DETECTIVE COMICS #40
Author: Matt Grazel
March 13, 2015

SYNOPSIS: Anarky rules! Can Batman save Gotham City from itself?

Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul conclude their second arc on Detective Comics with Detective Comics #40. Whether it is the excellent writing or the gorgeous artwork, Buccellato and Manapul continue to release a comic book that leaves me in awe as a reader. Detective Comics has reached the category of being a must-read comic book now that Buccellato and Manapul have completed the Anarky storyline.

The issue begins with Anarky and his followers confronting Jervis Tetch, the Mad Hatter. Anarky is in the midst of carrying out his revenge upon Tetch for events that occurred years ago. More often than not, Batman is multi-tasking and he is doing so in this circumstance. The Dark Knight finds himself communicating with Alfred for his assistance, aiding a wounded Harvey Bullock before he confronts Anarky so the masked villain does not execute the Mad Hatter.

Buccellato and Manapul have made the Harvey Bullock a significant part of their run on Detective Comics. After forming an unexpected alliance with Batman previously, Bullock is conversing with Alfred while Batman is preoccupied with Anarky. Bullock refers to Alfred as Penny Dreadful and Penny-Dude instead of his actual code name, Penny-One. The creative team shows they have an excellent understanding of the Harvey Bullock character. Bullock ends up being the unsung hero of this issue as he is still able to help Batman while being hurt.

The artwork by Manapul is once again appealing to look at for readers. The panel that stands out for me is the artwork inside of an A in which key moments are drawn from Anarky’s past that explains the motivation for his revenge against the Mad Hatter. Buccellato’s colors have made Manapul’s artwork all the more unique in terms of the tone that is synonymous with Detective Comics.

The first book in this arc, issue #37, has a panel in which Alfred reminds Bruce he still has a choice to decide not to be Batman. Alfred reiterates to Bruce in this issue that Batman has inspired some individuals to help others and expresses his hope that maybe one day Batman will not be needed in Gotham.

I am looking forward to the next arc of Detective Comics in June. Any comic book readers looking to read another title should consider reading Buccellato and Manapul’s run on this title. – Matt Grazel

GRADE: A


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