picon.jpgreviewbubble.jpgPaul Dini Truly Missed

Dr. Phosphorus is back! I never knew he left. Once presumed dead, it is up to the Batman to track the fiery doctor. This issue also finds Paul Dini taking a break, while Royal McGraw steps up in an attempt to fill some big shoes. Does the shoe fit?

cover.jpgDetective Comics
The Return of Dr. Phosphorus!
Writer: Royal McGraw
Artists: Marcos Marz (p), Luciana Del Negro (i), John Kalisz (c)

I tend not to read the credits of comics until something strikes me as being really good or really bad. In the case of Detective Comics #825 I got to about page three before I was hit upside the head with the thought of “something’s not right”. What’s up with Dini’s writing? It is…um… so un-Dini. A quick look confirmed my concern; this issue has a new writer in the form of Royal McGraw.

Now nothing against Royal, he does have a good grasp on the characters in the Batman Universe, but he tends to take it to the point where they almost come off as goofy caricatures of themselves. While there are a few good lines delivered by Batman to Commissioner Gordon, Alfred’s lines come out a bit over the top, even for an English Gentleman’s Gentleman.


The inner dialogue Batman has with the audience also feels stiff to me.

As far as the story goes, since his last appearance in the Batman titles, Dr. Phosphorus received an upgrade for Neron in Underworld Unleashed, and was presumed dead in the pages of Starman (2nd Series). As Batman says, “Only the good stay dead,” Dr. Phosphorus’ body was recovered and has since been an unwitting battery for a Cadmus labs facility. This is actually the second time we’ve seen someone with powers being used as a battery; the other was in Checkmate #7. The shock value of “normals” holding a power (good or bad) against their will to power machinery is kind of worn off here.

As one would expect, the bad Doctor escapes seeking revenge on those who caused the accident that created him. Two are just ordinary everyday red-shirt doctors, the third being Rupert Thorne, who is currently the guest of Blackgate Penitentiary.

There isn’t much detective work going on in this issue, which is contrary to the title of the book – but that is just a pet peeve of mine. Anyway, Batman shows up at the last minute to rescue everyone, causing Dr. Phosphorus to take a powder – literally.


That’s right, this is a very short review, because there isn’t much that actually happens in the issue. Overall this is just an average story. Nothing special… I say skip it if you are looking to save a few bucks. I give Detective Comics #825 a stunningly low 1 Star out of 5.


Parting Shot


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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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