Detective Comics is where the conflict between Batman and Joker began – so it’s only appropriate that the first arc in the new Detective Comics line is a Batman and Joker story.
This arc looks like it’s going to take Joker in a new direction. The tale opens at a point where Batman has finally found a pattern in the years-long killing spree of an apparently difficult to prosecute Joker, a way to tie the killer to his deeds after a wearing investigation.
Batman catches up with him as he murders one more victim, strangely, a man with a mask of skin, and the chase ensues. The conclusion of this issue is both eerie and odd, an atmosphere that likely sets the tone for the new Detective Comics.
It’s clear just how gone the comics code really is, much more so here than in Justice League. The visuals are bloody and violent, and this is not the Joker of old.
This is the more recent Joker, the violent, random psychopath that we first really saw in Moore’s Killing Joke. This Gotham is full of death and pain, which comes viscerally through the pages, strongly reflecting the Gotham of Year One.
The Canon in general seems to fit with the Batman origin story presented in Year One. The police are still especially distrustful of Batman, and the public knows little of him yet. If it is the same canon, it takes place six years after the end of Year One, and it seems as if Joker is still the only costumed villain Batman has yet had to contend with.
It appears to be taking place long before Justice League #1, which itself declared to be set 5 years before the ‘current’ timeline. Thus, it seems like a lot of the books are going back to tell stories that may not be origins, but are certainly long-past turning points which will establish the heroes in the new continuum.
Fans of Batman from any medium should absolutely pick up this issue, and when the last page turns you’ll curse the month you have to wait to see what the final images really mean.
Detective Comics #1 is on sale now at wherever you buy comics including the ComiXology store.