My Name is Mud(Face)Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas and Marilyn Patrizio
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 9, 2016
Now that we have put the Night of the Monster Men into the rear view mirror, James Tynion has
jumped out the gates with his Victim Syndicate story. Sure, the beginning of the story had a forced bit with people protesting Batman, but I loved seeing both Luke Fox and Harper Row once again. I also was very intrigued by the Victim Syndicate and it's colorful members and can't wait to learn more about them. So, does Tynion keep kicking ass and give us readers more of what we love? Let's find out...
The issue opens with Harper Row wanting to get a better look at Luke Fox's awesome air car, but the real excitement is upstairs at the gala. If you don't remember, the Victim Syndicate crashed the party and while we still don't know much about them, they look pretty gruesome and cool.
Speaking of cool, while everyone is trying to get their bearings, Bruce tells Luke to suit up and after a very Iron Man-esque sequence we get what I've been waiting for...Batwing is in the house!!! The Syndicate isn't there for him though, they are after Batman which is no real shock, right?
After a little introduction, we are introduced to the Victim Syndicate and while I thought they were cool before, I really am starting to like them a lot. They are not just against Batman, but the idea that Batman and the rest of the vigilantes in Gotham go about their business while innocent people are hurt in their wake. They aim to stop them and all those who support Batman and after seeing what they do to Steph, it's easy to believe they can.
The bulk of the issue is devoted to being introduced to the Syndicate team and getting a look at their powers. For the most part, they are just nobodies caught in the crossfire of Batman's fight on crime, but the most interesting is very personal to Clayface. She goes by the name of Mudface (not too original, I know) and if you thought that Basil had it bad, I think you'll agree that she has it worse.
James Tynion does a good job giving us just enough to get the reader wanting more before we head to the Belfry for some detective work and team building. Batman, Batwoman and Luke give us more information on the Syndicate while it looks like Luke is slipping easily into Tim Drake's tech position. I love Luke and am excited that he is in the book, but what is with the "branding" talk?!? It has come up in a bunch of other books recently (most notably, Nightwing) and I'm already sick of it!
The issue ends with a bit more of forced negativity towards Batman and his methods as Stephanie is still recovering from the Syndicate's attack. The cliffhanger is not a surprise at all, but it's creepy as hell and has me worried for next issue.
I was intrigued by the Victim Syndicate going onto this issue and getting to know them better has upped my excitement. Sure, the whole idea of Batman causing more harm then good in Gotham is not new, but Tynion is giving it an ugly face and making it much more personal. The only real negatives I can find are the fact that this issue is still setup heavy and the forced idea that people have this much of an issue with Batman and his team. They just saved Gotham from multiple goddamn kaiju monsters!!! Give them a break.
This is easily my favorite looking issue from Eddy Barrows since Rebirth started. The character designs for the Victim Syndicate are pretty awesome and so, so creepy! Seriously, the art makes a good story into something of a horror story that just feels right.
Bits and Pieces:
Detective Comics is back on top with this issue and after the Monster Men debacle, I am so glad. The Victim Syndicate continues the idea that Batman's methods need to change and after Tim Drake's death, there isn't really an argument there. The whole story reads like a scary mystery and Eddy Barrow's art helps that out so much. Highly recommended.