Did you know that Peter Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin, and DC Comics have always kept their luggage regularly refrigerated? Well, why else do you think they created the following comic book, published in February, 2016, relating to a... coff-coff... cold case! Yes. You may now laugh. Or maybe not.

TO QUOTE Joan of Arc: 'Sniff-Sniff! Can you smell burning?'.

On a conceptual level this second part of 'The Bronze Age' is a story easily divisible by two. One part of it is focused on Bat-Jim, Harvey Bullock, plus the rest of their crew, trying to track down and apprehend last month's serial killer. Where as the other part of the story is focused on the serial killer himself, who's currently in the act of getting his hands on his next victim.

In this case, the victim appears to be a young college student that's being nabbed because the killer wants to dress her up as Joan of Arc. But fear not, Bat-fans, Jim and the gang manage to stop him before he goes too far, doing so by figuring out a number of issues relating to his modus operandi.   

1) The killer dresses up and kills people that resemble noted icons who've been the first people to do, well, whatever -- i.e. the first American president and the first American in space.  
2) Each icon is historical in context.
3) The killer removes bones from the people he murders.
4) Each of the represented icons has a statue of themselves located somewhere in Gotham City.

Now there would have been a fifth point on this list, a point relating to each of the victims being male. But of course, we discover this theory to be false as soon as Jim catches up to this killer and stops him in the act. Stop, not capture. 

The tale then winds down in the last couple of pages by setting up next months episode. We initially have a scene where Jim talks to Harvey while he gazes at his daughter from across the street (Again). This is then followed by a scene where the serial killer dresses up his next victims, ready for the kill (Ouch! That must hurt!).

By the way, before I forget, I did enjoy the dual meaning to the Aparo street reference. Not only does it refer to the now classic Batman artist, Jim Aparo, but this name also refers to its Greek translation, aparo meaning horse, which we then see on the final page.

Another shout out has to go to Peter Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin. In Peter's case, I did like the way that he gave each of his characters some much needed character (more on that point later), as well as by making this issue of Detective Comics into an actual detective type tale -- it's about time. And in Fernando's case, well, what can I say about his marvelous artwork other people haven't said already? It's well composed. It's very expressive. It's evenly paced. Plus I have to admit, so far I'd say he's drawn the best Bat-Jim yet.

So overall, yeah, you guessed it; I did enjoy reading this issue of Detective. The artwork was brilliant and the story in itself was equal parts charming, evolving, and engrossing to read. Whatever next? More horseplay with the Batman methinks, Ha!

OK. So let me think. What song can I come up with that's about the first of something? Oh! Wait a minute! I know what song to choose. That one sung by Barry White, called -- don't groan -- 'My First, My Last, My Everything'.

Last month I compared Detective Comics #48 to the man who murdered John Lennon: Mark David Chapman. So this month I thought I do a similar thing, yet in this instance compare the book to the man who attacked John's fellow Beatle, George Harrison: Michael Abram... the nutter.

Harvey Bullock inadvertently unveils a hidden passion of his near the start of this issue. So, just for fun -- slap-slap-slap -- let's see if you can guess what that subject is out of the following eight options? Could it be...

  1. Cosplay.
  2. Smoking fish.
  3. Porn.
  4. Space exploration and astronomy.
  5. The filmography belonging to the famous German film director, FW Murnau.
  6. Morris Dancing.
  7. Carpet bagging.
  8. Ferlatio.
Nuff said.

DETECTIVE COMICS #49 DETECTIVE COMICS #49 Reviewed by David Andrews on February 22, 2016 Rating: 5

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