Everyone’s a Critic

Detective Comics #845

Posted by jadecanary on June 8, 2008

The Riddle Unanswered
by Paul Dini (w)
Dustin Nguyen (p)
and Derek Fridolfs (i)

Next thing you know she’ll be trading in her top hat and fishnets for a cape and cowl. “Bat-anna”. Has a ring to it.

I don’t care about what people say about COUNTDOWN, I still like Paul; Dini’s writing. His run on DETECTIVE COMICS has been really good. Take, for example, what he has done with The Riddler. Right from the start, he has taken a fun Bat-Villain and made him a recurring character with solid dialogue that doesn’t involve holding someone hostage and sending the exact address to Gotham PD in the form of a riddle. The Riddler, Private Detective has been an excellent support character, and a thorn in the side to the real detective. (and the book is called DETECTIVE COMICS!)

Detective #845 features not only the return of The Riddler, but Catwoman as well. She didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose, other then to tease Batman about his love interests.

The main single issue story follows the detectives as they try to tie together three seemingly random murders, all committed by the same killer. As Batman continues to get frustrated, he turns to an Internet chatroom for detectives, The Heirs of Dupin. Yes people, this is a real website. He even worked in Marplemiss99 (the “webmistress”) into the story. That’s why I like Dini.

The chatroom members discuss the three murders, with no good information to be found. Then JPHRED52 logs in and gives them the smallest of leads: the killer is weak and insecure. As the talk continues, JPHRED52 pm’s Batman. They talk about a chatter with the handle WIZARD101. “Do you think he has any idea who you and I are?” Batman types, “Probably not, Bo. Like you said, Riddler is too fixated on picking other brains for leads. To him, we are only online nobodies.” JPHRED52 is Detective Chimp of the Shadowpact.

Eventually, Batman discovers what’s going on. The killer has been baiting the Riddler. Riddler was involved in a robbery years ago where a warning shot was fired. The bullet killed the murderer’s girlfriend. Batman arrives in time to rescue the Riddler and stop the bad guy. Case closed.

I am not Paul Dini. Dini took the simple idea of “A Riddler victim wants revenge” and make a really interesting story out of it. I wasn’t too thrilled about the art in this story, which is surprising, because I regularly enjoy Dustin Nguyen’s art. It may be the inker, Derek Fridolfs. I’m not familiar enough with his work.



2 Responses to “Detective Comics #845”

  1. I loved the inking! I thought it actually inproved Nguyen’s art- made it more bold and iconic looking (old school definition meaning `like an icon’ not new school `popular’).

    As to the story; it was one of Dini’s tightnest (aside from the clear padding- maybe editiorial driven to establish catwomans return from the dreadful salvation run- that was silina’s couple of pages. Although, it did serve to acknowledge Jesebel’s Jets existence in a title outside of Batman. This issue of Tec, and the Hush arc coming up are set before RIP, right?) but I dont like how Riddler seams alot dumber than he ever was as a villain. In his three/four appearances as Riddler PI he just makes so many mistakes! whereas back in the day he got caught mainly because of his own mental disorder (and arogance causing him to underestimate his oppantants) rather than out and otu bad decision making; as if a former career ccriminal would walk into such an obvious trap like that!

    My only thought is that Riddler really is dumber than he used to be- he does after all have concussion based amnesia (“Kid, I can barely remember half the stuff I did as the Riddler”) and maybe its causing other problems as well? HEck maybe its the real reason behind him going straight. Sure, he was already over his obsessive compulsive disorder post Return of Hush and the excellent (except for the cloths/haircut) Riddle Me That, but maybe the fight with Shining Knight caused some other damage? Or maybe he’s just planning something….

  2. Jane Goody said

    This topic is quite hot on the Internet right now. What do you pay the most attention to while choosing what to write ?

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