Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

XXXDetective Comics #13
DC Comics
Layman & Fabok

John Layman's debut on Detective Comics is a very good one as he rolls out the Penguin as the chief adversary for Batman. Layman also writes the back-up, but he takes the approach of a low profile villain trying to stay under Batman's radar. Both stories are very good and both have potential for legs in the long run of Layman's work on the book. I enjoyed how Layman has everything set up for the future while presenting a self-contained story within this comic book. This was a very good read.

Batman is out on his nightly rounds when he realizes he is running late for a Bruce Wayne engagement. Bruce Wayne donated a ton of money and his cause is getting dedicated in his mother's name. As Batman battles his way through some thugs to get to the event he has his eye in the sky, Alfred, watching the clock for him. Batman eventually calls in Nightwing to help clear the path for him.

The snag is that a group of assassins have been hired by the Penguin to hunt down and kill Bruce Wayne. The Penguin wants the limelight to himself and his philanthropy is being overshadowed by Wayne's.

The book is a good comic book. Layman nails each and every one of the characters to perfection and their interaction with each other. He also tells a very fluid story complete with very Layman-like before and after scenes and captions. Layman also presents a very different side to the Penguin where his charity is really "forcing" him to pursue murder. I enjoyed many aspects of this book.

The piece that didn't quite line up for me was the ending. I won't give away the details, but I just couldn't get out of my head the question, "why didn't the Penguin try that before?" when I reached the conclusion. It didn't ruin the issue by any means but it felt like a hole to me.

Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle ReviewsFabok does a fantastic job on Batman. The book is detailed and extremely lively. The entire book has a very shiny feel to it, but still holds on to that grittiness that you expect from a Batman book. I also loved the rendition of the Penguin. The book could easily be classified as just your standard super-hero visual, but I found it to be above the norm and very enjoyable to look at.

Layman comes out of the gate flying. His style is very different from what you find in Chew, but he keeps a lot of his tricks intact. I found the dialogue to be every bit as bouncy as you would find in any issue of Chew. Couple that with the plot and story execution and artwork and you have a great start to a run that I have high hopes for.

4 out of 5 Geek Goggles