REVIEW: ‘Detective Comics Annual,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Detective Comics Annual #3
Detective Comics Annual #3 is published by DC Comics, written by Peter J. Tomasi, art by Sumit Kumar and Eduardo Risso, with colors by Eduardo Risso and Romulo Fajardo Jr. and letters by Tom Napolitano. This multi-story issue revolves around Batman’s now absent friend Alfred. With an old friend of Alfred’s calling in a favor on his behalf, Bruce Wayne cannot help but lend his aid for the sake of his old friend. This book also gives a glimpse into the beginnings of the Batman’s legend in the form of the stalwart butler’s own writings.

Last May I had the enjoyment of reviewing Detective Comics Annual #2. My favorite part of this giant-sized tale was the amount of focus the story lent to Alfred. Whether through prior planning or chance Detective Comics Annual #3 continues to give Alfred the spotlight. Though in a much more somber way.

Detective Comics Annual #3

A traitor Alfred once called a friend has been located. But, with the change of political realities since the Cold War Years when he betrayed MI-6, no one wants to do anything about it. So Agent Marigold of MI-6 goes to the one place Alfred told her to go if she was ever truly in trouble. Wayne Manor. With Bruce still in mourning over the loss of Alfred he can not deny the opportunity to settle a score on his friend’s behalf.

This story was a solid piece of storytelling. It was a classic spy theme envelops the proceedings as Batman heads to Eastern Europe to hunt down his query. Tomasi paces the story so that it completely sells the classic spy movie feel it goes for. The final confrontation provides a satisfying conclusion to the plot, and the last pages give the story one last moment that makes it much more than a throwaway spy piece. The art in this first part of Detective Comics Annual #3 also goes nicely with its theme. Kumar’s pencils set the scenes perfectly, while Fajardo’s colors work wonderfully to enhance the feel of the art.

Detective Comics Annual #3

The second story here is just a little peek into the early days of Bruce’s crusade through a letter written by Alfred to agent Marigold. The writing here is wonderfully clever. Alfred, of course, never divulges what Bruce is up to. But what he writes, coupled with the visuals of the art, comes together to reveal the true meanings of his words. While the art works well enough to clarify Alfred’s words, its style didn’t really work for me. The images come across as a bit too rough for my taste. That, coupled together with a color palette that just felt a little off, combined to create a visual presentation that never quite landed.

All in all Detective Comics Annual #3 delivered an enjoyable, if somber, look at the life of Batman’s oldest and dearest friend. It felt fitting and respectful of the character it was an ode to. I’m sure he would be touched to read it.

Detective Comics Annual #3 is available on January 29th wherever comics are sold.

Detective Comics Annual #3
4

TL;DR

All in all Detective Comics Annual #3 delivered an enjoyable, if somber, look at the life of Batman’s oldest and dearest friend.