Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.
Detective Comics #880 by Scott Snyder (writer), Jock (artist & cover), Dave Baron (colors), and Jared K. Fletcher (letters)
The coincidences of the randomizer are getting out of hand–I may have to intervene. Anyway, this issue of Detective Comics (the penultimate of the original run) is one that I purchased at the beginning of February, 2014, at the first Palouse Comic-con. I have to say, I was very hesitant to read through this issue because I have not yet read this run of stories (I have #871 through 881), but for you dear reader, I went all-in to the spoilery zone. I imagine that I would have been very surprised to have read the reveal at the end of this issue, but I certainly enjoyed the the confrontation between Batman (Dick Grayson) and the red hoo–er, I mean herring, i.e., the Joker. When Dick took over for Batman, I kept wanting to read stories where Batman would interact with various people and to see their reactions to him because he’s not the Batman they are used to (and yet curiously, I did not pick up these issues when fist published–more on that later). But I get that in this issue, where Joker rejects Dick as Batman, and correctly guesses that Dick is in fact the former Robin. Snyder’s depiction of the Joker here is creepy, unlike his portrayal in the relaunched Batman title with the “Death of the Family” storyline. I feel I will really enjoy these last several issues of the pre-New 52 Detective Comics.
Why didn’t I pick up these issues when they were originally released, especially when my good friend Travis was telling me how good they were? *shrug* I read the “Black Mirror” story and I wasn’t all that impressed, so I dropped the book. Scott Snyder wasn’t that impressive a storyteller to me at that time. Now, I really enjoy his work. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Travis kept telling me I should read his stuff. :) But what really got me to get these back issues was that I wanted to possess those last few issues of the venerable Detective Comics, plus, I wanted to read more of Dick Grayson as Batman, hopefully getting to see those scenes I mentioned above.
Finally, despite the obvious connection to Ledger’s Joker, that’s one hell of a cover image! The bat signal in Joker’s eyes and how the bats fly out of his head effectively ties to the story in that Joker is utterly “possessed” by Batman and is somewhat powerless without his playmate. Great job, Jock!