Detective Comics #789
"The Randori Stone"
writer: Paul Bolles
artists: Mike Lilly and Dan Davis
writer: A.J. Lieberman
artists: Jean-Jacques Dzialowski and Dan Green
flurry of attention to Batman, DC started using this
title to be a little more experimental. It's not a bad idea,
especially as Legends of the Dark Knight is supposedly
on its way out. Let this be a book for shorter arcs, strange
little back-up stories, and a chance to let new writers play
in the Gotham City sandbox.
the book into two stories, though one definitely in a back-up
slot, the publisher also offers us a little more bang for
our buck. Unfortunately, the current spotlight story, "The
Randori Stone," offers more of a fizzle.
full of action as a possessed Batman becomes a truly fearsome
creature of the night. In a nice twist, this does not manifest
as a physical mutation so much as mental. Though Lilly and
Davis draw the occasional wisp of mystic fire leaping from
his eyes, this is just Batman determined to stop at nothing
for justice. But why?
revolves around a bunch of characters that we've never seen
before, but somehow Batman is intimately involved. For some
reason, that sticks in the craw as a narrative device. Maybe
if the story wasn't also rushed, with almost everything explained
through narration rather than just happening organically.
It reduces everything to telling, though Lilly and Davis work
hard to show it, too.
the art isn't particularly flashy, the team brings a nice
earthiness to their Batman portrayal. This isn't a hero in
black rubber, but clad in an almost believable body armor.
You can see the seams and reinforcements, even without Bolles
calling attention to them in captions. The writer could afford
to trust his artists just a little bit more.
in the back-up slot, an interesting behind-the-scenes story
begins. "The Tailor" is exactly that - the guy who makes the
uniforms for the Batman Family. Though old Flash comics
played with this notion, it's cool to see an updated version
as the so far nameless costumer experiments with making the
suits light yet protective.
The Batman tries to pull him in on a case, he refuses. Business
would be ruined if he took a moral stance. And he offers a
chilling but deadpan threat: "Every suit has a weakness. Even
yours," to the Dark Knight.
doesn't end there, and Lieberman has offered just enough up
to make this a back-up more compelling than the lead slot.
Maybe next issue they can trade…