Welcome to the Bat Casebook, where I take the latest Bat comics and review it. This week, we’ll go through Detective Comics #864 and Gotham City Sirens #11.

Detective Comics #864

DETECTIVE COMICS #864
Written by David Hine & Greg Rucka (Co-Feature)
Art by Jeremy Haun & Cully Hamner (Co-Feature)
Cover by Cliff Chiang

Folks, this is the end of an era. As you can tell from the (super super gorgeous) cover, this is the first time since, well, around this time last year when Rucka’s Batwoman run started that the book had Batman as it’s main feature. Not only that, but it’s really a continuation of Hine and Haun’s on-going story from the Battle For The Cowl: Arkham special and the Arkham Reborn mini-series, which I never got a chance to read. So I was a bit worried about how I’ll be able to follow this.

Fortunately, it works pretty well. Hine was able to catch everyone up with what’s going on in Arkham’s crazy, crazy world quickly enough, then sets up the premise of the story:

Basically, a remnant of Black Mask’s plan at destroying Gotham, a wall-street-type with a bomb inside his chest so as to make him put Gotham in financial ruin, goes to the police to get help and try to undo his damage. Only the Black Mask knows how to get the bomb out, so Batman goes into Arkham Asylum to try to get the information out of Arkham. There’s just one problem–Arkham doesn’t remember any of his actions as Black Mask.

Overall, it was a really strong, interesting psychological tale. It’s set up a solid mystery, and makes me interested to see what will happen next, and it seems to take from a lot of eras of Batman’s history. The art was also really solid and perfect for the story. I’m interested to see how it turns up next issue.

Meanwhile, over with The Question, they spend a lot of the page-count this installment catching people up with Final Crisis: Revelations, then telling us that one of our intrepid heroines is going to wear the Mark of Cain. Considering who’s going to be a co-star in a major Bat-book in May and who isn’t, I think we can figure out who it’ll be.

Gotham City Sirens #11

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #11
Written by Paul Dini
Penciled by Andres Guinaldo
Inked by Raul Fernandez
Colored by Ian Hannin
Cover by Gulliem March

First off, I hate to start off hatin’, by there was something I noticed while pulling up all the covers and info for this. Take a look at the solicitation for this issue:

Written by PAUL DINI; Art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH

As Gotham City swirls in a maelstrom of evil and villainy, three of the most unlikely candidates – Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn – step forward to bring some light to the situation. But will their efforts enough to stem the tide of madness and mayhem?

Could they have been any more vague with this solicitation? Considering both Dini and March’s semi-frequent leaves from the title, it makes me wonder if DC itself doesn’t know exactly what will happen with each issue, so they make it as vague as possible to cover themselves. Regardless of the reason, the only accurate part of this solicitation was the writer. March only does the covers, and both of the plots in this issue were pretty pedestrian. Well, as pedestrian as any super-sexy outlaws in Gotham trying to keep it on the down-low can.

The “A” plot of this was Harley and Selina finding out that there’s been a mass disapearences of kidnapped pets in the neighborhood they’ve set up shop in, so they go out (without their costumes–clothed, mind you, this book isn’t THAT cheesecakey, even if the cover has Harley’s defining feature be her ass) to investigate. Kinda fun little plot to go through–the best moments being Selina deciding to do it with Harley just so that she doesn’t sit on her ass, watch cartoons and spend all day on Twitter (again, a woman after my own heart), and figuring out who’s REALLY been taking all those animals was darkly funny.

The “B” plot is continuing on the plot of Ivy getting a civilian identity and starting her new job as the lead biochemist in Gotham’s wing of STAR Labs, and she quickly finds out what could go wrong if you fire all the staff. It was…okay, I guess, but not even Selina and Harley knew this was going to end well.

Overall, it was an enjoyable enough issue. The A plot was fun, and the art was pretty good, solid fit for this book. It had a sweet Dodson-esque vibe that fits the characters and the tone for the book, even if it doesn’t “pop” as much as March’s work (because even he sometimes smacks anatomy like it didn’t make dinner fast enough, his work certainly stands out).

So, that was all we had this week to put in the Bat Casebook. Next week we’re reviewing Batman & Robin #12, Batman Confidential #44, and Red Robin #12.

Batman & Robin #12Batman Confidential #44Red Robin #12