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Detective Comics #28 - Gothtopia, Part 2 of 3: The Maddening Crowd Review

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Batman teams up with Poison Ivy to stop Scarecrow's evil plan!

The Good

Gothtopia continues as Batman tries to escape the clutches of Scarecrow and his associates with the help of Poison Ivy. Flat-out, this issue is a ton of fun and writer John Layman does a great job at putting the "detective" in DETECTIVE COMICS. Most of this issue revolves around Batman trying to escape Arkham Asylum as well as trying to figure out what Scarecrow's plans are.

A few pages into the issue, Layman catches up readers who may have missed the last issue with two pages reliving the last issue's moments, in a way that doesn't hinder the main story. Batman has a "how did I get here moment" as he sits in his jail cell and the reader is flooded with images of what Gothtopia was like before Batman broke the spell, or rather before Poison Ivy's thorn broke the spell.

Batman and Poison Ivy are one hell of a cool team. I love seeing them work together, and while Poison Ivy is one of the rogues that could walk a fine line between hero and villain, seeing her in the role of sidekick was very cool. Although is was brief, their team up fight against Killer Croc was one of the highlights of the issue.

From page one, I loved the art on this issue. Aaron Lopresti (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), and Blond (colors) do an awesome job with the art here. Page one opens with a beautiful splash of Batman in a straight-jacket. The lighting, shadows, and overall design of this page are fantastic and it's one fantastic way to lead into a book and establish where Batman is at. The book is dark, which is a complete contrast from the bright and happy world of Gothtopia. I love the play with colors and light in the few scenes we saw bouncing back between the worlds.

The Bad

If you read issue #27, and by that, I mean the final story at the end of the super-sized issue, then you'll have a good, solid idea of what's going on. However, this is one of those story lines that bleeds into other series, and even though I read both DETECTIVE #27 and #28, I feel like I'm missing out on something. Not all the fans of DETECTIVE, like myself, want to read the other books for various reasons, so they're missing out on a full scope of the world. We really only get to see Gothtopia in issue #27.

The ending was a bit of a let down. It's supposed to raise the stakes, but it falls a little flat. Batman is already up against some formidable villains with a HUGE plan and what the reader sees at the end will bring on some craziness in the next issue, but it's just not doing anything for me.

The Verdict

Story lines that bleed into other series, with information that really helps out the reader, are a bit of a bummer, and DETECTIVE #28 feels like it's missing a bit more of that Gothtopia world; however, this issue is one fun ride that makes this series feel like a detective book again. The writing and art mesh incredibly well together and it's one fantastic roller coaster of a ride. On it's own, this side of Gothtopia feels like it's missing a little something, but by the end of the issue, you'll forget all about that because this is a well crafted and incredibly interesting story.