Publisher: DC Comics
Released: December 19th 2017
Issues: Detective Comics 957-962
From the minds of James Tynion IV (Batman/TMNT), Eddy Barrows (Nightwing), and Alvardo Martinez (Batman Eternal) comes the fourth installment of the Batman: Detective Comics line. I know some people think that there are too many “bat” characters already, and while I don’t necessarily disagree with them, what’s done is done, and thus I’m happy for a series that actually takes time fleshing the lot of them out (or occasionally killing them off).
There are two main plots for this volume. The first is more of a one-shot story, as it’s only one issue long. However it is focusing on Stephanie and how she’s handling (spoiler warning) Tim Drake’s death. Hint: not well. To her credit, she tries to turn what happened into something positive, in a way. Instead of being a vigilante that takes all the crime fighting credit, Stephanie has become a silent crime fighting vigilante, one who makes sure the police take the credit. In this way she hopes to bring something good back to the city. I respect this so much. I hope this becomes a larger plot later, though I doubt it will.
The main plot is a bit more chaotic, to say the least. It revolves very heavily around Batman, Zatanna and a few others. I honestly think the Zatanna part of this plot was probably the most stable plot – the other part just left me confused and feeling rushed. Perhaps that’s my bias showing, as I quite like Zatanna (and seeing a teenage Zatanna was pretty cool). The confusing part focused around Azrael and events specific to him. I’m not sure what it was about this, but I had the hardest time keeping track of what was actually going on and why. So needless to say I didn’t get much satisfaction out of the ending. Oh well.
I find it interesting how they spent so much time in this issue building up Bruce Wayne and Zatanna’s relationship in this volume; especially considering what is going on with Catwoman in the main Batman series. This leaves me a bit confused about where everything fits continuity wise. Sure, you could argue that the relationship isn’t sexual and is a non-issue, but it still raises a lot of other questions, so again, I’m left confused.
On the bright side I really enjoyed the artwork for this series. All the characters had these really nice little details on them (even ones that first appeared unimportant) and I enjoyed the mech designs shown. I particularly liked the magic effects and how they were drawn, but again that might be my bias showing.