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The smartest thing DC’s done since Greg Rucka left Detective
Comics was putting Scott Snyder on the book. Snyder is of course the
shiny new thing at DC with his hit series American Vampire from Vertigo. His run on Detective has been very interesting as it continues to focus on Dick Grayson or "Gotham’s Batman" and
number one super cop Jim Gordon.
This issue focuses solely on Gordon and the return of this son James. Gordon is looking into an old case about the Peter Pan murders. It was a series of kid murders in which the attacker left the window open in the child’s bedroom, but showed no other sign of entry. Gordon is following up on a recently released convict named Roy Blout who he suspects in the murderer. The story flashes to the past and the beginning of the case as well. Gordon is taking his family away from Gotham for a weekend and he’s brought James with him. James is from this first marriage and the kid is creepy. Soon after arriving Barbara’s friend goes missing and James is the prime suspect. They never find her body though.
Characters like the Joker can be scary at times, but mostly he’s so over used that he’s lost the luster of fear that surrounded him once. That’s how most of Batman’s rogue’s are, devoid of an actually fear. They never do enough to actually make them scary since they’re serial criminals. That’s to say their always going to try another crime, another attempt to defeat Batman. With James… he’s just a scary, creepy dude. As a child he was suspected of murder and all sorts of foul play… as a child!
Frankly James is the scariest “villain” that’s come out of Gotham in a long while. He’s smart and dangerous and leaves no trace to even remotely connect him to a crime. Here’s a small boy that is able to kill and dispose of a body without getting caught. Even a pedophile serial killer is afraid of him.
Snyder does a great job of making sure this comic lives up to the “Detective” in its title. A lot of times this series is just another Batman book with more punches than mysteries. Snyder has added one mystery case for Dick to solve and one for Gordon to solve. Eventually the paths will cross since it’s inevitable, but until then it’s a great mystery waiting to be solved.
The art in the book is solid and artist Francesco Francavilla take the mostly Bat free book and makes it interesting and beautiful. His art is what makes James truly haunting with his dead stare and emotionless face. His coloring for the books also adds a layer of realism to the story. Red is the theme of the book and its very fitting for the theme. Francavilla is a great storyteller and this issue is a great addition to his career.
Overall this issue is great. I did take one issue with it. Jim’s first wife’s name is Barbara… his daughter from another marriage is also named Barbara. Who the hell didn’t think that one through? What person names their daughter after their ex-wife? What second wife would let this happen? It just seems strange, but I’m sure that’s more on the DC side of things. Check out this issue if you’re truly into Batman and love it when he’s all about solving crimes.
Overall Score – 9.0/10
*Great Issue If You're Following The Series*