Review: Detective Comics #36

by Jonathan O
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Hey Batfans, this week’s issue of Detective Comics #36 was fantastic. Batman and the Police chief rush to find Bio-terrorist Magnus Magnusson before they become victims of Magnus’s virus.

Detective Comics #36 starts with a the usual Bat monologue. Meanwhile, we see men in protective suits swarm in and quarantine the airport, relieving the dying Police chief of his command. Meanwhile Batman gets a lead on Magnus and sends Grayson to go and find him. Grayson discovers that Magnus is in the airport and Batman finds him next to the corpse which Magnus used to transport the virus onto the plane. Batman, who was weakened by the plague, faces Magnus and wins. It turns out the Magnus’s blood holds the cure to the virus and the issue ends with a cured Bruce Wayne going on vacation, and a dying police chief receiving news that he will be able to live out his final wish.


I am a sucker for a good monologue and the opening few pages of Detective Comics #36 were classic Batman brooding. Detective Comics #36 opened with a comparison between air travel and the transience of life. It was dark,  depressing and lived up to the Batman monologues we all know and love. I especially loved the line, “we live in a panicked blur and no where is that more evident than in an airport.”

I also loved seeing Dick Grayson making it on his own as a general bad ass. He is exactly the kind of cold, calculating, womanizing, no craps given, antihero that could only be the protege of the dark knight.

Detective Comics #36

The ending of this issue was extremely satisfying. It was a perfect little moment where the police chief receives a ticket to Hawaii on his death bed so he can fulfill his final wish of dying on a beach surrounded by hula girls.

The art in this issue was really good. In my review of Detective Comics #35 I mentioned that, even though it is a dark comic, artists can still inject some color. This week we got a nice taste of yellows, reds and blues and it looked great while maintaining the noir look.

Review: Detective Comics #36


I wasn’t clear on Manus’s strategy in Detective Comics #36. It made sense for Magnus to be in the airport in an overly dramatic, bad guy sort of way. However, I don’t see why he had to be in the room with the virus. It seemed a little forced, like it only happened because the plot demanded it. It also made the fight between Batman and Magnus pretty much irrelevant since the Agents suspected that the body in the cargo-hold was responsible for the outbreak, and they were already descending on that area.

Detective Comics #36

This is a personal gripe, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more realism injected into this comic. Many characters, especially when they were in crowds, were pretty roughly designed. The is something to be said for simplicity, but this kind of blocky design makes the scene difficult to read, and takes you out of the story.

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Overall I enjoyed this comic. Ignoring some minor art and plot issues it was a fantastic read. This is exactly what Dark Knight fans wanted out of this series.



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