By Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Since it was announced, the anticipation and excitement levels for this new creative team taking over Detective Comics has arguably been at an all-time high for DC Comics. Why, you ask? Well, it’s really simple when you get right down to it. As a matter of fact, it comes down to two simple words: ‘The’ and ‘Flash’. Both co-writer/artist Francis Manapul and co-writer/colorist Brian Buccellato proved themselves more times that you can count on their twenty-five issue run on The Flash starting at the beginning of the NEW 52. If you haven’t read that, because there’s something seriously wrong with your judgment and taste, I implore you to go back and check it. It’ll give you a taste of things to come on Detective while also being some of the best work to come out of DC in recent memory.
Yes, they’re absolutely that good to get that kind of praise. Francis Manapul, the artist, continues to improve and impress with what, for all intents and purposes, is a brand new #1 issue of Detective Comics. His digital ink work, combined with traditional ink wash on its own is some of the most eye catching and vivid visuals in comics today, so when you take techniques like that and you apply them to, arguably, the most famous and popular character under the DC banner you’ve got a recipe for something amazing. Add to that the finishing touches and muted coloring style and technique that Brian Buccellato applies and, well, it takes something that’s already a screaming ten and cranks it up to eleven. Would the book look interesting with just inks and ink washes? Sure, it’d be interesting and it’d look great but without Booch it just wouldn’t be on this level. Booch, as with all colorists, add those final touches that just make everything pop and stand out and really come to life on the page.
These two, as already mentioned, have been working together for a while now; they know how each other works and they clearly work on a level not seen enough in today’s comic industry. So when it comes to co-writing Detective Comics #30 and getting to use a character like The Batman, especially during his 75th Anniversary year, these two are more than up to the challenge. Undoubtedly they will be criticized and scrutinized far more than they were on The Flash and there’s going to be a whole hell of a lot more eyes on this than The Flash, not just because it’s Detective Comics or Batman, but because of what they accomplished their first go around. What does all that mean? Well, it means that yes these two understand Batman. Sure it’s only one issue, but there’s something brewing here that feels big and possibly bigger than other Batman stories right now, or in the past.
Manapul and Booch don’t, and won’t, hold back. They won’t take the easy way out and they won’t conform to what people may want from, or expect from, them. They’re going to put their blood, sweat and tears into every single panel and give comic fans a series they can be proud of and get giddy over month in and month out. They’re fans, they’re insanely talented creators and DC has given them the key to play in the world of their most popular character—what more could you ask for? Look out Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, you’ve got some serious Bat-competition here.