Daniel, Tony S.
About the Author:
Tony S. Daniel began working as a comics artist in 1993 and later began writing as well.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
2 out of 5
Batman: Detective Comics Volume 1 - Face Of Death
(Art by Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea, Ryan Winn, Rob Hunter, Joel Gomez and Szymon Kudranski)
Part of the New 52 era of DC Comics, this book sees Batman start out on the trail of the Joker but subsequently switching to pursue a new serial killer, the flesh-harvesting Dollmaker.
This a much darker Batman story than most I've read before, which may be down to the New 52's reboot of the character or it may be down to Daniel's own style; I won't know which until I've read more New 52. With a villain who harvests and reuses the skin of the dead, not to mention stealing internal organs from the living, this is very much a book aimed at a more mature audience. The problem is that this aim at older readers feels pretty soulless. There's a more horrific villain and some pretty disturbing imagery (this is the first appearance of Joker's severed face, for instance), sure, but there's no consequent increase in mature storytelling. What we actually get is a pretty shallow affair which has various people being captured, then escaping, then Batman beats some people up and then it all happens again.
Perhaps a worse flaw than simply being shallow is that the book also feels fairly incomplete. Due to the multi-series relaunch of the Batman titles, there's a great deal referenced here and plotline begun here that, apparently, get picked up elsewhere. It feels like a cynical move to get readers to have to buy multiple titles rather than telling self-contained stories in each one. Then the latter half of this book features a Penguin-focused plotline that comes out of nowhere and more or less goes back there by the end. Pretty disappointing.
2 out of 5