frankly, Daniel isn't a good enough writer to pull it off. This book is in serious need of a co-writer. I really like and respect his ambition, but it's simply too much for him to handle.

Plus, I needed to write something for the premise.

Art is kind of pretty, though. I'll give them that.