SYNOPSIS: Two-Face…dead?! Did the multifaceted mafioso really get killed in a massive explosion? Batman’s the detective—let HIM figure it out! And that’s just what the Caped Crusader sets out to do, because something’s fishy about Dent’s latest demise. What the Dark Knight uncovers about his former friend not only threatens Gotham City, it’s big enough to threaten the whole world.

James Robinson’s latest visit to Gotham City is over and what a ride it was. Robinson has provided one of the more fun Batman stories recently. Batman partnering up with Two-Face is a bit of an oddity. We all knew it wouldn’t last but it was everything else Robinson provided that was so entertaining the end result didn’t matter. All that mattered was the journey and the story.

This issue of Detective Comics has all a Bat-fan could ask for. A classic villain, Batman’s due diligence and a great ending.  Robinson juggles the present and flashbacks with ease.  Telling a story in which Two-Face sacrificed himself for the greater good, or does he?  Aside from early appearances and Batman Forever, Two-Face is one of the smarter and strategic members of the Gotham Underground.  For all of Two-Face’s efforts in this story but Batman is always four steps ahead. This is the part of the arc that I have thoroughly enjoyed, the detective work.  Batman is operating on a high level, we’re talking Jordan game six elite.  From attending Harvey Dent’s funeral to keeping tabs of the Fireflies nothing gets past him and it’s pure joy to witness.  It’s been quite a long time since we had a detective in Detective Comics.

The wonderful Carmine Di Giandomnico returns again for the interior art of the issue. I cannot remember when the art on Detective was not up to par and the trend continues. Di Giandomnico provides some beautiful artwork, the panels of the cemetery are stunning and gave me vibes of the late Michael Turner.  What has really impressed me with Di Giandomnico’s artwork is how clean it is.  Not many shadows covering faces or cross-hatching details but sharp clean images.  That’s not to say the art isn’t detailed, because it is. It’s just very vibrant and easily captures the mood of the scene.  From the somber tone of the funeral to the fast-paced action in the sewers. Batman and Two-Face are on full display and never looked better!

Robinson and Di Giandomnico have provided a wonderful tale that Bat-Fans will love. This short but sweet story is something lacking in comics lately.  Everything seems to be grand in scale dealing with such large consequences.  It’s refreshing to get a story that seems local to Gotham City.  Two-Face was the perfect choice for this story; he’s a Batman villain who is rooted deep in Gotham. This story is wonderfully summed up at the conclusion by Robinson and will certainly bring a smile to the readers face, as it did mine. This issue is a must for your pull list and if you have not been reading this arc check the back issue section of your local comic shop. You will not be disappointed.

Things are going to be different the next time you pick up an issue of Detective Comics on 12/12/18.  There will be a brand new creative team taking the reigns of the book. Artist Doug Mahnke joins longtime DC writer Peter J. Tomasi.  I’m a big fan of Tomasi and it’s not just because of his awesome first name.  I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in two weeks! – Pete Verra