Detective Comics #789 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: The Randori Stone: Part 2

Written by: Paul Bolles
Penciled by: Mike Lilly
Inked by: Dan Davis
Colored by: Jason Wright
Lettered by: Clem Robins
Associate Editor: Michael Wright
Editor: Bob Schreck

Story Title: The Tailor: Part One

Written by: A.J. Lieberman
Penciled by: Jean-Jacques Dzialowski
Inked by: Dan Green
Colored by: Giulia Brusco
Lettered by: Clem Robins
Assistant Editor: Nachie Castro
Editor: Matt Idelson

Publisher: DC Comics

Even though uber-scribe Ed Brubaker made a hasty departure from Detective Comics, the editing team of Bob Schreck and Michael Wright have kept things running quite smoothly. Speedy writing changes can really throw a book into disarray, but thankfully that hasn’t happened here. In the three months since Brubaker departed, there was a fun story inspired by Alice In Wonderland, written by Brian K. Vaughn (Y: The Last Man), not to mention the solid two-part story, by Paul Bolles, that concludes this issue.

“The Randori Stone” has been a perfect fill-in mystery tale that fits the usual style of ‘Tec. Eddie Hurst was on death row and quite innocent of the murder spree, that landed him in prison. Last month, just prior to the D.A. reopening the case, Hurst suddenly goes crazy killing, and maiming as he escapes prison. Batman brings him down, but gets a piece of the Randori Stone, which imbues him with strange powers. As last issue concluded, Kira Kelly, a waitress that witnessed the crime, sends Batman after the “real” killer.

This month, Batman is even more of an unstoppable force than usual. He busts his way into the criminal lair of John Cole; the man he believes actually committed the murders in question. The out of control Batman has been deceived and his crazed state leads him to the very pinnacle of brutality, and maybe murder. This is a deranged Batman unlike any we have seen before.

The action of the tale is well rendered by Mike Lilly. He captures this edgy Batman with a nice flair. The action packed fight scenes are well staged, and although light on dialogue, never a trouble to comprehend. Lilly did some fine work on Nightwing recently. His style fits very well in the world of Batman, and I hope to see more of him in the future.

This is a really solidly plotted story; the fight scene with Batman and Cole’s goons is well paced. It’s nice to see a common hood with a bit of brains. Of course, against this new super powered Batman these guys don’t stand a chance. Bolles has done several fill-in stories on ‘Tec recently. He ties everything together quite nicely. There’s a nice, although relatively easy to see, plot twist at issues end. I’ve been impressed with his work, and I’d really like to see Bolles get a lengthier run on the book.

Next month, new regular series scribe Anderson Gabrych comes on board, hopefully the editors picked the right man that will keep Detective Comics toward the top of my read list each month.

Batter up!

Speaking of new teams on Bat-books. The backup story, “The Tailor,” serves to give us another peek at what to expect from Gotham Knights in a couple of months. A.J. Lieberman pens this compelling look at the man that supplies the Bat-Family with their armor, plus who knows else. There’s an interesting dilemma posed by Lieberman, which should make the remainder of the plot interesting.

Lieberman did some excellent work on Harley Quinn recently. His work here, not to mention the preview inserted into most DC books last week, shows that we have some really exciting moments in store when Lieberman takes on Gotham Knights. I’ll certainly be there!