Josh: Ok, how great was this issue? Am I right?
Pat: Are you right? I guess that depends on your perspective. I have three thoughts on this
- Art was fucking fantastic. I can see exactly what made this teams run Flash work so well
as the rough lines on here and Manipul (this is the dude that does majority of the art right)
conveys a fluidity of movement from panel to the panel that is dynamic, engaging and
completely unique in style. I always say that Capullo is doing the best art work in comics
right now in that he’s able to draw all the detailed architecture that makes Gotham City
but if Manipul can keep up this work he’s giving him a run for his money. The panel layout
plays into all this perfectly as it’s able to convey the scope of the city scape with the action
happening on the page. Truly fucking awesome.
- Story was good if not a little bit cliched. I like how they are introducing the crime
element into the narrative as that’s one of my favorite Batman elements that has been
in short supply in the New 52 iteration (or really Batman overall since Morrison started
writing him going forward) and this really had it in full force. Gotham City always seems
like Detroit if it were the size of New York City with criminals that dress up in costume and
I like that they are bringing that element to the fore front for the majority of the issue. The
women from the non profit getting $$ out of Bruce Wayne’s by appealing to his human side
with a twist at the end of the issue feels like a framework I’ve seen before but you know
only one issue in so I can’t knock it too much. I’m not sure what Damien has to do with this
but I’m really hoping it’s tasteful because if not that is going to regret spending one cent on
this run but again one issue in so who knows.
- Dialogue; comics in general need a “jive consultant” to monitor dudes that are talking
street slang and this comic is a very good example of that. What kept from ever reading
more then a couple issued of this teams Flash run was that I felt like I was reading from a
fucking Michael Bay script. I can’t stand Michael Bay dialogue attached to some amazing
special effects and Meghan Fox in her prime so I have hard time dealing with it in a Flash
comic. This is something that seems to bother me more then other people but I think it’s an
important part of distinguishing your character. It’s not as bad here but the beginning with
the dudes talking about drugs and all that was a bit of a sore spot to me.
Tell me what did you like about it? Am I’m missing something? I’m usually missing
Josh: How about the way that Manapul (yes, he drew the majority of the Flash issues) drew a huge city
scene over several panels and then had Batman move through them? Pretty rad. It terms of style
it reminded me of Matt Kindt (what little I’ve seen of his).
Story wise, yes, very cliched. In terms of “This is stuff we’ve seen many times in Batman” I
mean. It was in my top 5 that week, but overall it didn’t feel like everything came together.
Like why was there a motorbike race in the middle? A few things detracted from the narrative.
Dialogue was weird too, I admit. Other than those criminals in the beginning I thought the rest
I do think it was a big step for Buccellato in terms of writing, some of his strongest I’ve seen.
Quality wise it does go up and down depending on how much work he has going on (tie-ins,
other series, etc). In Flash I noticed that some stuff was being seeded for later on and people
didn’t notice at the time, which caused confusion. And the art was always the best thing about it.
It could also take awhile on arcs for the team to get things going in a cohesive way. It was cool
that the book came back to Bruce rebuilding Gotham which Snyder hasn’t mentioned since Court
of Owls or Batman #1. It’s been awhile and should come up in the future. Also, Zero Year got
mentioned. To me, this isn’t the greatest issue of Batman this year or even this month; but it is a
decent title that is more of a traditional action oriented Batman. If nothing else, Detective should
be a light action Batman story since we can’t get any actual Detective stories (My biggest peeve
about the issue). Don’t know if I’ll stick with it but I was pleasantly surprised by this issue.
Pat: I’d say overall it was good. I think if you have one Batman that is horror based and one
that is crime based will be doing real good especially ones with those artist on it. The
movement actually reminded me more of JH Williams who did fantastic work on Gotham
in Batwoman. I imagine this might have been partially what they were going for here but in
Manapul’s style and while you nobody is really fucking with Williams I think you describing
it as “rad” was about as accurate of a description as is possible. I’m going to disagree with
you on the crime fiction being ok for cliches. Transcending cliches is what separates the
men from the boys in that respect. I think Buccellato would do well to binge on The Wire
for a few weeks and then contrast that with some Tarantino for good measure. In regards
to Buccellato you said that his writing quality on Flash was dependent on factors outside
of the title. Did he improve as the run went forward? How would you describe his work on
The Flash overall?
Joah: I’d say Buccellato has improved as a writer. In case you were unaware, he started off as a
colorist. New 52 he jumped to a writer. First arc, average; second, better, third even better.
Individual quality in the issues would be the same, but over the course of the arcs you can see
him growing and finding his strengths. Right now he doesn’t compare to guys like Geoff Johns
or Mark Waid. But for a guy who started off on colors I think he’s done pretty well (and thus far
his writing is better than Flash has been for years preNew 52). BUT; when he’s writing another
series at Dynamite or working on a mini like Rogues Rebellion, the main Flash book seems to go
down sooner or later. Rebellion was good, so was Flash, then Flash got bad and RR kind of went
off the rails at the end. He’s not at the point where he should be writing more than one book at a
If you’re wondering whether to keep with Detective; it depends on your expectations and how
much you want more Batman. If you want a consistent book that is B- or B+, then you may want
it. If you want a book that compares to Snyder’s it’s probably not for you. Which is why I didn’t
want these guys on Detective, Batman just carries too high standards for them to match.
Pat: I knew Buccellato was an artist but didn’t know it
was specifically coloring. It sounds like he’s doing a respectable go of learning on the job.
In spite of my problems with it I certainly saw an overall improvement from the Flash
comics I read by him.
I’m sticking with it. I think it would be unfair to expect this to be as good or like
Snyder and Capullos take all together. I’d rather have these creators do their own thing. It
seems like the framework is there and the execution was in parts great and in others rocky.
I’m certainly in for the next issue. On The Flash what do you think would be a good match
or style for him post this creative team outside of the one they are getting?
Joah: Something close to the Flash like Plastic Man, Metal Men, Adam Strange, the Creeper; anybody
but Batman I guess. Maybe the Rogues but even then I think that would be pretty shaky since
they not hardcore criminals anymore; vs The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man where Boomerang
is in and out of jail and planning heists. A series where the pressure isn’t super high. Who knows
though, this issue really surprised me.
Pat: Is the pressure high at this point? Like I wonder if because there is so many Batman books
out right now that it’s not as a big deal as it would have been had they launched Detective
at the start of the New 52. Snyder and Capullo’s run is so insanely popular and loved that
it’s essentially eclipsed every Bat book on the market outside of maybe Morrison’s Inc.
Considering the hype around the upcoming Batman Eternal and the regular Batman book
I actually think this is the best time to join Detective. Now with that and the framework
that they are approaching this title everything seems set up for this to be successful. After
that it’s execution. What do you want to see out of this comic going forward? I’d like more
of this art without fill ins and a focus on the street crime side of Gotham city.
Josh: Manapuls pretty consistent artwise, I think he maybe has five fill-ins in a year tops so you
should be good on that front. You may be right about expectations for the Bat-books but it seems
to me DC has been dissatisfied with Detective’s sales after shuffling Layman and Fabok off of
it and putting the Flash team on. That is just my theory. I’d like to see more DETECTIVE in
Detective Comics, not Batman just punching out goons every page. So far it seems that hasn’t
happened since Snyder’s “The Black Mirror” arc. I’m trying to cut my pull-list down so I doubt
I’ll stick with this even though I like the team. I’m going to stay on Flash to see how Veditti, Van
Jenson, and Booth handle that series; but I wish Buccellato and Manapul luck on Detective.