RandoMonday: Detective Comics #785

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Detective Comics #785 by Ed Brubaker (writer), Patrick Zircher (penciller), Aaron Sowd (inker), Todd Klein (letterer), Jason Wright (colorist), Wildstorm FX (separator), Michael Wright (assoc. editor), Bob Schreck (editor), and Tim Sale & Mark Chiarello (cover)

When this comic came up I could have sworn that I had spotlighted some part of this three-part Batman/Green Lantern (Alan Scott) team-up, but I must be thinking of the Heroes and Villains podcast episode on which I was a guest. This issue is the second part of the story, wherein Batman teams up with the Golden Age Green Lantern to find what law enforcement thinks is the copycat “Made of Wood” killer from 1948 Gotham City. Alan Scott was unable to bring the original killer to justice then, and when people in the modern day are being murdered with the same words carved in their chests, Batman gets involved of course. Most of the issue is taken up either by the two heroes, and Jim Gordon independently, investigating leads, but what is most interesting to me is a flashback scene (that also contains a 1940s flashback scene) showing Bruce Wayne golfing with Alan, discussing the case. It’s just so weird to see Bruce doing something “normal” while not pretending to be the playboy character.

The Zircher/Sowd/Wright (I wonder if the colorist is related to the associate editor?) art is done well, if a little too superhero-y for a Batman tale, but that does make sense with the inclusion of Green Lantern–not only do you have a character who uses light to fight crime, you also have Alan, who is an imposing figure anyway. In fact, most of this issue seems more like a Green Lantern story guest-starring Batman, and it is the very reason that I added these three issues to my pull list back in late 2003/early 2004–otherwise, Detective Comics was not a title that I was actively collecting then. I highly recommend this story, if you can find the back issues; otherwise, the “Made of Wood” story was collected in the Batman: The Man Who Laughs trade.

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