Friday, July 11, 2014

Detective Comics #33

Batman has been standing in a lot of blood on a lot of covers this month.

The issue begins in the worst Mexican standoff ever because The Kings of the Sun already shot Lawrence. And now Lawrence's brother has decided this isn't a Mexican standoff situation at all. This is a start shooting as many people in the face as possible situation. But since Batman is in the middle of everything, he's probably not going to let any more people get shot.

Oh Batman! You just can't let the thugs work out their problems on their own, can you?

Batman keeps the thugs from killing them but then when the Gotham SWAT team arrives, he puts all of their lives in danger for his own safety! With SWAT rifles trained on Batman and the thugs, Batman blows a smokescreen out of his gloves and disappears. Batman may like to think he has supreme control over every situation, but how did he know the Gotham SWAT guys wouldn't panic as soon as he blew the smoke grenades? Cops in cities all over the United States start pulling triggers way faster over far less! If this were Portland, Los Angeles, or New York, the thugs would all be dead! But at least Batman kept himself from being arrested!

In that last paragraph, I listed Portland alongside New York and Los Angeles. I don't mean to imply that Portland is anything like a major urban center. Not even close! But since I live in Portland and I witness how often the Portland police don't mind shooting unarmed people, I figured it deserved to be on the list. I'm sure other cities deserve to be on the list as well but since I don't live in them, I can't say! Just go back and reread the list and insert your own city if you think the police where you live have fearful trigger fingers like the others. And apparently unlike Gotham Police! Nerves of steel, these guys! At least in this scene. I've seen them unload their guns over far less. But this time people would have died and it would have been on Batman's head, so they knew to hold their fire.

Meanwhile, Harvey Bullock continues with his investigation into Bruce Wayne's ties to Icarus hitting the streets.

Harvey's got a real knack for detective work. His favorite tools are jumping to conclusions and beating the shit out of suspects.

While Maggie Yip runs down some leads for Harvey, Batman, once again, is way ahead of him. But that's because he has Alfred and the Batcomputer checking on his leads. I think he's also smarter. And he has more resources. Oh, also Batman follows the evidence instead of deciding who's behind it all at the beginning of the case and then only finding evidence that points to the person you think is behind it. Cops should try it Batman's way more often.

Oh Harvey. Don't kid yourself!

I would be rooting for Harvey if he hadn't begun this entire case trying to force Bruce Wayne into the role of prime suspect. If he'd allowed the evidence to lead to Bruce Wayne before accusing him, I could accept that. But Harvey was too eager to pin the death of Elena Aguila on him. Still, I think by the time this story arc is over, Batman will let Harvey solve the entire thing his way. After all, it was getting dirty with Icarus dealers that got Harvey's partner killed, and Harvey feels like he needs to solve this case for his old partner. Batman can respect that.

Or maybe he'll just accuse Harvey of getting his partner killed and sock him in the face!

Detective Comics Rating: No change. The issue felt a bit short this month. I'm sure Batman is only accusing Harvey of falsifying reports because Harvey knew his partner was dirty but never told anybody about it after Spencer had been killed. Harvey's one of the few Gotham Police that is trying to do the right thing even if he's a bit sloppy in the way he goes about it. Also, he tends to let his emotions and instincts get in the way of the actual police work, as evidenced by his need to find Bruce Wayne behind the Icarus problem. I think it will eventually all work out as I said. Harvey will get to bring down the Icarus drug ring with a little help from Batman behind the scenes. Maybe Harvey will respect Batman a little more when they're through. Or maybe Harvey will just gloat about true detectives some more. I hope Harvey gets to shine at least a little bit though. Maybe impress Maggie Yip, right? Plus, he'll be able to take on a partner again after he has closure with the Spencer/Icarus business.

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