Detective Comics continues to be one of the best books on the shelves the first week of every month. Tony Daniel’s narrative continues this month with Bruce’s struggle against Mr. Toxic.
Bruce finds himself face to face with the villain as the issue begins. He quickly makes use of an electromagnetic pulse to get the evildoer off his back. Bruce notes the weight of the villain as the two pull punches as one another. He also notes it could be the weight going against him. As the fight comes to an end, Bruce discovers Marder’s face in the helmet of Mr. Toxic. He is astonished because he thought the trapped man was actually Marder, and tries to save that man but the machine overloads killing him instantly. As Bruce wakes up from the explosion, he discovers the trapped Marder is dead, and Lucius tells all to evacuate the building. Quickly, the scene out of The Dark Knight replays itself. With Alfred’s help, Bruce escapes using what seems to be skyhook giving a nod to the aforementioned film. As Bruce returns to the cave, he and Alfred clean the radiation off of Bruce. He takes a shower, and makes his return to Wayne Enterprises the next day. He inquires about the incident, and finds out that it might be espionage. He finds out it is linked to a scientist who vanished named Dr. Smart. As Bruce exit the building, there is a man watching him. They speak, and Bruce finds out he is actually Dr. Smart. Bruce starts to inquire about Marder’s death, and finds out it’s actually a bunch of carbon copies of the real Marder. He’s skeptical but it makes sense to him that he found Marder in the Mr. Toxic suit. Suddenly, we get a scene detailing Smart’s analysis of the situation, and we see a mysterious connection between the clones and the real Marder/Mr. Toxic. Toxic even says if Marder dies, he dies which adds credence to the possibility. Gordon and Batman meet to analyze the situation. As he analyzes the scene, he sees it more and more to be fact but some of the DNA starts to liquefy causing Batman to be engulfed in it.
The backup finds Two-Face face-to-face with Sterano. Gunfire immediately breaks out. He tries to arrest Harvey under citizen’s arrest, and Harvey responds he doesn’t have the authority to do that. There are yells to call the police as Harvey is shot, and the men save his life wrapping him in bandages. He lies there until he wakes up, and walks away.
Tony Daniel continues to hammer out a good main narrative. His characterizations are dead on, and he definitely knows the story he wants to tell. On the art side, Julio Ferreiera and Eduardo Pansica fill in for Ed Benes this issue, and hammer out some great art staying true to the style of Daniel and Benes.
On the backup side, Tony Daniel’s Two-Face story ends with a simple ending: him walking away. Daniel walks away on a high note writing wise, and knows how to resolve it even though the possibility of Harvey being DA again made me hopeful. Szymon Kudranski again does a marvelous job illustrating with his film-noirish/horror sensibilities. He matches Daniel note-for-note with the story beats.
Both teams on these stories do an excellent job, and hopefully the main narrative has more in store next issue!!