SpartanNerd Scoop….Detective Comics #27 review

Why is this a scoop…Almost nobody has reviewed this yet!  I Googled to read other peoples reviews, and they were quite scant.

Variant Cover #2.  This was the cover most often seen in ads.

So I scooped all of Nerd-dom this time!  (Probably not really)

Detective Comics #27 in 1939 was the first time Batman appeared anywhere.  Not long after, Detective Comics was completely about Batman.  And that is all the information I could regurgitate that I most likely learned from Wikipedia at some point!

Fast forward to the New 52.  The current DC Comics universe.  New readers might not know, The New 52 was a massive relaunch of DC Comics two Septembers ago.  The SpartanNerd began reading them then, being intimidated by the vast history of DC Comics before the relaunch.  I felt it would be a good jumping-on point.  And I was correct!  This relaunch included a re-numbering, each issue became #1.  And so now, we are back at #27, and to celebrate the milestone of the original Detective Comics #27, DC has printed a MASSIVE tribute issue!

There are six variant covers…I picked up variant cover #2 in the comic book store last night.  Cover #1 will likely come to me in the mail with my subscription.  Other covers include a Frank Miller Catwoman cover.  (And then there are 3 more, oh math scholars!)

Cover #2, by Christ Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn is kind of cartoony…featuring Batman very large, with Batwoman, Batwing, the Talon, and someone else….???  (I almost thought it was the Talon, but then saw him in the air….)

There is an ad, right behind the cover, but it is just about the only ad in the whole thing.  There is an ad for the Kubert school somewhere in it, but besides the back cover, that’s about it.  (A quick flip reminded me of a Scribblenauts ad.)

The first real page is a table of contents\credits page.  We get seven different stories in this issue!  I am going to go down them all, and put forth my review!  There will likely be SPOILERS….READ NO FURTHER IF YOU WANT UNTAINTED EARS!




The table of contents\credits page.


THE CASE OF THE CHEMICAL SYNDICATE…

Hope you heeded my warning!  This first story is meant to be a classic Batman story.*  The art is the average of what we have seen since the late 1980’s   We see Bruce Wayne talking to himself, and talking to himself.  Which was sort of off-putting to me at first.  But I have been reading these things long enough to know that something was going on.  In the end, we were seeing snips from “The Journal of the Bat-Man.”  I like that Batman says one time “I’m still too new at this!”  The end of this story has someone falling into an acid vat, and the last panel of course shows their hand climbing out.

Now, I am certain that this isn’t supposed to be a canonical story.  The New 52 story of the Joker has been hashed out several times.  We saw the Red Hood fall into a vat in the Zero Year Batman story.  Not to mention the Joker reinforcing this origin story in “Death of the Family,” and even making Harley go through the experience.

No, this isn’t a mainline story.  It sets the stage for the vignettes we are going to be getting throughout the rest of the book.

I LIKE THE ART, I LIKE THE STORY, RATING 5/5.  I like the pulpy nature of it!
*This is a re-telling of the original Detective Comics #27.  Oddly, I didn’t remember it panning out the way this did



OLD SCHOOL…

This story begins with a cover, letting you know what it coming!

The “cover art” of “Old School”

Basically, you begin with old-style comics material, with Batman and Robin in their original looks.  As the story progresses, Batman’s costume evolves, and the artwork does as well, until it looks like Detective Comics artwork looks now, as different villains do ridiculous things to him.  How is this vignette justified?  Batman has fallen asleep in a comic books store, and people are dressed in costumes all around him for Batman’s 75th Anniversary party.  The last panel, he picks up a copy of “Detective Comics #27”  (The original.)

THIS IS A REALLY DIFFERENT STORY.  RATING 5/5!



BETTER DAYS…

Probably a non-cannonical story also.  This one shows Batman as old as he would be for real, with Alfred in a wheelchair.  We see Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne also.  Dick is still night wing, and Damien is currently Batman.  And Barbara Gordon is the commissioner.  They are celebrating his birthday, and an alarm goes off.  So the younger heroes go off to work!  But Bruce decides to suit up and beat them to the crime scene!  They come back, the work already done, wondering how it was possible….

I like how we get to see Damien alive…But other than that, I think it is weak story.  And I don’t care for all the cursing…it seems there is some four letter bomb on every page.  I don’t like the lines either.  It says Bertram is the artist, who is that?  It looks like …. something you would see in I don’t know.  Something I wouldn’t read.

WEAK STORY, POOR ARTWORK.  UNNECESSARY CURSING, MINIMAL ACTION.  BUT DAMIEN WAS ALIVE.  2/5



HERO…

Oddly, this story is labeled “Hero” in the Table of Contents, it is called “Rain” on its first page.  The art is far superior to the previous vignette.  And it says Five Years Ago.  This is to tell the regular readers that this happened at about the time the Justice League came on the scene in the New 52 Story arc.  It is the shortest story, and the most puzzling.  I like it…but…

Basically, Batman comes in from the Batmobile, swoops down and saves a woman and her child, who then says “Thank you for saving me…again..”  Before Batman can question him about what he said, BOOM, an explosion happens and Batman saves the kid.  The kid is called “Junior” by his mom.  What I can make of this is the kid must be James Gordon, Jr.  But maybe not…He looks like it with those glasses and the way that hair is parted.  But if this is five years ago, it seems the kid couldn’t be James Gordon, Jr.  He looks to be early 20’s?  This kid looks like he’s 11 at the oldest…

WHATEVER….MAYBE I MISSED SOMETHING OR FORGOT SOMETHING SOMEWHERE.  5/5!



THE SACRIFICE…

I am all about sacrificial characters.  So right away, I am pulled into this story.  The first thing we see is The Phantom Stranger, a character fairly new to me, with the whole Pandora/Trinity War/Forever Evil story arc.  Anyways, the Phantom Stranger shows Batman what life would be like if he got his wish…If his parents had lived through their murder.  (If his father was only wounded).

Batman sees several things.  His parents live on and shelter him.  Dick Grayson winds up on Death Row, he is married to Natalya Trusevich (recently killed by the Mad Hatter in The Dark Knight #20, a Russian pianist.  She was tragically dropped onto the Bat-Signal.)  They have a child as well.  And Ras Al Ghul is taking over Europe.

As pleasant as the thought is to Bruce of not losing his parents, he sees that the world lost something more without the Batman.  And in order for Batman to exist, his parents had to be killed.  Such irony.

I like that they brought Natalya back.  All around, not much has been said about Bruce’s grief over the loss of his lover.  It was all around the same time that Damian was killed, so that overshadowed this story.  (That and the fact that the Mad Hatter thing was a little weak).

WE GET TO SEE THE PHANTOM STRANGER, A FUTURE WITHOUT BATMAN, AND WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED BETWEEN BRUCE AND NATALYA.  THE ART IS SUBDUED AND MUTED, NOT MY FAVORITE.   SO 4/5.


GOTHTOPIA…

“And all is right in the world”…Catwoman gets to be Batman’s lover,
Batman has a permanent understudy.

Now for the real deal.  This is what would have been printed in Detective Comics #27 if it wasn’t a big extravaganza.  And there has been tons of hype!  And…the final panel of the last Detective Comics story arc featured “Catbird,” the new “Robin,”  not really putting the question of who the next Robin will be to rest, however.  Catbird is Catwoman in a Robin-esque costume.

All the previews prepared us for this.  Gotham is now the safest city in America, bighter and more akin to Metropolis.  And it is a “Utopia” because of Batman and his fellow heroes.  It is furthermore a Utopia because people have what they desire.  The Roman Sionis is Commissioner.  Catwoman is Batman’s lover, and fully knows his identity.  (They are seen together in the bat cave unmasked.)  The Oswald Cobblepot is the mayor.  All of the heroes seem to be brighter.  “Blue Belle and Brightbat” are apparently Batwoman and Bat-Girl.  (Maybe.)  Batwing is now “Flying Fox”.  The Talon is “the Gothamite.”  Birds of Prey are now “Wings of Truth.”

And Batman is redesigned.  He has a lighter colored costume.  It almost looks white!  Really a bright grey.  As the story progresses, we’re not really sure what is happening.  Batman appears to be more of a policeman in this comic, not really fighting crime so much as helping people with tragedy.  And he is unable to explain or save people who are committing suicide, (there is a higher suicide rate than usual.)  Apparently Bruce catches wind that something has changed about him, and Selina and the other Heroes want to stop him from uncovering the truth.  Batman winds up in the asylum with his enemies at the end.

Questions…Should I be buying all relevant issues to “get” this story?  It says I should follow the Gothtopia storyline in Batwing 27, Batgirl 27, Catwoman 27, and Birds of Prey 28.  I haven’t read any of these titles before.  Should I have picked up Batwing last night?  I guess we’ll see.  I haven’t read a single Batwing story.  It does say “next: INSTITUTIONALIZED.”

MY INTEREST IN THIS STORY IS PIQUED.  I HAVE BEEN WAITING TO SEE DETAILS ABOUT BATMAN:ETERNAL.  THIS ISSUE HAS ME A LITTLE PSYCHED.  BUT I AM NOT SURE ABOUT WHAT IS NECESSARY, AND DC HASN’T MADE THAT CLEAR.  I LIKE THE ART AND THE STORY, AND RATE THIS 5/5.


TWENTY-SEVEN…

The final vignette, a future reality.  Batman has clones of himself working as Batman.  He sees an older version of himself tutoring his new clone.  It is apparently 200 years in the future, and Batman is still at work.  We get to see lots of different future Batmen and Robins, and future villains and threats.

THIS IS A COOL STORY, THAT MAKES YOU THINK.  WITH TERRIFIC ARTWORK.  AND IT IS GOOD TO SEE A FUTURE BATMAN.  THIS STORY GETS A 5/5 FOR SHEER COOLNESS!


SpartanNerds overall review of Detective Comics #27…It was all I hoped it would be!  5/5!



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Groovy Dork list

So I am going to create a new feature….The Groovy Dork list!  You’ll see how it works.  Also, I’m experimenting with pictures!

GROOVY  Detective Comics #19 is 80 pages!  Because I am a subscriber, that is a 600% value!

DORK    Anyone heard the song “Icky Thump” by the White Stripes?  I know it isn’t a new song, but I listened to it in its entirety yesterday when it played on 93.3 The Planet a few days ago.  This is seriously the worst song I think I have ever heard.  And I have a degree in music!  I am a lover of nearly all things RAWK.  But this is just wrong.  Give my my noise rock, death metal, Ben Folds FIve, Weezer, oldies, classic, whatever.  But not this.  My ears are infected now after hearing that.

GROOVY    Batman #19 came with a special cover for subscribers, and included a free digital copy!

DORK     Alysia?  Really?  Maybe she was being sarcastic?  I am referring to Batgirl #19.  Was this really necessary?  Now I have to keep this away from my children until they are older.  It’s a good story, though.


GROOVY    The Russell Stover’s S’more cookie is over the top!  I got one from the Dollar General Market here at the edge of the world.

DORK    I have lost lots of Magic The Gathering matches…..I probably don’t have a good shot tomorrow either, with my four color humans and angels deck.  But I am a slave to my habit.  So I’ll eat my candy with my pork and beans, and drive myself over to Mad Max’s tomorrow night.  Maybe I can post this as GROOVY sometime.

How I see comics……

          The SpartanNerd is a bit of a cheapskate.  So his comics come by the old fashioned snail-mail…..(I save a little money that way.)  Such is the way of a breeder.  What does this mean for a blog about comics?  Well, it means that after ComicVine, Pop Culture Network, and whoever else has already reviewed them, I will have my two cents to add….Literally two cents.  On a RARE occasion, I will get a book on the Wednesday that it comes out.  Sometimes, I get them over two weeks late.  This sucks pretty bad….

          So what books am I subscribed too?  I jumped on DC Comics The New 52 wagon when all that news dropped.  I began buying the digital books.  This was OK, but I missed the nostalgia of owning the actual paper books I stockpiled as a kid, thus the subscriptions.  I started here because 1) Marvel messes around too much with Spider-Man, who I love just as he was in the 1990’s pre-clone          Todd MacFarlane era, 2. Big Iconic characters that used to be too intimidating with a 50 year back-story…such as Batman and Superman, would now be more accessible.  3.  It seemed like a good place to start with stuff I wasn’t SOOO familiar with in the first place.  So I subscribed to five titles that I read the most.  Detective Comics, Batman, Batman and Robin, Action Comics, and Justice League.  I have since dropped Justice League (too much Shazam) and picked up Aquaman.  Why no Batman: The Dark Knight?  I didn’t care for the art, but I have picked up a couple of the books.

           It also turns out that here at the edge of the world there are a couple of fine establishments that sell comics, closest to me is Mad Max’s Comics and Games, but also on the west side of Sparkle City there is the highly regarded and established Tangled Web.  I STILL find myself darkening comic store doors on Wednesdays and weekends.  What books do I pick up?  Believe it or not, Batgirl!  I started reading Justice League of America.  I bought Ninja Turtles for awhile.  I picked up every Masters of the Universe comic I could.  I also bought a major haul of books from a Tangled Web recently in a doorbuster sale.  I grabbed almost every associated title that went with “The Court of the Owls,” and “Death of The Family” when those stories were hot.  I also began reading the new Thor book, which has been pretty cool so far.

           Part of my thinking in this was of course that I would not miss any important details.  So How did I miss THE DEATH OF DAMIAN WAYNE/ROBIN?  DC really ticked me off on this one.  Here I am a near hardcore fan of Batman, loving the whole New 52 take on Robin….And they kill him off in the one book I haven’t been reading…..Batman Inc.  AND I find out by reading Batgirl…which I picked up at the store thinking it would be spoiler free (even though it said “Requiem” on the cover?  That was cold, DC Comics.)

          In the next few posts over the next few days, I will try to bring anyone who cares…. (anyone out there?)……up to date on what I have thought about each of my regular titles.  I might just distill the Bat books down into their story elements of Court of the Owls, Death of the Family, and Requiem.  I’ll address Justice League, Superman, and some of the other books I have picked up as well.  Stay tuned, Hub City Geeks!

SpartanNerd