Detective Comics #826 Review

The Revolution has enjoyed Dini’s run on Detective Comics. Dini is a talented writer who delivers well written stories. Having said that, the continual stream of one-shot issues is starting to wear thin with me. Unfortunately for me, it appears that Detective Comics #826 is yet another one-shot issue. Let’s go ahead and do the review.

Creative Team
Writer: Paul Dini
Penciler: Don Kramer
Inker: Wayne Faucher

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Robin being chased by a bunch of drug dealers. Robin wrecks his bike and is cornered by the gun toting drug dealers. Suddenly, an SUV pulls up and the driver yells for Robin to hop in.

Robin hops into the SUV and the driver turns out to be none other than the Joker. The Joker immediately sprays Robin with some knock out gas and everything goes to black.

We then cut to a flashback of Robin and Nightwing handing out watching a Marx Brothers movie. Robin asks Nightwing if he ever thought about who the Joker really was. Nightwing says that no one knows for sure what he was before his accident. Nightwing says that the Joker certainly loves what he does. Bruce then enters the room and says that the Joker always attacks the person who is the most afraid of him.

We shift back to present time. Robin wakes up and finds that he has been bound and gagged in the passenger seat of the SUV. The Joker has the heat in the SUV cranked up high and he also has Robin’s seat warmer turned on. The Joker says that he was surprised to run into Robin in this fashion. The Joker says that he is going to call a truce. That it is the Christmas spirit in him that is telling him to let Robin go free.

The Joker then proceeds to mow down a couple of pedestrians. Robin then looks behind him and sees in the back seat the bodies of the married couple that owned the SUV that the Joker stole from them. The Joker then says he is hungry so he proceeds to drive to a fast food joint.

Robin searches inside the passenger seat cushion for something to cut through the rope binding his wrists. Robin figures that the married couple that owned the SUV must have a kid. Robin finds a matchbox car in the seat cushion and breaks off the hood in order to cut through the rope.

The Joker pulls into a drive through at a burger joint and yells out his insanely long and confusing order. He then pulls up to the window and the girl working the window tells him that she didn’t get his order. The Joker complains about her service and demands to see the manager. The manager comes over to the window and asks if there is a problem. The Joker then pulls out a gun and shoots the manager.

The Joker then takes off. The Joker then takes the matchbox car from Robin’s hand and throws it out the window. The Joker then says that he lied to Robin about setting him free. The Joker also tells Robin that he planted the matchbox car into the seat. All of it was just to give Robin false hope of escaping. The Joker then tells Robin to not bother looking for anything else in the seat.

The Joker then takes off Robin’s gag in order to give him a chance to beg for his life. Robin notices that due to the extreme heat in the car that his hands are beginning to sweat profusely in his gloves. Robin proceeds to slowly try and wiggle his hands free from his gloves and the rope binding him.

The Joker then points the SUV toward a Santa Claus with a bunch of children around him. The Joker asks Robin if he is sure he has nothing to say to dear old Santa Clause. Robin responds with a Marx Brothers quote: “You can’t fool me. There ain’t no Sanity Claus.”

The Joker cracks up laughing and swerves away from the Santa and the children at the last minute. The Joker is impressed that Robin knows the Marx Brothers. Suddenly, Robin gets his hand out of his glove and he punches Joker in the face. Robin thinks to himself that he has one chance to do this fast. That he can’t make any jokes. Just go “Batman” on the Joker’s ass.

Robin then breaks off the rear view mirror from the windshield and smashes Joker in the face with it. Robin then sprays Joker in the face with his own gas. Joker then falls out of the SUV. The Joker stands up in the middle of the road and is run over by a tractor trailer.

We shift to Batman showing up on the crime scene. Batman tells Robin that there is no sign of Joker’s body. Batman tells Robin that he is very proud of him. That Robin took the worst Joker could give him and Robin beat the Joker. End of issue.

The Good: Detective Comics #826 was a better than average read. Technically, this was a very well written issue. Dini moves the story at a brisk pace that makes the reader feel like they are actually trapped in a runaway vehicle. Dini crafts nice inner dialogue for Robin during this entire issue that he is trapped in the SUV. This is a well plotted one-shot that is full of action and provides for a nice little character study for both Robin and the Joker.

Dini also serves up a deliciously evil Joker. Dini makes you absolutely hate the Joker to the point that you just can’t wait to see Robin just open up a huge can of whup-ass on the Joker. I like the dialogue that Dini gives the Joker. The best part about Joker is that he is truly insane. That absolutely everything is just one big sick joke.

Dini also writes a great Robin. I like how Robin’s inner dialogue reflects his calm cool nature and calls up the training that he has received from the Batman. The best part was when Robin breaks free and decides to abandon his normal joke making ways and just go “Batman” on Joker’s ass. Classic. Dini shows how Tim Drake is probably the Robin that is most similar to Batman.

The beating Joker receives was wonderfully violent and well deserved. Of course, Joker somehow manages to survive. For a guy with no super powers, the Joker is certainly one of the most resilient villains around.

Don Kramer supplies his usual quality artwork. I dig Kramer’s style and he always delivers a good looking comic book. Kramer certainly can draw a wicked looking Joker.

The Bad: There is no doubt that Dini delivers a technically well written issue. However, the fact remains that Detective Comics #826 read like pure filler. This was a rather pointless issue and I feel a bit cheated. I know I have my personal bias against one-shot issues. I just am not a particularly huge fan of them. Having said that, I have enjoyed Dini’s run despite each issue being just a one-shot.

However, I think I have hit my limit. I am getting tired of getting nothing but one-shot issues on Detective Comics. I really would like to see a multiple issue story arc on this title. Something with a bit more meat to it.

Overall: Detective Comics #826 was an enjoyable and well done issue. However, it is like cotton candy. Delicious, but lacking in any real substance. Dini needs to abandon this continual one-shot issue format and try and establish a more developed and intricate multiple issue story arc. If you enjoy one-shot issues, then you will definitely love Dini’s run on Detective Comics. Dini’s one-shot formal also makes Detective Comics very new reader friendly.

1 thought on “Detective Comics #826 Review

  1. I have to respectfully disagree. I love what Dini is doing with the title. We get so much more plotlines with him than with other writers who seem to draw out every story to at least six issues. I see it as getting a much bigger tour of the Batman universe than we otherwise would. Also the art was perfect. the joker scared the stuffing out me me in each close up.

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