The Talented Mr. Elliot


We are now well within the time period between when Batman disappeared, and the time when he will rise once again to strike fear in the hearts of the wicked and the vile.  Who will fill those shoes is yet to be revealed, yet until the dawn of the Big Cowling as it will be called (I got nothin’), DC still has comics to sell.  The last time we saw Paul Dini writing Batman, he was wrapping up his Heart of Hush story line.  The ending saw Thomas Elliot penniless, and wander the streets of Gotham.  How’s he going to rise and become a major player once again?  Detective Comics #852 reveals the first part of his plan.

detective852cover.jpgWhat makes this issue so grand is we see Thomas Elliot at the bottom of barrel, and ready to commit suicide over his failings to bring Bruce Wayne (and Batman) down.  It’s rare that we see a major villain at this low a point in his or her life, that they’re willing to take their own life, so it is a fascinating way to start the story.

As fate would have it, a passing boat fishes Elliot from the river, and thinking he is Bruce Wayne (remember, he had plastic surgery to look like his old chum), give him $60 for a cab home.  What happens next is simply brilliant.  Elliot uses the money to clean himself up and slip into the Pregrinator’s Club, a place we saw a long time ago when Dini first started writing Detective Comics.  There he hooks up with a cougar, leaches off her for a while, so he can heal, and then talks her into boating off to the the Caribbean.

From there he commits one murder after another as he turns his $60 into $800,000, which he is then able to parlay into two million dollars in cash from one of Bruce Wayne’s Australian companies, and he almost ends up with more before someone gets suspicious of his claims.  What’s great about this sequence is it shows that a small spark of hope is enough to get Elliot to go on the offensive once again, and do it in such a way that this issue could probably serve as a playbook for some nefarious person who looks a tad too much like a member of the elite  of society and wants to make a fast buck.

Elliot doesn’t have endless luck as his escape lands him square in the lap of Catwoman, who is probably none to pleased with the way he left her in their last meeting.   The action spills into Batman 685 – another one of those book crossovers that I LOVE so much, but you can bet reconciliation is going to be a bitch.

Dini once again serves up a devilish tale that is more suspenseful than anything we’ve seen in a Batman title in the last 10 years.  The art by Dustin Nguyen continues to rock, and if it weren’t for this bad economy, I’d be snatching up as many of the original art pages from his Detective run that I could.

Say what you will about Batman RIP (Lord knows, I’ve voiced my concerns), but this Hush tale is a great way to kick off the aftermath of the Dark Knight’s “death”. Detective Comics #852 earns Major Spoilers highest rating of 5 out of 5 Stars.




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...


  1. Detective Comics is really good but I also like Grant Morrison’s Batman. I thought that Dini’s run and Morrison’s run complement each other very well. They each take on the best aspects of Batman and produce some of the best Batman stories in a long time.

    I would say that the only great Batman story Loeb produced was The Long Halloween. Everything after that, including Dark Victory and Hush have been really boring and substandard.

    Hope Dini sticks with Detective Comics for a Very Long Time.

  2. I like hush a lot except for the story where he and joker along with batman all blow up but he made his comeback and is here to stay. I got to say this something good leob came up with pre before his son died and starting then he started writing crap.

  3. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty over at the bat books these days. Which titles will come out of all of the post R.I.P. stories and, more importantly, who will be the creative teams involved? DiDio seems to hint simultaneously that Morrison will and won’t be back. My geatest concern, however, is whether Paul Dini will return. Detective under Dini has been consistently my favorite comic for the last couple of years. I hope there will be more.

  4. I’m going to go so far as to say that Nguyen and Dini’s run on Detective has been DC’s best book of the past couple years, much like Brubaker’s run on Catwoman was several years ago …

  5. I didn’t read the Heart of Hush arc and so I was prepared to feel lost and crazy (the way Morrison makes me feel if I don’t know every single issue of Batman or New Gods). And my only real comic book exposure to DIni was Countdown, so with all that I was ready to hate the issue. But Dini did an amazing job with providing the gist of information that one would need to pick up here. It was a very smartly written book and who doesn’t love a con artist story?

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