Detective Comics #22

Written By: John Layman
Art By: Jason Fabok

Detective Comics #22 gets the award for greatest improvement since the previous installment in the series. Layman and Fabok manage to find their footing in making ‘Tec the most realistic and Christopher Nolan of the Bat Books.

For a change, Bruce Wayne is written as more considered over his business affairs than his crime fighting life. The scene in which Bruce narrates the description of the cop killer then utters how he isn’t going to “like this man” and is referring to an upcoming business meeting with E.D. Caldwell, is the right comedy for Batman. Not to the extent of hilarity of the Bat Credit Card of course.

Wayne even stews about the meeting with Alfred in the Batcave, and passively says that he’s going off to find the cop killer at the end of the scene.

Layman gives us a brief moment where Batman urges a cop not to use a gun to take down the killer, but doesn’t feel redundant. The emotional weight given to the particular crime made the scenario feel fresh, even though it has been done before (in the Nolan films nonetheless).

Without getting bogged down on darkness, Fabok successfully creates a cinematic landscape of Gotham, making the city feel more real than in any other series. The skyline as Bruce takes the helicopter feels like an establishing shot from the films, and the inclusion of the Tumbler certainly pushes forward the resemblance.

The Man-Bat back-up is another stellar outing, as it gives a closer look at the relationship between the Langstroms, who I can now say have the most fascinating villain husband-wife scenario, beating out Victor and Nora Fries.

Detective Comics #22 takes cues from the successful film adaptations, and in doing so, allows the realistic grit of those interpretations shine through in this series.

Score: 8.7/10