Detective Comics Annual #2 is published by DC Comics, written by Peter J. Tomasi, with art by Travis Moore and Max Raynor, colors by Tamra Bonvillain and Nick Filardi, and letters by Rob Leigh. When a long-dead foe is spotted killing criminals across Europe, Batman and Alfred must head to Greece to try to stop the killings. What they find there is much more than just a vigilante with an itchy trigger finger.
This issue showcased several things I always love to see in a Batman story including, first and foremost: Alfred. I love seeing Alfred be given a chase to show off the many ways he contributes to Batman’s endeavors. Whether it’s keeping Bruce from making assumptions in his investigations, aiding with luring in villains, or just keeping Batman in line with little quips few others know the Caped Crusader well enough to make. Alfred always helps lend a genuineness to any story he is featured in.
Another thing I loved about this issue is a sequence in which Batman must play the role of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. I always love it when it is pointed out so starkly that Bruce Wayne is the fake identity and Batman is the real person. Despite Batman’s being one of the oldest characters in comic books, this reversal of the usual superhero roles always somehow makes the hero feel a bit fresh to me. This is played upon with extra feeling in Bruce’s interaction with the character Sophia. An old friend who enjoys making Bruce squirm and Bruce lets her think she’s good at it.
These elements are put to good use in this thoroughly enjoyable tale written by Tomasi. Detective Comics Annual #2’s story develops well, with the mystery coming together at a pace that feels neither ploddingly slow nor rushed. The use of a foe from Batman’s distant past is a novel touch I thoroughly enjoyed. While it is often stated that Batman’s rogue’s gallery is the best in comics, seeing an unfamiliar face to me, while still possessing familiarity with Batman, further added to that sense of freshness to the story.
The visual presentation in the story is a solid work of comic book art. While I was never swept away by the panels, my enjoyment was never harmed by them either. Everything was executed with adequate skill, and the characters’ emotions were presented very well.
The one real stand out point to me was the use of brightness in the story. While millionaire Bruce Wayne is hobnobbing, the colors are bright and uplifting. This is in stark contrast to the dark tones and heavy shadows enveloping the story when Batman is on the pages. While this duality certainly isn’t a new concept for the Caped Crusader, it is handled exceptionally well here.
The book concludes on an exciting peak, with plenty of action and plot reveals to give a satisfying conclusion to what is an all-around high-quality adventure for our fearless hero. As the first Batman story I have picked up in quite some time, I felt instantly at home in the familiar tropes of Batman’s world and his adventures.
Detective Comics Annual #2 is available now wherever comic books are sold.
Detective Comics Annual #2
The book concludes on an exciting peak, with plenty of action and plot reveals to give a satisfying conclusion to what is an all-around high-quality adventure for our fearless hero.