Into every good comic title must come a lull. An issue (or more) where you can just feel that a comic is taking a step back, collecting its breath, before it explodes ahead into a pivotal, title redefining run. With Batman soon to face such a run with the upcoming seven-part ‘Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul’, Detective #837 is such an issue.
BUT (and it’s a big but), don’t think you can just skip out on Detective for an issue! Where many titles toss out uninteresting, yawn fests in the face of these down times, Paul Dini, with the crisp and enjoyable pencils of Don Kramer, have gifted us with an interesting one-shot that has the double pull of being a Countdown tie-in.
Now, the obvious draw is that fans of Countdown will take pleasure in learning of how Harleen Quinzel (Harley Quinn) came to be at the Amazonian Women’s Help Center, which involves a brief sighting of one of my personal favorite band of mercenaries, The Secret Six. Also included in the Countdown aspect of this issue is a Holly Robinson sighting as well as a nice spa fight. The not so obvious and more interesting aspect of this issue for me is the ever growing evolution of Edward Nigma, the Riddler, as he further attempts to cement himself on the side of the angels. The reforming of a villain is, by no means, an original concept but if done right, can be a much needed breath of fresh air. I have to say that Nigma as a high-paid private investigator with credit problems is much more compelling a character than Nigma, the psychopathic, cheesy villain.
So, while Bruce Wayne, Batman and Robin are put on the backburner for an issue (though they play their parts within these pages), the entertainment isn’t, which makes for one enjoyable comic.