Published in 1992, in Detective Comics issue #651, A Bullet for Bullock is a standalone Batman tale written by Chuck Dixon, with art by Graham Nolan. Presented as a mystery/detective piece, the story focuses on Detective Harvey Bullock and the multiple attempts made on his life by an unknown assailant.
What happens in Batman: A Bullet for Bullock?
On a rainy evening, while on his way home from work, Gotham City Police Detective, Harvey Bullock finds himself the target of a drive-by shooting. Bullock survives the attempt on his life, but is understandably shaken – and this drive-by shooting is just the latest incident in a series of threats.
Keen to discover the identity of the mystery shooter, Bullock enlists the help of Batman. The Caped Crusader is cautious about taking on the case, but after agreeing to help Bullock he works through a list of suspects that hold a grudge against the detective.
Believing he has narrowed the list down to the most likely culprit, Batman joins Bullock as they apprehend the supposed shooter. But the person they believe to be the would-be killer is not the perpetrator and that means someone else is gunning for Bullock.
Is Batman: A Bullet for Bullock worth reading?
The beauty of comic books is that the medium can balance different types of stories. One month, an issue can be just one chapter in a sprawling epic, while the next it can be a standalone tale, small in scope and scale.
It is often in these more intimate moments that comic book readers can enjoy some true gems – and that’s what A Bullet for Bullock is. It is a simple, yet effective piece which holds the reader’s attention across its mere 23 pages, to present an engaging slice of escapism.
Boasting beautiful art, and great pacing/storytelling, which is reminiscent of an old detective yarn, A Bullet for Bullock is a satisfying read. It doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel, it just delivers the goods in an efficient manner, while proving to be highly entertaining.
Has A Bullet for Bullock been adapted for film?
A Bullet for Bullock has not been adapted for film and I don’t believe it ever will – it is simply not a story which lends itself to the big screen. However, in 1995 the story did provide the basis of a small screen episode of Batman: The Animated Series, also called A Bullet for Bullock.
The animated tale is very faithful to the comic book story – often using similar dialogue. And as with the comic, the TV episode has a noir/detective aesthetic which works very well as a small-scale story.
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