Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Death of the Family Part 6: Detective Comics #15

Well, look at Detective Comics! It gets a blog all to itself!

Ok, so I was going to review Amazing Spider-Man #699 today as well, but it's not available in the store closest to me, so I have to wait until tomorrow when I can go to another store.

It's ok, though, because we have DC's flagship brand in the middle of an exciting arc, all while simultaneously serving as a Death of the Family tie-in. So let's talk about it!

Most who have been reading this blog know that before John Layman started writing this book, it was pretty inconsistent. Under Tony S. Daniel, the arcs went from solid, to promising but unsatisfying, to lackluster and incredibly incoherent.

Layman has changed all that, and although the Penguin has been getting A LOT of play lately, this is actually a really compelling piece. Penguin has just ordered his right-hand man, Ogilvy, to bury Poison Ivy alive; however, that comes at the same time that Joker needs Penguin for something he's planning.

This leads to Penguin leaving the empire to Ogilvy temporarily, and it would seem that Ogilvy, now calling himself Emperor Penguin, is looking to use this chance to seize control.

Meanwhile, Batman and Clayface are fighting, as Clayface explains that he's now married to Ivy. This raises a red flag in Batman's head, and he immediately gets away and goes to work trying to figure out whether this marriage is real and how he should handle the situation.

This book has actual logic, detective work and the Joker angle is subtle. It's a tie-in, but it's showing more of a ripple effect that Joker is having - and not just forcing the Joker into any and all situations.

I was very impressed with what I saw, and the back-up story does a nice job of showing how Clayface and Ivy came into their situation, as well as teasing the next appearance of either character in order to get a follow-up.

The art is really strong and the panels were easy to follow. My only issue is that the die-cast cover is exactly the same as the one Batman #13 had. It felt kind of redundant and I kind of wish it had been Cobblepot's face (or the teased cover above). Oh well.

All in all, it was a really good issue and if you haven't been following Layman's work on Detective, now is definitely a good time.

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