DETECTIVE COMICS #13

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[ DON'T DUCK THOSE DISCOUNTS
Isn't it great to see new creators on this book! I'm sure its now defiantly worth another look. Batman agrees. The Penguin eats cheese. And rest of the gang want to throw me a left-hook. Wait a minute! You know who the gang are, don't you? Writer: John Layman; Artists: Andy Clarke and Jason Fabok; plus Publisher: DC Comics in November 2012.

So what’s the STORY morning glory?
Simply put, ‘Duck and Cover’ illustrates why the evil mastermind known as the Penguin is such a complete and utter tosser. You see, old bird-face has hatched a dastardly three phase plan to get rid of his most feared opposition.

No. Not the Batman. Bruce Wayne.

  • Step One -- Order his henchmen to distract ‘pointy ears’ with a series of burglaries situated all over Gotham City. So that...
  • Step Two -- ... the kung-fu assassin, called Ghost Dragon, is free to shoot
    Bruce Wayne. Just before...
  • Step Three -- the Penguin himself halt's Bruce from opening a new community center christened in his mother’s name, Martha.

Now I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that this sounds like a pretty straight forward plan. Right? But did the Penguin factor in Batman’s persistence or Nightwing's presence? Moreover, what about the temerity of the Ghost Dragon also?

Maybe. Maybe not. Although his mother would be proud nonetheless.

Meanwhile, in the back-up feature, Martin from Miami is taught a very valuable life lesson by... BANG!... Penguins top dog, Ogilvy.

What is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Alright, so this might just be a 'me thing'; but I really liked the name of Penguins second in command, Ogilvy. I presume that this has something to do with one of my old school mates, Mark Ogilvy -- because just like this big sod, he too had a menacing yet relatable way of holding himself.

Plus, without a shadow of a doubt, I did like the majority of Batman's opening monologue as well...

'On Tuesday, Bruce Wayne donated $350,000 to Gotham City Orthodontic Association. So come Friday night, I don't feel too bad about this [Batman punches a hood on the face]'.

Ha! Isn't life ironic at times?

What was the BEST thing about this issue?
Wow! Isn't this new creative team of John Layman and Jason Fabok just great? Both of them remind me a lot of Doug Moench's and Paul Gulacy's work on the Batman story 'Prey' -- because they've managed to mix simple storytelling and bold illustrations together, making this dynamic read much more exciting and easy to follow. Also, kudos goes out to Andy Clarke too -- he held in their just nicely I found.

What was the WORST thing about this issue?
My one small gripe with this issue was that section where Batman was rushing all over the place, trying to stop those crimes from happening in Gotham. For me, this segment wasn't signposted clearly to feel imposing enough, and came across more like 'a distraction' than a 'real threat'.  

What was the most CREATIVE thing about this issue?
STORY: Granted, it wasn't the most creative thing I've ever seen in a comic book, but I did enjoy the double twist at the end of it, with the Penguin getting the upper hand, and Ghost Dragon suddenly jumping into the mix.

Wow! What a nice cliff-hanger for next issue!  

ART: Both Andy Clarke and Jason Fabok are really great artists. And in my own opinion, the way Jason draws Batman is how Batman should be drawn -- bold, dynamic, and menacing. Where as Andy has a nice way of expressing character through his work -- subtle, yet full of life.

If you had to CAST TWO CHARACTERS in this comic book, who would they be and why?
OGILVY: No. I'm not going to cast my mate Mark in this role -- I don't have a picture of him. Though I do have a picture of Johnny Whitworth from 'CSI: Miami'; and can see him shooting...

MARTIN FROM MIAMI: ... his one time co-star, Jonathan Togo, in the face. No again? Oh! Must be a Miami thing? Ha!

If this issue had a MOVIE TAG LINE, what would it be?
Whose Going To Get Their Mama's Name Above The Door? The Bat Or The Bird? Gotham Decides.

If this issue were a MOVIE, an OBJECT, or a piece of MUSIC, what would that be and why? 
Conceptually this yarn was about one person tricking someone else to look elsewhere, whilst behind the scenes something much different was going on. Therefore, I would like to compare it to the magical technique called Legerdemain. Check out this clip to see what I mean...




See?

FINAL thoughts...
Now I don't want to sound like a mediocre-judge on an over-rated and over-produced talent show, but my God, wasn't that a great new start for Detective! I just found the complete package a much needed turn-around for this series, focusing it in both dynamic and relevant proportions. The story told a story. The art was on mark. And the back-up feature complemented the main-feature to boot -- without it feeling disposable in any way shape or form.

Smashing. Keep on trucking. 

MARKS out of 10? 9