Sunday, June 30, 2013
Detective Comics: Faces of Death (comic)
Collects: Detective Comics (vol. 2) #1-7
I've always liked Tony Daniel as an artist, but as a writer he leaves something to be desired. The plots are rarely gripping and it's easy to forget a lot of what you just read. Even with this book, which I read a week or so ago, I've been struggling to recall what happened without going back to the book for a refresher. Never a good sign; even worse when we're talking about one of the flagship Batman books in the wake of a line-wide relaunch.
Don't be fooled by the cover, either; after the first issue, the Joker vanishes, not to be seen again until Scott Snyders "Death of the Family".
Faces of Death actually focuses on a new villain. A laudable approach that I'm all for DC doing more of. Trouble is, said new villain has no spark. The Dollmaker is not much of a character beyond the fact that he cuts faces off, which is an MO we could get from any old grimdark comic book. Without an interesting threat, the book just kind of falls apart.
Still, I enjoy Daniels artwork, as always. A lot of people give him flack for being too "90's", but his style's always worked for me. He's not quite as reliably good an artist as some - he seems to like to experiment with technique a lot, which doesn't always pan out - but when he's on top he can make some really memorable images. Memorable as in "wow, that's a cool splash", not "uhh... huh, a splash page of Jokers severed face". Unfortunately, those type are in short supply here, but the art is still pleasant enough.
Even so, there's nothing here that you just gotta see and it's not quite good enough to make up for the lackluster story.
My Opinion: Skip It
Faces of Death isn't really "awful", but it's forgettable enough that I'm comfortable saying you don't need to bother. Kind of a dud, all things considered. Tony Daniel's done better.