Royal McGraw (writer) and Marcos Marz (penciller) took the reigns of Detective Comics… I wish someone would take them back. Detective Comics #825 was boring and cliche. The dialogue was sophomoric and the art was pitiful. I can hardly believe Didio let this one get past the concept stage.
In this issue of Detective Comics, Batman must stop Doctor Phosphorus from killing convicted criminal Rupert Thorne. Dr. Phosphorus was thought to be dead… killed at the hands of Ted Knight. But, like all good comic book characters, he’s not really dead… he’s just more powerful and ready to exact vengeance on the world… starting with Thorne & CO.
The art in this issue is very distracting in a bad way. I’m not sure if Marz is to blame, or if Luciana Del Negro (inker) is the guilty party. Or perhaps John Kalisz (colorist) should be taking some of the heat. All I know for sure is the thick outlines and faded colors (in-particularly seen in the faces and flesh tones of each character) give this issue a very cheap look.
The writing was no better. I hate to ruin the ending for any poor sap who wasted their money on this issue and has yet to waste their time on reading it as well, but I have to finish the rant out by commenting on the finale (stop reading if you don’t want to spoil the “surprise” ending). Batman defeats Phosphorus with Baking Soda. On one hand this is somewhat inventive… baking soda being a fire retardant. On the other hand it comes off feeling like an advertisement for baking soda. When Batman gears up to punch Dr. P in the face, he says “Baking Soda. They say it has one hundred different household uses. Call this one hundred and one.” KRACK.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Bruce Wayne and Alfred have an interchange on the final page of the comic that relates to this magical powder. This exchange between Alfred and Wayne is horrific. Bruce makes mention of the beignets tasting “a little off” to which Alfred replies that he was “half way through making these” when he realized that Wayne stole the Baking Soda. Bruce, with a disgusted look on his face asks what was used instead. Alfred tells him that salt was used as a substitute to the baking soda, but he will happily make something else to replace these (since they taste like horse crap). Bruce responds with a cheesy pun (which I won’t waste your time on here) and the final panel is a drawing of Wayne Manor. The end.
If McGraw was anything more than just a fill-in for this title, I would drop it on the spot. If you haven’t bought this comic yet, absolutely do not waste your money.