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March 1937 is a date with many landmarks for its time: the actor, Warren Beatty, was born – 1st permanent automobile license plates were issued – Fred Allen & Jack Benny meet on radio – the 1st blood bank is formed in Chicago – writer, H. P. Lovecraft, dies – and it was the month Detective Comics number 1 hit the stands. And now, all those years later... SOB! The last story of this great title is Written by Scott Snyder; Drawn by Jock; and Published by DC (Sieg Heil) Comics in September 2011.

James Gordon Junior has kidnapped his ‘sister’, Barbra, thus giving him the opportunity he needs, to reminisce about times past, and... errr... other associated endeavours. OK, I am sure that for some people this may be a somewhat detracting pursuit. However, for poor wheelchair bound Barbra, she has two knifes stuck into her lifeless leg’s, making her confined time with James a very deterring affair.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Gotham City, Dick (Batman) Grayson and Commissioner (James’ Dad) Gordon both try there best to track down and find James any which way they can. Strangely enough though, James is better at this than they are, and he manages to contact Batman while he is in transit, and then tells him a story about his own past, reveals to Batman the true nature of his recent past, as well as vocalising suspicions relating to Batman’s real identity.  

What then transpires is a bold and captivating encounter, as knifes fly – Barbra screams – Batman pounces – Gordon saves – James dives – and the fate of Gotham City is left hanging in the air.

The adventure continues.

And so, the end is here, and so I face, my final issue of Detective Comics. My friend, I will say it clear, this is a issue... that... that... DAMN! Why is it so difficult to come up with a word that rhymes with comics? Oh, I don’t know, I blame Dan Diddidididido myself – that – plus the cancellation of this particular volume of this great series. Granted, I know why this is happening – as I am nigh on sure everyone else does too – as it is a way of attracting new readers, whilst promoting DC’s new line of digital wares. But what about the rest of us, huh? The fans that have stayed with this series for so long that we think of it as an old friend! What does this new ‘number one’ do for us? Present us with a new take on a time and tested character? No – been done many times before – and never with a drastic measure such as this.

Still, in a funny way, Gordons’ closing remarks in this issue sublimely conveys to us readers the mentality required for ‘what comes next’ – “So we are both here for the long haul – I guess so – Well then, all that’s left to do is hang our hats, belly up to the bar, and be ready for what comes next”. Now was this deliberate by writer, Scott Snyder, I wonder – to egg us ‘die hard’ fans on, to continue with the future of Detective? Maybe? Maybe not? Though I would like to think that this sentiment conveyed, was a tracked to ground some of the emotional turmoil that some readers are feeling at the moment.

Anyway, enough about the future of this title, what about this issue then, huh? Any good? Yep – as always – this ‘concluding part’ of the James Gordon Junior opus, did leave us scratching our heads and wanting more – and it does this for three reasons.

  • Firstly, this exposition heavy narrative tale gives us a profile of Junior that is very compelling to read. Well, were some of things that he has done in the past – as well as what his father has done to him in the past – real or not? Or was this just a mind game by Junior to justify his raison d'etre? It was nice how this wasn’t really resolved or clarified – and just makes you want to see Junior again in he future, to see if any of this was true or not.
  • Secondly – its has been said – vocalised – and then alluded to – the Gordon’s know of the Batmen’s true identities. WOW! Even though this was something that I was suspecting for quite some time now, boy-oh-boy, it still stocked me when James called Batman ‘Dick’, and when Gordon thanked Dick for ‘everything he’s done’. In some way this tit-bit was better then the story itself, and did jar me enough to slap myself on my own head, so I could concentrate and read the remainder of this issue. However, I do wonder if this facet will remain within the DCnU? Or alternatively fade away – like some of the other great stuff that this title has done.
  • And thirdly, Jock and Snyder, what a team!!!! They are just great together – and I cannot praise them enough for what they have managed to do with this book. This creative team will be sorely missed.

Overall, what can I say about Detective that I have not said in the past? It’s a great title, and I will miss its lofty number once the reboot begins. I don’t want to abase DC any more about making this silly decision, instead, I want to celebrate a great title in a way that it deserves, so...


See you soon Tec.


DETECTIVE COMICS #881 DETECTIVE COMICS #881 Reviewed by David Andrews on August 24, 2011 Rating: 5
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