Review: Freeze Takes Center Stage in DETECTIVE COMICS #1012

FIRST IMPRESSION

DETECTIVE COMICS #1012 isn't a bad chapter, but it's not the strongest in Peter J. Tomasi's run, either. The writing is mostly exposition, and the art by Doug Mahnke feels a bit jumbled and inconsistent. The story carries narrative momentum, though, so it's still worth checking out.
Writing
Dialogue
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
- Advertisement -

Mr. Freeze finally reveals the plan he’s been working on in the background over the last several issues in Detective Comics #1012, out this week from DC Comics.

Women bearing a particular physical profile are going missing in Gotham. We know who’s behind it. The question: how long will it take Bruce to find out?

The Writing

In his run on Detective Comics thus far, writer Peter J. Tomasi’s focused largely on smaller, self-contained narratives. In contrast to Tom King’s sweeping Batman run, most of Tomasi’s stories are standalones, or maybe two-parters. With Detective Comics #1012, though, the writer expands into what feels like a larger narrative.

As alluded to, Tomasi’s spent the last several issues laying the groundwork for this story as part of the Year of the Villain event. Taking place before the events of Batman #77, the writer delivers the true opening chapter to follow the prologues. The writing still hews to much of the same sharp, driving storytelling we’ve seen from Tomasi thus far on the title. But, given that it’s just the beginning of the story, much of the issue still feels like setup.

- Advertisement -

The writing is largely expository. We get the details of Freeze’s plan, involving kidnapping women with similar profiles to that of his beloved wife. Nearly half of the book focuses on Freeze explaining his plan through expository dialogue. Batman, in turn, picks up on the thread after noting a strange 911 call from a victim. While he opens the book with a somewhat melodramatic soliloquy, Bruce doesn’t really impact the plot itself until the two-thirds mark.

Detective Comics #1012 isn’t the most exciting chapter of Tomasi’s run. It’s engaging enough, though, to keep the reader’s attention, promising an interesting story is to come.

The Artwork

Doug Mahnke provides art for Detective Comics #1012. From a stylistic point of view, it’s a strong showing; the artist’s sketchy linework is appealing and eye-catching as always. It’s less consistent in terms of layout, though.

Mahnke packs many of the pages with panels. And, in many cases, the layout of the page doesn’t feel particularly calculated or purposeful. As a result, panels have a tendency to overlap and overshadow one another. This effect is further accentuated by the visual busyness of many of the illustrations. The eye is not always drawn to any particular part of the panels (or of the page, for that matter).

Overall, the art in Detective Comics #1012 feels like something of a mixed bag. It’s stylistically interesting and appealing, but the unfocused layout can make one’s eyes a little tired.

In contrast, the colors, courtesy of artist David Baron, are on-point through the issue. They’re skillfully deployed, and in some cases, truly leap off the page. A brief conversation between Batman and Bullock near the book’s end, for instance, has a great noir tone to it courtesy of Baron’s colors, which lends the scene much more gravitas.

Final Thoughts

Detective Comics #1012 is a respectable work. Not a high point in the run, but it feels like we’re building to something bigger.


Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!
Avatar
David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.

SPONSORS

If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

Review: Freeze Takes Center Stage in DETECTIVE COMICS #1012 4

CONTACT US

Review: Freeze Takes Center Stage in DETECTIVE COMICS #1012 5

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.

JOIN THE TEAM

Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

Review: Freeze Takes Center Stage in DETECTIVE COMICS #1012 6

MEET THE TEAM

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!