A Detective Comics 2022 Annual Micro-Review – A Villain Problem

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

TITLE: Detective Comics 2022 Annual
AUTHOR: Ram V
ARTISTS:
Christopher Mitten, Rafael Albuquerque, Hayden Sherman, Lee Loughridge (Colorist), Deron Bennett (Letterer). Cover by Evan Cagle.

RELEASED: November 29, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

My eyes glazed over a little bit on this one. Detective Comics has, for my money, a bit of a villain problem right now in that they’re just not that interesting. This annual attempts to fill in some of their background by taking us back to Gotham circa 1776, and it’s simply not that interesting. We see 1776 versions of Batman, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy, which doesn’t do anything for me.

I can’t throw a lot of stones at the execution of the issue, though. Particularly when it comes to Hayden Sherman, who handles the majority of the art.

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A Detective Comics #1066 Micro-Review – Mixing It Up

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Detective Comics 1066, cover, November 2022, Evan CagleTITLE: Detective Comics #1066
AUTHORS: Ram V, Simon Spurrier
ARTISTS:
Ivan Reis, Hayden Sherman, Danny Miki (Inker), Dave Stewart (Colorist), Nick Filardi (Colorist), Ariana Maher (Letterer), Steve Wands (Letterer). Cover by Evan Cagle.

RELEASED: November 22, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

These days, Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock have their own detective. I dig that because, as we’ve seen a bit in recent issues of Detective, it allows Gordon to have his boots on the ground a little more and mix it up alongside Batman.

They’re doing something a little weird with Two-Face here. The character’s good side is in control, but he’s pretending the bad side is in control. All the while, the bad side is talking to Harvey Dent via his inner monologue. It’s a little twisted up, but interesting if you can follow along.

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A Detective Comics #1065 Micro-Review – Downright Trippy

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Detective Comics 1065, cover, 2022, Evan CagleTITLE: Detective Comics #1065
AUTHORS: Ram V, Simon Spurrier
ARTISTS:
Rafael Albuquerque, Hayden Sherman, Dave Stewart (Colorist), Nick Filardi (Colorist), Ariana Maher (Letterer). Steve Wands (Letterer). Cover by Evan Cagle.

RELEASED: October 25, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

There’s a moment in this issue where Jim Gordon is with a vulnerable Batman, and it’s suggested that he take Batman’s mask off. He replies that he thinks he knows who’s under there, but he doesn’t want to know. I loved that. That’s perfect. That’s the philosophy Gordon should have as it relates to Batman.

I was excited to see Hayden Sherman’s name on the back-up for this issue. He’s been doing great work at IDW and Image recently. Sherman and Nick Filardi give us a Two-Face story that gets downright trippy.

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Batman – One Bad Day: Two-Face #1 Micro-Review – Sins of the Son

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Batman - One Bad Day Two Face 1, cover, 2022, Javier Fernandez, Jordie BellaireTITLE: Batman – One Bad Day: Two-Face #1
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki
ARTISTS:
Javier Fernandez, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Ariana Maher (Letterer)

RELEASED: September 20, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue is centered around a seemingly reformed Harvey Dent throwing a birthday/retirement party for his father. Kudos to Mariko Tamaki, as I don’t think we’ve met Harvey’s dad before, have we? I know he’s been referenced…

There’s a great sense of dread that permeates much of this story. It’s like reading a Greek tragedy. You pretty much know what the ending is going to be, and you know it’s not going to be good. But somehow you can’t look away.

What’s more, it’s a beautifully drawn and colored Greek tragedy, thanks to Javier Fernandez and Jordie Bellaire.

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A Detective Comics #1063 Micro-Review – Digging Up the Maestro

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Detective Comics 1063, cover, 2022, Evan CagleTITLE: Detective Comics #1063
AUTHORS: Ram V, Simon Spurrier
ARTISTS:
Rafael Albuquerque, Dani, Dave Stewart (Colorist), Ariana Maher (Letterer), Steve Wands (Letterer). Cover by Evan Cagle.
RELEASED:
August 23, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue digs up a Batman villain that even I’d never heard of: Payne Cardine, a.k.a. the Maestro. I wouldn’t mind seeing Ram V and Albuquerque do more with him.

I’m assuming the mask we see Harvey Dent/Two-Face wear in this issue is a Ram V/Albuquerque creation? I certainly haven’t seen it before. It fits with the gothic, operatic aesthetic they’re going with.

These Jim Gordon back-ups definitely put the detective in Detective Comics. It’s got that grim, gritty, pulpy, noir flavor that’s very much in sync with Batman’s world.

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A Batman ’89 #6 Micro-Review – Catwoman ’92, Anyone?

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Batman 89 6, cover, 2022, Joe QuinonesTITLE: Batman ’89 #6
AUTHOR: Sam Hamm
ARTISTS:
Joe Quinones, Leonardo Ito (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)

RELEASED: July 5, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

With the benefit of full hindsight, this story really didn’t need Catwoman. (Not to mention the alteration to her costume.) If anything I’d have given her a miniseries of her own, Catwoman ’92. Heck, it’s not too late…

Batman ’89 was an interesting experiment, with some excellent art from Joe Quinones and Leonardo Ito. But it doesn’t succeed the way Superman ’78 did. I’d have kept the story more simple, with less emphasis on the political and financial sides of Two-Face’s attack on Gotham.

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A Batman ’89 #5 Micro-Review – Stache or No Stache?

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Batman 89 5, cover, 2022, Joe QuinonesTITLE: Batman ’89 #5
AUTHOR: Sam Hamm
ARTISTS:
Joe Quinones, Leonardo Ito (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)

RELEASED: April 12, 2022

I can’t help but wonder, had he played the role of Two-Face would Billy Dee Williams have kept his trademark mustache? He has it in Batman ’89 and there’s an awkwardness to it that I’m just now noticing…

Great cover by Quinones. He’s great at capturing the likenesses of Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfiefer, Williams, etc. And it’s a nice callback to Batman Returns. I still don’t understand the purple that’s been added to the Catwoman suit. But I suppose I’ll take the bad with the good.

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A Batman ’89 #4 Micro-Review – Ninja Robin

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Batman 89 4, cover, 2021, Joe QuinonesTITLE: Batman ’89 #4
AUTHOR: Sam Hamm
ARTISTS: Joe Quinones, Leonardo Ito (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)

RELEASED: December 7, 2021

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’m not a fan of this look for Robin. Too much green, not enough red, and a little too far in the ninja direction.

Still, Hamm writes some nice chemistry between Bruce Wayne and our Robin, Drake Winston. I can believe they’d be a team.

The violence in this story between the police and Gotham’s African American community feel very current, despite this taking place in…the mid ’90s?

Quinones draws Two-Face with a fedora in this issue. I like that. It gives him an old school gangster feel.

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A Batman ’89 #3 Micro-Review – What Might Have Been

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Batman 89 3, cover, 2021, Joe QuinonesTITLE: Batman ’89 #3
AUTHORS: Sam Hamm
ARTISTS: Joe Quinones, Leonardo Ito (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)
RELEASED: October 12, 2021

This issue starts out with a cool “What if?” scenario that looks at Harvey Dent not becoming Two-Face. We don’t necessarily see that kind of thing often. So that’s cool.

It still baffles me that they changed the Catwoman costume. I just don’t get it. I mean…why?

Apparently the Batman ’89 universe’s Robin isn’t Dick Grayson or Tim Drake, but a mechanic named Drake Winston. But he’s actually pretty likable. He’s got a good look, too. So no complaints here.

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A Batman ’89 #2 Micro-Review – Costume Complaints

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Batman 89 2, cover, 2021, Joe QuinonesTITLE: Batman ’89 #3
AUTHOR: Sam Hamm
ARTISTS: Joe Quinones, Leonardo Ito (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)
RELEASED: September 14, 2021

For some bizarre reason, Batman ’89 tinkers with the Michelle Pfiefer Catwoman costume. Not sure why you’d do that. That suit is every bit as iconic as the Burtonverse Batman costume.

On the subject of costumes, I’m not necessarily a fan of the direction they’ve taken the Robin suit. It’s a little too ninja for my liking.

Credit where credit is due, though: This is a fairly unique take on Harvey Dent. And he’s at the center of the story, which is right where he should be.

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