What They Say:
He makes dolls out of his victims–and he’s tired of being referred to in the media as the Gotham Strangler. His moniker is the Dollmaker, and he and his insane family are going to hunt down Gotham City’s public figures and turn them into the ultimate collectables.
The third issue of Detective Comics finds Batman face to face with the Dollmaker. The series continues to find a good method of delivering both action and story by having Batman’s inner monologues present in panels. This method removes talkiness from the comic and allows for the action to take center stage without sacrificing character and plot. This method also allows for the writer to cram a lot of story into 20 tiny pages. As with previous issues, it feels like the comic is a lot longer than 20 pages and in that right, completely justifies the price point.
With Batman under siege by the Dollmaker and his stitched up minions, Batman races to save Commissioner Gordon and the abducted girl Olivia. We are shown Batman’s fragility and him being just an ordinary man with gadgets by having the bad guys do some damage and Batman himself not thinking he could make it out alive. Of course, he does, but the extra delight of him taking one of the Dollmaker’s underlings ‘hostage’ simply to beat the crap out of him for information is welcome. Bruce then spends some time…doing detective work! I know it’s a shocker but it happens, in a way that it can only happen for Batman.
The ending act of this issue sends Batman into the belly of the beast to save Gordon but also adds some unexpected twists. The twists lie with Olivia, what is exactly happening here is unknown but definitely begs for me to keep reading just to find out. It is the stuff of serial killer movies; slight twists that can turn out to be more than meets the eye and definitely something I enjoy reading. In tradition of the previous issues, the final splash page turns the story on its side and requires the reader to pick up the next issue.
By having Detective Comics be a very dark Batman comic, I am constantly pulled in and enjoy every page. This issue adds some of the old-school Batman campiness simply because of the Dollmaker himself being campy. He is a ridiculous character who says ridiculous things. If not for the harsh realities and violent images, this comic could easily be the old 60s TV series. But by mixing the two, here is a comic that is thoroughly enjoyable in that it provides, literally, everything there is to like about Batman. The characters, setup, execution, tone, and twists beg to be read; they beg to be continually read. I feel as if this issue is the centerpiece of this arc and from here it will be all resolution and revelation. I welcome the coming issues with open arms as the series is consistently entertaining and intriguing. My favorite Batman comic out of the whole lot to be sure.
Readers Rating: [ratings]