Thursday, August 8, 2013

Detective Comics Annual #2

DC's Business Model: "Nobody can have too much Batman!"

I think this month I've had too much Batman. Batman, Batman and Catwoman, Detective Comics, Batman Annual, Detective Comics Annual, Batman: The Dark Knight, Batman Loves Superman, Trinity War. It never fucking ends with this guy!

Before I read each week's comic, I reread the previous month's comic commentary for that title. So I was reading my Detective Comics #22 commentary which I should probably apologize for because it's nigh on incomprehensible. At one point, I read this paragraph:

Sometimes I feel like nobody listens to Coast to Coast AM Radio seriously anymore. Other times, I feel like Ann Nocenti who always writes to the stupidest person in her audience.

I reread it two or three times just thinking, "What the fuck is this?" Then I just decided to move on and read the next paragraph.

And other times I'm writing jokes to myself! Hell, half the time I'm writing jokes to only the current version of myself that is writing the joke! Sometimes I reread my commentaries and I can't even figure out what the fuck I was talking about.
Damn. Tess of Last Month, I truly appreciate that you realized that I was not going to understand whatever you were amusing yourself with at the time. Thank you for clearing it all up for me. Yours Truly, Tess of The Moment.

So this is another Annual that I don't really care that much about so it's time for another Speed Commentary, brought to you by speed and commentary. I didn't get new comics today because I was busy wading through tourists at the beach. I did eat a white chocolate covered oreo which was fucking delicious. The Non-Certified Spouse had a Cashew Crab which, I was told, was disappointingly smaller than expected. She then said that maybe she purchased the wrong thing because she had been contemplating the Chocolate Starfish which made me laugh and laugh. "It was really called that?" I asked. "Yeah." "You do know what that's slang for, right?" So that's how I got The Non-Certified Spouse to instantly go from craving chocolate to thinking about ass.

I wonder if Chocolate Starfish was ever a Batman villain?

Currently in Detective Comics Annual #2, The Gotham Police are responding to an incident of Old Woman Fraud at the Gotham Bank.

The Gotham Police have the most delicious sirens ever!

In case you're not as familiar with the law as I am, Old Woman Fraud is where a murderer dresses up like an old lady that has recently died in order to steal all of the money from her bank account. It's a lot more common than you'd think.

See Batman's Narration Box in that panel up there? He says that to brag about how he arrived at the scene in three minutes. But it's not much of a brag because the double splash page showing him arrive to stop the Old Woman also shows two Gotham Police cars and a SWAT Van right behind her. This is how assholes skew statistics. He points out the Gotham PD Average time because it's worse than the time he (and they!) make it to the scene for this incident. But what is Batman's average time? Oh, he doesn't give us that, does he? Probably because he doesn't respond to most incidents in Gotham which would put his average time of arriving at the scene of a crime at eight weeks or more.

I haven't pointed out that Josh Williamson is making his first appearance at DC Comics since he ruined Voodoo and helped put the final nails in Deathstroke's coffin with Liefeld, so I'll do that right now. There you go.

Detective Comics loves its double splash pages. I like to think everybody is just keeping up with the Tony Daniel tradition. Although I really like the composition of the double splash title page for this Annual. I'd scan it in but my scanner isn't big enough to get the whole thing and I don't want to reinterpret the page like some pan and scan mess of a movie on VHS.

This is a poor substitute for the double splash page but I scanned it in for the mysterious graffiti!

Batman loses the killer in the alley but he does end up with the old woman mask. After having watched many, many episodes of Scooby Doo in my lifetime, I know the identity of the killer was Old Man McGee!

The person who saved Old Man McGee from the clutches of the Batman is The Wrath, the cop killer from Detective Comics #22. His "Wrathcopter" has a stealth mode so that The Batman couldn't detect it even with his Batvision and his Batgoggles and his Batspectrometer. Also, The Wrath is the anti-The Batman, so I guess he calls all of his gadgets "Wrathgadgets." He's pretty fucking clever, that guy.

Batman meets up with Commissioner Gordon so they can have a conversation laden with notes from the editor to the casual reader who just picked up Batman Annual #2 because she wanted to waste five dollars. The notes tell the reader all of the oh so interesting stories that could be read if only this new reader were buying all of DC's other comic books! How dare people keep money in their pockets instead of passing it straight over to DC! Especially when DC has such an abiding respect for its fans that it would never label their Batman Annual #2 as a Year Zero tie-in when it didn't actually tie-in, nor would they sell a Detective Comics Annual that needed the reader to be following the regular book to understand it! And I'm sure they'd never sell an issue of Talon with the Birds of Prey on the cover and then forget to include them in the story!

Batman being introduced to Bruce Wayen's next lover! If he can keep Detective Bullock from Cock-Bullocking him!

Batman begins Detectivating because this is the comic where he does detective work. Batman: The Dark Knight is the comic book where he compares himself to his enemies. Batman is the comic book where the reader gets to see Batman from a different perspective. And Batman and Robin is the comic book where Alfred gets to be really sassy.

The first thing Batman learns is that Detective Bullock is into Abby Whatsername, the new Gotham Police Psychologist. Wow, you're fucking quick there, Bat-toots. It was obvious from the first panel where Bullock was straightening his tie and bragging about knowing her before you! Batman realizes Harvey has a crush because Harvey smells better than normal.

Batman gets back to his Detective work and discovers a true shocker: Abby Whatsername is actually Old Man McGee! Oh Scooby Doo, how could you fail me so completely?

The real tragedy is that Batman figured it out too quickly for Bruce Wayne to get into her pants.

But then just like a two-time Jujitsu Champion, the story trips me up for having no faith in my Scooby Doo lessons and reveals the killer is actually a missing two-time Jujitsu Champion disguised as Harvey Bullock! That's why he smelled good and was actually being interesting to a woman! Because it wasn't sloppy old Harvey Bullock at all! Old Man McGee, Jujitsu Champion, disguised herself as Harvey Bullock to get close to Abby Whatsername because who wouldn't be attracted to Harvey Bullock! Sure, nobody would. But that's why The Wrath is the Bizarro Batman! Because he comes up with stupid plans that are successful! Or would have been successful if not for that meddling Bat and his damn Cow.

Does Batman really need another faceless nemesis with the ability to wear masks and mimic other people? I bet she also wears hats, shoots up Venom, and loves to scare crows.

I'm sorry, Scoobdy Doo, for not believing in you! You showed me the way of the world, that it was a rational place where evidence takes precedence. And then every episode ended with an old man in a mask no matter what that evidence showed. Layman and Williamson tried to make me believe the evidence pointed at the psychologist and I forgot my lessons and believed them. The evidence never points to the old man until after the old man's mask has been pulled from her head and Velma and Fred explain the evidence to those idiots Daphne and Shaggy and Scooby Doo. Today I hang my head in shame and stand amongst the Shaggies of this world as the old, woman is revealed.

Thanks, Batvelma!

The story ends with Jane Doe headed for Arkham already planning her next mask: THE BATMAN! Surprise! I think that's a surprise. Was that a surprise?

This Annual has a back-up story, so let's cover that quickly. It's about Jane Doe being in Arkham where yet another new Night Nurse has taken up residency: Abigail Whatsername! I should probably learn her last name now that she didn't end up just being another mask for the killer from the last story! I just thought she was a disposable identity and not a real person! Oh, it's Doctor Wilburn. At least I got the first initial right!

But then it turns out that Abigail isn't at Arkham at all and it's just Jane Doe pretending to be everybody. So that means I can forget her name again! Yay!

But then boo! There's a back-up back-up story now! And even though the back-up story is only a few pages, it's the best story in the Annual! Harvey is comparing himself to Jane Doe's version of himself. He points out how she made his life better: girlfriend, bills paid, job done better than he did it. He claims she did things he never would have done. But Harvey's missing the point. She was him. That's all Jane Doe can ever be! She mimics the person exactly. The only difference is that Jane Doe brings a greater confidence to the role than the confidence of Harvey Bullock. Those things she did? They're in Harvey. He can be that guy. But by the end of the story, he never sees it. He sits depressed in a bar refusing to accept the thanks from a kid whose brother was saved by Jane Doe's Harvey Bullock. The poor dumb bastard.

Detective Comics Annual #2 Rating: Bullocky!

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