The Revolution enjoyed Dini’s debut issue. I didn’t like it as much as Morrison’s debut issue, but it was still pretty good. I fully expect Detective Comics #822 to be a very good read. Dini is a talented writer and we get artist Don Kramer back for this issue so I’m excited to read this issue. It is still over 100 degrees here at the Bunker. Right now, my sweat has sweat. Let’s hit the review.
Writer: Paul Dini
Penciler: Don Kramer
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Batman capturing the criminal known as Roxy Rocket. Batman then arrives back in the batcave and notices that Alfred has turned on the warning light to tell Bruce that someone is visiting the mansion.
We see Bruce coming downstairs to the foyer. Commissioner Gordon, the Riddler and some reporters are waiting for him. The Riddler is now reformed and working as a private detective. Riddler has been hired by Sherman Bishop to investigate the murder of his niece Karrie Bishop. A photo was found in Karrie’s apartment of her and Bruce on the day that she was killed. Bruce says that he dated Karrie a couple of times, but that it wasn’t him in the photo. Riddler says that Bruce isn’t the man in the photo. The man in the photo is shorter and smaller and is wearing Caucasian flesh colored makeup.
With that, Riddler leaves along with his entourage of media members. Gordon tells Bruce that Sherman Bishop is Gotham’s wealthiest attorney and got Arkham’s chief of staff to write the Riddler a clean bill of health.
We shift to later that night. Bruce is in the batcave investigating Karrie’s murder. Bruce comes across a boyfriend named Greg Lanner, who has a criminal history and a bad attitude. That Karrie was last seen in public with Greg Lanner.
We cut to Batman interrogating Greg Lanner by throwing him off the top of a building. Greg said that he didn’t kill Karrie. That Karrie and he dated for a month and she told him that she could do better than him. The night that Karrie was killed, Greg stayed at a bar called the Treasure Chest and drank all night. A day later he heard that she had been killed. Batman tells Greg to tell Commissioner Gordon his story and turns him over to a couple of cops.
We shift to Batman scaring the crap out of the bartender at the Treasure Chest for answers. The bartender said that Greg was there until closing. Batman leaves the bar and finds the Riddler leaning on the batmobile. Batman says “Get off my car.” (You’d have to be a total fool to lean on Batman’s whip!) Riddler tells Batman to watch him and that Batman might learn something. Riddler shows Batman a private door in the Treasure Chest bar. The door leads down some stairs into an underground tunnel. They arrive at an underground S&M club known as Pandora’s Box. Riddler comments that Batman would never know about this place, but that Riddler’s ex-henchgirls, Query and Echo, used to work here.
Batman immediately walks up to the owner of Pandora’s Box, Pandora, and tells her he didn’t know she had a tunnel access through the Treasure Chest. The Riddler is crushed that the Batman knew about Pandora’s Box. Batman asks Pandora about Greg Lanner. She tells him that he digs getting handcuffed and usually comes in with two or three girls. Riddler shows Pandora a picture of Karrie and Pandora said that Greg would come in with Karrie and a brunette.
We then cut to Batman and Riddler riding in the batmobile. Riddler mentions that Greg said he was alone at the Treasure Chest. That Greg could have slipped out through the tunnel to go to Pandora’s Place and then left through another tunnel other than the one in the Treasure Chest. Batman calls Gordon and tells him to meet Batman at Greg’s apartment. Riddler then says “Nice car. First time I’ve been inside it conscious.” Batman responds “Don’t touch anything.” (Classic!)
The batmobile pulls up outside Greg’s apartment and we hear gunshots. We see a figure in the window shooting at the batmobile. Batman crashes through the window to Greg’s apartment. Greg is on the bed dead from one gunshot through the mouth. The Riddler reads a suicide note left by Greg. It also contains a confession to killing Karrie. Riddler then calls Sherman Bishop to tell him that the crime has been solved. Batman spies blood on the floor and sees more blood spots leading down the hallway. Batman tracks it down to blood on the door of the garbage chute in the hallway.
As Batman exits the apartment building he runs into the man who impersonated Bruce in the picture with Karrie. He is a celebrity actor. Batman then takes off.
We cut to Sarah Morton in her limo talking to the Riddler over the phone. Sarah congratulates Riddler for his work and that her boss, Mr. Bishop is very pleased with his work. Sarah then gets another call. She clicks over and a voice tells her that she murdered Karrie Bishop and Greg Lanner. That as Sherman Bishop’s personal aide, she stood to gain by Karrie’s death. That Sarah assumed control of Karrie’s trust fun while her uncle was grieving. Sarah then stole money from the trust fund. She had $50 million already transferred to an offshore account and would be out of the country before her crime was discovered. Sarah also arranged the photo with Karrie and the Bruce Wayne impersonator. Sarah then framed Greg Lanner. The brunette that Pandora saw with Greg and Karrie was Sarah.
Sarah’s limo then drives past the exit for the airport terminal. Sarah yells at the driver that he passed the terminal exit. The window rolls down between her and the driver, and it is Batman in disguise. The limo stops ahead where Gordon and his police officers are waiting for them.
We then cut to Riddler getting chewed out by Sherman Bishop for screwing up the case. The Riddler hangs up with Sherman and realizes that Batman knew all the time who was the murderer. End of issue.
The Good: Detective Comics #822 was an excellent issue. Dini is doing a fantastic job on this title. Dini crafts a nice one-shot issue. The pacing of this issue was just right. There was a nice blend of action, dialogue and mystery. But, most important, Dini’s story is just fun to read.
I like how Dini handled Riddler in this issue. A reformed Riddler as an attention seeking glory hound who views himself as the premier private detective is more interesting than some goofy gimmick villain. Plus, it sure seemed more annoying to Batman to deal with this Riddler rather than the villainous version. I wouldn’t mind having Batman have to cross paths and “team up” with Riddler at some point in the future. These guys make a great foil for each other and provide for some great scenes.
The final scene was nicely done. The mystery was explained to the reader and made total sense based on the clues given earlier in the issue. Plus, you have to like Batman’s style of revealing himself as the limo driver and then dropping Sarah off to Commissioner Gordon.
Dini serves up plenty of well written dialogue. The exchanges between Riddler and Batman were perfect. Each scene would have the Riddler chatting away and the Batman shooting back response with the minimum amount of words.
I liked the way that Dini writes Batman. Dini’s Batman is vicious, violent and calculating. But, at the same time Dini does a nice job blending in some subtle humor into Batman’s personality. The scene with Riddler and Batman in the batmobile was flat out hilarious.
I really like Kramer’s artwork. Kramer flat out draws an awesome Batman. Kramer’s art compliment’s Dini’s wonderfully crafted story.
The Bad: No complaints. Normally, I would complain about two one shot issues in a row, but they have been so well done that I can’t really complain.
Overall: Detective Comics #822 was a great read. Right now is an incredible time to be a Batman fan. Morrison is tearing it up over on Batman and Dini is delivering an excellent read here in Detective Comics. I cannot think of the last time that both Batman titles were this great at the same time. We are really being spoiled. DC should get plenty of credit for placing such talent on Batman and Detective Comics. If you haven’t checked out Detective Comics then you should really give it a try.