Detective Comics #881 - 'The Face In The Glass' - Snyder, Jock and Francavilla
Story - I don't really feel comfortable giving a review for this issue, I liked it, but since this is the only chapter of the story I've read, I don't really have that much to say. Snyder is a writer who's impressed me on American Vampire and now Severed, but I decided not to pick up his run on Detective Comics, I don't like Dick Grayson as a character, and two Batman titles were enough for me (Batman Incorporated for the Morrison and Batman & Robin for Damian if you're interested), so I left this one on the shelf.
Picking up this issue right at the end shows that not deciding to buy 'Tec may have been a mistake, Snyder gets Batman, and has returned the character to the more urban and realistic roots of Miller and Rucka, rather than the Silver-Age elements that Morrison brought back in. It all looks like something that's right up my street. I like the use of James Gordon Junior as a villain, and the book had one great shocking moment in the revelation that Barbara Gordon had knives in her legs, but coming in that the end... I didn't care that much. I haven't been following this story from the beginning and seen the mystery that James Junior is the answer to unravel. The shocks here mean little and less to me.
This issue has prompted me to make sure I pick up this story once it comes out in trade (although now I have the ending spoiled for me, d'oh!) and reinforced my decision to pick up Snyder's new Batman #1 in September, but I can't really rave about this as much as the rest of you. It's another case of 'it's not you, it's me', this is a good comic, the reasons for not liking it lie with me. Maybe once I've read the trade I'll pop in with a proper review.
Art - The art was something you don't need prior knowledge to praise, and this issue had great art. I've been wondering for a while my Franco Francavilla's art for Black Panther has seemed a little rushed lately, and now I have my answer, he's been cheating on T'Challa with Batman! The shame! But his work here is up to his usual idiosyncratic genius, his take on James Gordon Junior is fantastically creepy. Jock has long been a favourite, and whilst he doesn't get as many pages as I'd like, but it looks good. I bet it'll look great in the trade.
Best Line - The entire conversation between Oracle and her brother, just gripping stuff, and pretty realistic psychopath. Makes a change from the usual Batman nuts.
Good comic, but I can't really rate it properly until I've read the whole story.