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Detective Comics #51 Review

Comic Books

Detective Comics #51 Review

Bruce Wayne may be back in the Batman suit, but that doesn’t mean Jim Gordon can’t continue on. He’s still got his own Bat-Suit, doesn’t he?

This week Jim takes the cape and cowl to Afghanistan, but is it good?

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Detective Comics #51 (DC Comics)

Detective Comics #51 Review

So what’s it about? Per DC Comics’ solicit:

When Jim Gordon gets a call from his old Marine Corps friends, he sets off to their base to investigate a potential crime—and he’s bringing his Batman suit along, just in case.

Why does this book matter?

Peter J. Tomasi just wrapped up a great story arc highlighting some fantastic detective work which you just don’t find in comics today — Batman or otherwise. With Jim heading to the Middle East, he’s bound to uncover a big mystery worth reading about. Artist Fernando Pasarin has a detailed art style that suits a more realistic type of story like this one.

Detective Comics #51 Review
He’s notorious!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

It’s fun to see Batman outside Gotham and Tomasi displays Batman’s covert skills well as he infiltrates C.O. files and attempts to uncover a secret society. They’re a creepy bunch and as the issue unfolds we learn they take long cuts of flesh off their victims backs, wear black leather like ninjas, and love to wield knives. Basically put there’s a mystery in the desert and Jim Gordon needs to solve it to keep his friends and fellow soldiers safe. Tomasi also ties this story to Jim’s past which gives it a bit more meaning. I won’t say more for fear of spoiling the big ending, but Jim has every reason to stop what’s going on.

The issue starts off great too with an old friend being tailed and looking for help. It’s fun to see Jim Gordon use some force to take out an assailant and the fight choreography is spot on. This issue reminds you Jim Gordon isn’t some desk jockey, but an honest to goodness soldier in more ways than one.

Pasarin continues to draw impeccable backgrounds and solid faces too. That choreography I mentioned above works well to remind us Jim isn’t a slouch and another fight scene – quick and efficient – shows some real skill in play. Consider the changing setting (a much brighter one than we’re used to for Batman) in the desert too as a big win for this issue. Pasarin makes you feel like Jim is globe trekking and taking Batman’s unique set of skills with him.

It can’t be perfect can it?

I found the issue somewhat boring at times as Jim spends more time meeting up with old friends (who you probably won’t care about) and a lot of time reflecting on the good old days as a soldier. It’s all set up in regards to character development, but I’m not sure the audience cares to see him worry about old soldier buddies we’re just now learning exist. Overall this issue seems to be more concerned with making Jim a badass veteran more than actually telling an intriguing and addictive story.

Detective Comics #51 Review
So are we off on beers Friday night?

Is It Good?

The setup is sound as Tomasi proves the detective part of Batman is great reading. Unfortunately it spends more time telling us why we should care about Jim’s soldier buddies and past rather than show us.

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