I can't help but feel let down at what this story is turning out to be, mostly because Daniel made considerable improvements to his writing with the first issue of his run. But Tony Daniel seems like he took a giant step backwards with this issue which, after I read it, seemed barely tolerable. Yeah, sure the fast paced and thrilling ride aspects of the story to which we were introduced to in the first issue are still there, but that's it, and if you take away all of the hype which we were all subject to with the DC relaunch there is barely anything contained within this story. Sure it is a story but if you look past all of that and try to find the meaning and purpose of it, you'll sadly come up empty handed because Daniel for some reason is keeping us totally in the dark with it and that's perfectly fine if you do it right. But if you don't reveal just a little about yourself to keep us at the very least mildly interested then, besides the fact that it's a Bat-book, for me personally I have no reason to even give the cover a second look as it sits on the shelf.
The biggest problem with this issue for me is that yet again, Daniel's falls back into his old form, introducing too much information that in the immediate, doesn't have anything to do with anything. And on top of that Daniel starts off this issue very slowly by introducing a new plot point wherein Bruce and some other guy are talking about a business buyout we've never heard of previously. He then moves on to Charlotte Rivers which pretty much had no place in the book and which seemed like another giant hurdle to jump through before we get to the good stuff. I feel like with the business plot point and the Charlotte Rivers thing Daniel was trying to add some substance to his book. It was just that he approached it in a very wrong way. So wrong in fact that during my first read through it got to the point where I just looked at the artwork rather than reading the text. But to put it simply if Daniel made those parts the least bit interesting and not so dead and flat, he could've had something there, which leads us on to the next part of the story.
The second part of the story is pretty well done, or I should say the Batman parts are well done. Unfortunately Daniel puts Batman in a very uninteresting and banal situation where we see him trying to track down a missing girl. The Batman story was pretty well off as he talks with Gordon about the Joker and Dollmaker when all of a sudden a call comes in from a patrol unit who has found the warehouse where the Dollmaker’s gang could be holding the girl. That part was pretty well written because of the Gordon/Batman interaction where Gordon doesn’t fully trust Batman but is willing to give him a shot even if he is a tad reluctant. But unfortunately, Batman leaves to rescue the girl and with that the story takes a giant dive downwards from it’s already weakened position..
Again, I can’t help but feel that this whole plot with the Dollmaker is absolutely meaningless and boring. Issue one started off great with the Joker and I couldn’t wait to see where it went. But, Daniel decided to introduce a new villain which is totally fine with me, but like I said in my last review the Joker dwarfed the Dollmaker because when it comes to the Dollmaker it seems like there is nothing there. I mean, yes it’s way too early to judge the character, but Daniel again dwarfs Dollmaker by introducing his supporting cast which to me seems kind of unnecessary because by doing that Daniel lessens the appeal of the Dollmaker. Maybe he does need all these other people to help him out, but I feel that Daniel is spreading this whole Dollmaker thing a bit too thin considering there isn’t much to talk about when it comes to the actual Dollmaker character. But the real let down is the ending where we see Gordon with his faced all screwed up because again Daniel misses the mark. For one, Gordon getting his face all screwed up and Batman getting overpowered by the gang were all foreseeable especially since issue one kind of ends the same way, with the Joker getting his face taken off. I mean I can deal with entire ending, but Daniel doesn’t make it the least bit interesting and it lacks the shock value and surprise.
Overall, this issue was a below average issue and there are no excuses or apologies for it. It simply didn’t deliver anything worth my time and like I said before if it wasn’t for the fact that this was a Bat-book, I wouldn’t have spent the money on it because it’s a total and complete dud.
Detective Comics #2:
Reviewed by Dane