I wasn’t overly enamoured with the last issue of Detective Comics, ‘ole Uncle Bats has got himself into a bit of a bind, imprisoned by The Batmen in some sort of Batcave replica. The slightly anticlimactic reveal at the end of the last installment was that Batwoman’s father, General Kane, was behind these copy-bats (cue the groan) heading the organisation known only as The Colony.
There were some improvements in this week’s issue I must say, the action was ratcheted up and there were some nice little moments in there, like when the Batmen explore the depths of Batman’s utility belt, which appears to have an almost limitless arsenal as countless weapons, gadgets and gizmos clang onto the floor. It seems Batman employs some sort of nth dimension, space-folding technology!
This issue is titled "The Great Escape" and staying true to its name we do see Batman escape in spectacular trademark fashion, although it only grants him a brief reprieve. After a run-in with both The Colony’s resident computer hacker and General Kane himself, the caped crusader learns the Batmen’s true purpose: to stop the League of Shadows! Well now I’m interested! The whole arc felt very silly and implausible in the previous issue but more detail is offered here to help plug the holes in the story.
We also get to see the understated brilliance of Red Robin as he reveals the new lair he built in the ruins of Gotham’s failed underground transport system. He’s even taken a page from Elon Musk’s book and built himself a bullet train! This thing can rocket the team across the city at twenty times the speed of the Batmobile!
Awesome. I love it. I want one.
Finally, I am still in love with the art in this book. Martinez and Fernández are a match made in heaven to me. The shading and textures are superb and help add depth to the story as it unfolds, even little details are not overlooked like the grizzly stubble on Batman’s face after his time in captivity. Patrizio’s colours help finish things off nicely too, at times they are quite bright and in your face, but only to serve as a contrast to the moodier, darkened backdrops. Finish this all off with the improved storytelling from Tynion and we’ve got ourselves a pretty decent book here folks. Fans of the series are certain to continue with it but I don’t think it’s necessarily strong enough on it’s own to warrant your precious gold coins. Damn it though if I’m not intrigued about where this book might be heading, particularly with the League of Shadows lurking.
But will our ragtag band of heroes be enough to stop them?
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Detective Comics #937 Writer: James T Tynion IV Artist: Alvaro Martinez & Raúl Fernández Colorist: Marilyn Patrizio Publisher: DC Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital