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Detective Comics 880 review: All Joking aside...

Updated on August 17, 2011

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Honestly, look at it.
Honestly, look at it. | Source

This is just ridiculous.

There is no way a single book can be this good. Since Jock came onto Detective Comics at issue 871, this book has been insane. The art has been beautiful, between him and Francesco Francavilla, and the story has been fantastic. But this issue. Wow.

First, lets start with the cover. I know last week I talked about how the Daredevil cover was one of the best covers of the year (read more about that here). This cover makes that look amateurish, and bland. The bats taking off, making the top half of Joker’s face, is downright scary. The Bat Signals in his eyes is a cool touch, too, showing his obsession with The Bat. I also like how they are transitioning him from Nicholson Joker (just the stretched smile, with make-up) to Ledger Joker (actual scars, less make-up). He is a way more terrifying and effective villain that way.

Anyway, the story is pretty good. Jim Gordon’s wife (ex-wife? I don’t actually remember) is attacked, and is poisoned with the Joker Toxin. Dick is treating her, and Jim warns Barbara that she might be next. Batman (also Grayson, not Bruce yet, in this book) goes to Arkham, to follow The Joker. He finds the trail, and follows. When he catches up with The Joker, he is actually crazier than I remember him being, which is saying something. It is also really cool with his speech balloons, it is a different font, not in straight lines. It makes it somewhat creepier, for some reason.

The Joker can tell right away, that this Batman is not “his Bats”. He goes on this whole long rant, while attacking Batman, who was blinded when the lights were turned on when Dicks night-vision was turned on. Dick finally gets the upper hand, and asks The Joker why he keeps going after the Gordon’s. I’m not going to spoil the end of this book, but the twist is epic.

This Scott Snyder run has been really great, starting with 871, but this issue stands out. The twist is really well done, although you could kind of see it coming from the end of last issue. However, it still hit really hard, and the fact that the last little bit (where “someone” gets attacked by “someone else”…you know what I mean) was at the bottom of the panel, almost as a throwaway image, or an unimportant piece of the story, is a very cool choice. When this run comes out in trade, it will be phenomenal, but you should get this issue. If only to put it in a frame, and hang it up.


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