Comic Vine Review


Detective Comics #14 - Unnatural Selection; Seeds & Dirt


Bruce Wayne has been targeted for assassination. If that wasn't bad enough, looks like Poison Ivy is going back to her old ways.

The Good

Bruce Wayne is in a sticky situation. He's been targeting by an assassin. He needs to figure out how to get out of this without revealing his alter ego. Based on the cover, you might have an idea whether or not he manages to survive the experience.

The action and story shifts focus to Poison Ivy. Batman will need to deal with how he managed to escape. Ivy gets his immediate attention as it appears she is back to her eco-terrorist ways, especially after a falling out with the Birds of Prey. This brings about a feeling of a classic confrontation yet has subtle updates given her recent time fighting alongside Black Canary, Batgirl and the others. There's always been the danger of falling under Ivy's spell and John Layman gives us a unique look at how Batman attempts to deal with it.

The story moves in an interesting fashion. Batman is faced with a conundrum in the situation Ivy creates. It forces him to really think about what is the best decision to make. Who is the greater threat? By the time you get to the end, you'll feel like you were blindsided a bit. Thankfully, rather than have to wait until next month to find out what the heck is going on, the back up with art by Andy Clarke offers an explanation.

As for the art in the main story, Jason Fabok has a really clean style and he crams in a crazy amount of detail into each panel. This is especially seen in the Batcave and when Batman confronts Ivy (and all the vines around her.

The Bad

There was a strange shift from dealing with Penguin to the Poison Ivy portion. There is a connection but it felt as if there was an abrupt change. While I can respect the effort being made to keep Penguin a respectable Bat-villain. I'm still not crazy about him.

As much as I dig Fabok's art, his depiction of Damian felt off. Damian should only be ten and he was looking almost more like Tim Drake.

This issue mixes up the timeline of the story a bit. By this I mean it starts out with "last night" then proceeds to "the next morning," "tonight,"earlier that morning," "tonight" and ends with "before all that other stuff" in the backup. It's an interesting approach to mix up the story telling but can be a little annoying when there are too many shifts. This isn't the first time this has happened in a New 52 story.

The Verdict

Continuing from last issue, Bruce Wayne needs to figure out how to survive without revealing his secret identity. The story quickly shifts to Batman having to deal with Poison Ivy. John Layman feels like he's completely settled in with the writing duties on the title. The confrontations Batman has with Penguin and Poison Ivy play out differently than how we've seen them happen so many times in the past. When it comes to Poison Ivy, Batman has to make a decision in how to handle the situation as well as try to fight her persuasive ways. There are many shifts in the timeline of the story. It mixes up the pace of the story but starts feeling like too much of a novelty. Layman is heating things up with the new direction he's taking the title. Layman's story is spiced up with the great art by Jason Fabok and Andy Clarke (in the back up). This is all great news for Batman fans but bad news for those hoping they wouldn't have another Batman title to keep on their pull lists.