Author: Paul Dini and Royal McGraw
Artists: Don Kramer, Wayne Faucher and others
Titan Books
RRP: 8.99, US $14.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 428 9
ISBN-10: 1 84576 428 5
Available 22 June 2007

He is in peak physical condition, with a high-tech arsenal at his disposal. But it is perhaps his exceptional detective skills that make Batman the most formidable opponent to the countless deadly villains of Gotham City. The Dark Knight and Robin face the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin and Poison Ivy - as well as brand-new villains - while pushing themselves to the limit to solve crimes. But can even the most powerful minds outthink unpredictable and crazy foes?...

Detective is an interesting addition to the Batman series. In this collection Batman and Robin have to contend with the Riddler, Poison Ivy, the Penguin, the Joker and Dr. Phosphorus across five very different tales.

Each story centres on one villain. Have the Riddler and the Penguin really put their pasts behind them? Do they really want to forget about their life of crime and start again? It would seem so, but Batman is not convinced. That is, until he overhears the Penguin reveal that robbing people legally, by charging high prices for memorabilia trading off his criminal past, is far more lucrative than a life of crime - especially when it keeps the Batman at bay. Is Poison Ivy as much of a victim as she claims? Will the Joker's kidnap plan see him killing another Robin? And is Dr. Phosphorus the hottest new villain in Gotham, or will Batman pour cold water on his plans for revenge? All these questions are answered with these pages.

To be honest, having read this collection, I was at a loss to explain why something like this hadn't been attempted before. A collection of new stories that each feature one of Batman's biggest baddest foes is such a simple idea, but one that works a treat.

Everyone will find something of interest in this wonderfully conceived collection.

Nick Smithson

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