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Detective Comics 881 Review

Updated on August 17, 2011

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Detective Comics 881 cover by Jock
Detective Comics 881 cover by Jock


This is ridiculous.

That’s how I started my review of last issue, saying how great this run has been. Well, here we are with the last issue of the run by Scott Snyder, Jock and Francesco Francavilla...and it is brilliant. This issue is almost a double-sized issue, so you get almost a full comics worth of art from Jock and Francesco each, in the same book. Before this, the two artists had different stories they were drawing, in the same book, but this issue finally brought everything together, in one of the most gorgeous issues I have ever seen.

For anyone that hasn’t read this, I highly recommend this whole run, 871 through 881. This final issue ends the storyline, that was basically the back-up to the main Jock story this whole time, about Commissioner Gordon’s son coming back, “reformed”. Obviously he is not, and now is out to prove that there isn’t anything wrong with him, it’s everyone else that has a problem. He kidnaps his sister, Barbara, and tells her his whole plan. Honestly, when he was telling the story about when his father threw him into Arkham for a few days, to “scare him straight”, I got chills. I couldn’t believe they were going to tie him into the events of The Killing Joke, but he was lying. The fact that I totally believed it, is a great testament to the writing in this book. This was an amazing end to the best run of Detective since the Batwoman arc in 2009.

Scott Snyder got his first big break on American Vampire, where he got Stephen King to write the back-up story. That is just insane that Stephen King is writing the back-up in anything, but American Vampire is incredible. After that, he has been put on a lot of different books, but his best work to date has been this run. The fact that, in 11 issues, has told four complete stories, one of which was mostly a back-up, with two ridiculously talented artists, should be enough to get him any book he wants, from here on out. And I will read it.

Jock has brought his A-game to this book, as always, and this last issue has some horrific images, that are drawn wonderfully. Barbara stabs James in the eye witha knife, but he survives. The next shot of him coming after her, knife still in the eye, is really disgusting. The blade is lodged between the socket and the eye, and it’s pushing on the eye.....I can’t look at it anymore. Francavilla is no slouch either, but I honestly don’t know how he’s doing it. He has two monthyl books coming out now, plus he’s doing all kinds of covers. Less talented artists (a.k.a., most artists) have problems with getting one issue out a month, but he has been doing both Detective and Black Panther (which both came out this week), and neither feels rushed, or less-than amazing.

All in all, I am sad to see this creative team go, but I can’t wait to see what happens with the entire-line reboot next month, and see what all three of these guys are doing next.

5 out of 5

- joawmeens


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