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COMIC REVIEW: DETECTIVE COMICS #822
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey
Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Story Arc: None
Story Title: "E. Nigma: Consulting Detective", 1 of 1
Writer: Paul Dini
Art by: Don Kramer, Wayne Faucher, and John Kalisz
Cover Artist: Simone Bianchi

DETECTIVE #822 continues Paul Dini’s run on this particular Bat-comic. This issue is yet another example that Mr. Dini gets The Batman. He knows who he is, what he should do, how he should act, and how he should think. Hopefully, Dini’s run will be a lengthy one.

Let me get sort of off topic for just a second. It seems to this reader and reviewer that Dini is writing DETECTIVE much like he wrote BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, but targeted at an older audience. He can do things in the comics that are more adult that he couldn’t in the TV series. And that is a good thing!

This month’s story is titled “E. Nigma: Consulting Detective.” So as you can obviously surmise, The Riddler is featured in this story -- as The Batman’s crime-solving, detective partner.

Sort of.

In the inro, The Batman is seen subduing Roxy Rocket (who was created by Dini and seen in the animated series in 1998). As he returns to the Batcave, he sees a warning that visitors are waiting for Bruce Wayne up above. The Riddler has appeared at Wayne Manor to “clear” Wayne of a cold-blooded crime murder of a young social butterfly named Karrie Bishop. Seems Nigma now fancies himself a private eye and has actually been hired to solve a murder. And so, the mystery begins.

Some of you may be thinking, “What’s this? BRUCE WAYNE: MURDERER all over again?” Well it’s not as Bruce is cleared of the crime rather quickly and it’s made clear that Commissioner Gordon never even considered Wayne a suspect.

While not wanting to “team up” per se with Nigma, The Batman re-opens his examination of the Bishop murder case because he thinks that The Riddler is going to screw up the investigation. But The Dark Knight’s concerns turn out to be unfounded as The Riddler does indeed help him. And the question of who is the better detective is answered as well. Could The Batman’s former conundrum-obsessed adversary really a better sleuth that “The World’s Greatest Detective?”

Penciler Don Kramer does impressive work with both his depiction of The Dark Knight and Gotham City. His Riddler is cool as well -- he doesn’t come off as much of a goofy nerd has he has at times. Props to Wayne Faucher’s inks that nicely enhances Kramer‘s pencils, and John Kalisz's colors really had a nice touch of darkness to the story.

The only thing that bugged me a tad is that there was no way to deduce the actual identity of the true culprit. But that may simply be me as I like to play detective as I read.

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM, BATMAN IN COMICS, and ON-FILM.NET.

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