The Clown Prince of Crime returns to vex the Dark Knight of Gotham as he endangers the citizenry with his latest scheme to cause senseless violence and mayhem. Can the Batman stop him, or has the Joker finally found a way to punch the Caped Crusader’s ticket? Find out in DETECTIVE COMICS #1008, in stores today from DC Comics!
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Jaime Mendoza
Colorist: Dave Baron
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover: Mahnke, Mendoza, Baron
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: July 24, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in DETECTIVE COMICS: In the past few issues, Batman has face down the threat of the Arkham Knight and his followers and confronted The Spectre as he searched for a mysterious assassin. Now, his oldest, most enduring enemy has returned with a rollercoaster ride of deadly thrills in-store for The Batman. Will he survive?
THROUGH ALL THE THRILLS AND CHILLS…
As the sun goes down over Gotham City, Alfred Pennyworth delivers a unique invitation to his employer, Bruce Wayne. It seems The Joker has begun another diabolical plan to throw the city into a frenzy, and this time he has dis-invited the Gotham City Police Department. Bruce decides to fill, and descends into the Batcave to assume his identity of The Batman!
The Joker has decided he needs a rest from all of the recent cosmic schemes and grand plans, so it’s time to throw some old fashioned fear into the populace as only he knows how. What better place to instill some screams than the seaside amusement park just on the outskirts of Gotham City? Through some unknown means, Joker has taken everyone within the park hostage by placing devices around their necks that will spew forth Joker Gas on his command. Ever the showman, Joker strolls the boardwalk, randomly causing death and destruction as only he can, until he finds a razor sharp batarang has embedded itself into his arm. Thus, his is made aware of his favorite dance partner skipping out onto the floor. Knowing the Joker will have taken into account the possibility of his being taken down in a flurry of fisticuffs and gadgets, Batman decides to play the long game. He looks for an opening with which to bring the Joker down and indulges the maniacal merrymaker as he leads the dark detective through the park. All the while, Batman diverts Jokers attention from the innocent until it all comes to a head. Will the Batman get the last laugh, or will the park become a carnival of the damned?
And in the Villain of the Year: The Offer entry for this title, can the apparition of Lex Luther truly deliver the answer to what Victor Fries has search out for so long, the chance to cure his wife?
IT COMES DOWN TO A BATTLE OF WILLS!
Peter J. Tomasi (Batman and Robin, Green Lantern Corps) has been a presence in DC Comics for decades, be it in the editorial staff or as a writer. He has written some of the greatest storylines in the last several years including “Blackest Night” and “Brightest Day.” While he is known for his epic stories, it isn’t often that he gets a chance to shine in a one-and-done tale. Tomasi shines in this story. In “Greetings From Gotham,” he takes an eighteen page Batman versus Joker story and makes it into something special, not by being ground-breaking, but by the little character moments. He takes Joker’s outlandish nature and instills it with a little of the whimsy that has been taken away from him for so long. Don’t get me wrong, you still are fully aware that he is a homicidal maniac and he will kill everyone in the park if he does not get his way, but he is doing it with a smile which seems genuine. Batman, for his part, plays the stoic foil for the Joker’s excess. Tomasi conveys a very unique spin on the Batman/Joker relationship with this story with Batman as the patient parent and Joker as the spoiled child. As such, Batman gives Joker just enough rope to choke on before reeling him in. It’s great and has the feel of some of my favorite one issue stories from my childhood. In fact, this would be the perfect issue to adapt as an animated episode if they ever bring back Batman: The Animated Series.
An artist sometimes foils a great writer, but that is far from the case here. Doug Manke (Black Adam, Green Lantern) delivers a powerhouse exhibition in not only art, but in panel design and execution. There are these little line that inhabit his art, you really don’t see them a first, then you realize they are defining the figures, adding a layer of detail. His work has a very solid feel while retaining a fluidity you normally attribute to gesture drawings. His Joker is creepy, creepy as hell! Some of that is to be attributed to his inker, Jamie Mendoza (Superman/Womer Woman, Heroes For Hire), who has an excellent sense of detail and enhancement, but also to his colorist, Dave Baron (JLA, Green Arrow and Black Canary). Baron provides us with the colors to experience the most manic looking Joker I’ve seen in a while.
BOTTOM LINE: BATMAN WITH A CLASSIC FEEL
Overall this is just a great issue, and a perfect spot to jump in if you have been away from Detective Comics for a while. It’s a classic, and hits that spot that will give a some satisfactory relief from all the big arcs. A great pallet cleanser.
Detective Comics #1008
DETECTIVE COMICS #1008 may essentially be a filler to prepare for the upcoming “TAKE YOUR SHOT” storyline, but it has the satisfaction of reading like one of the classics. No baggage, just two archenemies in a clash to see who can outsmart the other.