Detective Comics hit with a bang on Wednesday and John Layman and Myself have been very happy with the response from reviewers, but MORE importantly, the fans themselves! Here are some of the reviews that hit the web that caught my attention:
Newsarama had a nice little blurb to say:
"Chew creator John Layman takes over Detective Comics, delivering an action-packed issue, driven by an intriguing plot, a strong script, great dialogue, and some insightful character work. Bruce Wayne and Batman's lives cross paths as the Penguin makes a move to seize control of Gotham aristocracy. The issue is well paced, filled with smart plot developments and packs a powerful cliffhanger ending that will guarantee fans will come back for more. Jason Fabok provides the visuals, with dynamic linework and tight inking, highlighted by great model work and facial expressions, and utilizing a slew of interesting perspectives and camera angles. This is everything you could want in a Batman comic and more, the best issue of Detective Comics in years."
But my favorite was this little forum post on a CBR forum topic from poster Retro315:
"Good issue. Bruce's gallows humor wasn't just a one-scene deal, his sarcasm, sense of irony and timing were the highlights of the issue, as well as his interaction with Nightwing over the phone which had Dick being as irreverent as ever and occupying the wonderful role of "the only guy in the world not in the slightest afraid of Batman".
Penguin having true motivation was very welcome and Fabok's depiction of him was the sort I prefer - far more human, less grotesque. It wasn't exactly what I'd choose but it was loads better than what we usually get. Layman truly follows through with the promise of kind of introducing us to the "people who orbit the personalities" of Gotham's underworld, as Penguin's affiliates are explored, as well as his style of crime, how he keeps Batman occupied and how he is not just a Batman villain but a reflection of Bruce Wayne (first time in a LONG time anyone has really used that aspect of him).
Fabok has quickly moved to the top of the heap. Here's a guy who certainly comes from the same school as your Finch and Daniel (The Jim Lee school, basically), but who never leaves thing looking scratchy, who really puts his time into a clean line and looks like he researches the hell out of where shadows fall for that "Film Noir/Detective Pulp" vibe. But he doesn't overkill himself or his deadlines with it - some of the dynamic angles (that shot of Batman, his shadow and a bunch of laid out hoodlums on a rooftop sticks in my mind) are more of the cartoonist strength, where Batman's shadow is important to the image but frankly all the myriad little "realistic" bits of shadow and highlight are less important and therefore the linework is left clean and not overpowered.
So Fabok's a pretty great get, here. He's got a real strong grasp of not just anatomy but different anatomies and facial shapes (although I found the Hospital Exec guy to be kind of oddly grotesque, especially near Penguin), and the fact that I can see a few shifty perspectives affecting anatomy here indicates to me not that he's got a bad eye, but that he won't drive himself crazy on every panel to meet deadlines, he works quickly, and what looks to be confidently, and moves on.
Pretty much my only gripe is that Penguin didn't drop any trademark "Waughs" or slight bird noises. I find that some of those Golden Age quirks, used sparingly help keep a consistency to a character, add a little eccentricity that makes them more memorable (and likable). Not the end of the world, but I like my Bat-Rogues to keep just a little bit of the camp."
Now that is a great critique from a fan who understands art and storytelling. Looking forward to showcasing some of the line art once people have had a chance to get the book. But just for kicks, I'll post the line art for the first few pages here for you to see as a bonus!!! Thanks all for the strong support and belief that we could do a great new story!