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on 18 February 2014
The Batman Detective Comics series of the new 52 has been solid so far but nothing special, this volume with a new creative team behind it really gives the title a boost.

The series highlights the detective aspect of the Batman universe, following the Batman investigating and piecing the puzzles together. Although this volume crosses over with the 'Death of the Family' event, unlike over series it's not overtaken by it.

We see the Batman combating the surge in Joker inspired gangs after the return of his arch nemesis, investing a series of murders committed by one particular group that may have something more to them than meets the eye. The writing is tight and the narrative very enjoyable. The 2nd tale in here shows see the penguin dragged into the Jokers grand schemes, leaving his 2nd in command to run the criminal empire which has more ramifications that you might expect to the ongoing Gotham story.

This volumes brings the quality of the series much closer to the excellent Scott Snyder Batman series and I'm very much looking forward to the next book.
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on 24 January 2014
I recently started collecting more of Batman outside of the main Batman comic run and it seemed the most notable comic to turn to was Detective Comics! I must say that with the purchase of Volumes 1 and 2 I was quite disappointed with the simple and less than enthralling storylines of both volumes! However with the recent introduction of brand new writers for the title Volume 3 was a much needed refreshment into the series. A very enjoyable read and I can't wait for volume 4!
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on 20 November 2014
Great story with absolutely beautiful artwork..a visual treat!!
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on 12 November 2015
Finally i got it, and for a reasonable price! Thankyou!!!
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on 7 November 2015
BRILLIANT.
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on 22 March 2014
The previous volumes of the New 52 issues of Detective Comics have been a little hit and miss but for my money and overall the series has lagged behind the other Batman titles in terms of overall quality. New writer, John Layman, puts that right with what is easily the best entry in the series collecting issues 13 to 18. Unlike the previous volume which was more episodic in nature, we get a coherent storyline featuring the Penguin, Poison Ivy and Clayface amongst others. Some nice artwork too and even if Poison Ivy has put on a little weight she has never looked better! Each individual issue included a back- up story which reveals some additional details relating to the main story. These shorts work surprisingly well and I am very glad that they have been included in the collection. I am definitely looking forward to volume 4.
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on 27 September 2014
Another engaging story line and some fantastic artwork. Unfortunately I have missed a few things which pop in leaving me looking for some back issues to get the full story.
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on 3 April 2014
I’m so relieved DC booted Tony Daniel off of Detective and replaced him with John Layman, the writer of the excellent Image series, Chew. DC must’ve been paying attention to the negative reaction of Daniel’s run because right on the cover is a blurb acknowledging that his series was dead in the water: “Layman has reinvigorated the book with his first story arc”. That said, while I think the new creative team - Layman is joined by artists Jason Fabok and Andy Clarke, both outstanding - is definitely a step up, the new Detective Comics isn’t brilliant.

The first half of the book concerns Poison Ivy and Clayface who’re up to some shenanigans, while the second half follows a new villain called the Merrymaker, a dude in a plague mask inspired by the Joker. In the background is the titular character, the Emperor Penguin, who is the Penguin’s former assistant, Ogilvy, who’s decided to take advantage of Penguin’s absence (he was forced to help Joker in the Death of the Family storyline) to become the new head of Penguin’s empire.

The Ivy and Clayface storyline was a complete flatline for me. It was Ivy doing her usual act of making guys do her bidding and the only “mystery” was why Clayface was going along with it, believing he was Ivy’s husband. I say “mystery” because I definitely didn’t give a damn one way or the other and my reaction at the reveal was a shrug.

The Merrymaker storyline isn’t much better but is definitely more interesting. Referencing the Joker’s return in the Death of the Family storyline, a new group of devoted fans called the League of Smiles (terrible name!) is killing in the name of Joker. The references to fandom and Joker’s influence over weaker-minded people are narrative avenues Layman explores in a semi-compelling way.

The entire Emperor Penguin stuff though… meh. Emperor Penguin doesn’t distinguish himself enough from Penguin so while we see Oswald on his ass dealing with being on the bottom of the ladder, Emperor Penguin isn’t doing anything very differently from the original Penguin - he’s still scheming, coming up with criminal plans to beat Batman, etc., plus his personality is your bland stereotypical villain.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover this was the first New 52 book in a long while that wasn’t stuffed with pointless crossover issues. This volume collects Detective Comics #13-18 and NOTHING ELSE! It does reference events like Death of the Family and Damian’s death in Batman Incorporated but doesn’t have issues from those titles shoehorned into it. DC, if you’re reading this, and of course you are, let’s have more volumes like this please!

Layman’s a good writer but the storylines here don’t enthral (the aimless Ivy/Clayface one especially) and he needs to find a better hook for the series. I wouldn’t say he’s reinvigorated the title but he’s definitely pointed it in the right direction, away from whatever the hell Tony Daniel was doing. Jason Fabok and Andy Clarke’s art on the other hand is wonderful. Fabok draws the main issues and Clarke draws the backups (those focus on small players in Gotham’s underworld, some of which are actually more interesting than the main stories) and both draw Batman and Gotham beautifully - dark, gothic, beautifully dramatic, and exciting.

So is Detective Volume 3 a must-read? Nope! It’s an unfocused collection of middling Batman stories with great art, but there’s potential with this creative team that might develop in future volumes, so, unlike Tony Daniel’s first Detective book which turned me off the title, I’ll be around for the next one.
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