Wednesday, June 22

Detective Comics #877 (7/11)

“Hungry City, Part Two of Three”

Over the past several months, Scott Snyder, better known as the author of the DC-Vertigo title American Vampire (which I don't read), has been doing a stupendous job writing Detective Comics. Featuring Dick Grayson Batman, his first story arc here began before DC's beginning of the year reduction of price and page-count from $3.99/30 pages with a lead and “co-” feature to $2.99/20 pages single feature title, juggling what were parallel stories of Batman and Commissioner Gordon that converged into one. It was masterfully pulled off and brought a long unused but (it turns out) very creepy part of the extended cast back to the fore – James Gordon, Jr. - with ramifications that remain to be worked out. Snyder has been one of the earlier and more forthcoming DC creator reassuring the fans after the announcement of the September relaunch that his stories would still be in continuity, part of the history of the characters going forward, even though he will from September on be writing the adventures of Bruce Wayne as the only Batman in the title of that name. The present issue is the middle part of his second story arc, bringing Dick Grayson face-to-face with a shadow from his own past – the daughter of crime boss Anthony Zucco who murdered the Flying Graysons and thereby launched him on his career as the Boy Wonder all those years ago. So far she seems to be an innocent trying to escape the stigma of being Boss Zucco's daughter (she changed her name), but the past is catching up with her. And there does seem to be some inadvertent spark between her and Dick (he even gets a little good-natured ribbing from Tim about it) – so this looks to be an interesting relationship.... I'm sure that cover has all kinds of symbolism.

Cover aside, I'm not sure if I like Jock's art or not … and I've been in the same undecided state for well over a year since I first noticed it on a much earlier issue of Detective Comics. His figures seem to be an odd combination of chunky and gangly. It does set a very appropriate mood for Batman. It is easy to see the more lithe, athletic, acrobat Dick Grayson in that role as drawn by Jock. And yet something that I can't quite put my finger on bugs me. Oh well, at the very least it works....

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