Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Detective Comics #937 Review

Fly Home Buddy, I Work Alone

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Brad Anderson and Marilyn Patrizio
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 26, 2016

I have really been enjoying Detective Comics since Rebirth and the slow burn story took a nosedive into WTF territory last issue when we found out that Batwoman's father was behind Colony and Clayface saved everyone by "playing ball".  I have mentioned it before, but this is one of the books that makes me happy we only have to wait two weeks to get the next issue.  So, does Batwoman and crew save Batman and themselves?  Is Colony as badass as they seem?  Will Clayface get a callback? Let's see if any of those questions are answered in this issue and even if they aren't, is it any good?

If you ever sat and wondered exactly what Batman has in his utility belt, James Tynion has some answers for you in this issue.  It begins with Colony taking an inventory and I'm not sure if I'm more impressed by what we see or the fact that there is still 70% left to find out.  I guess it's a tie.

The cataloging is cut short when Batman wakes up from his drug induced nap time and goes to work. Goes to work?  Isn't he hanging by both arms with no utility belt and constant monitoring?  Why yes, but he still has a trip up his sleeve...or tooth!

I really thought that Batman was pulling the old cyanide in the tooth suicide maneuver for a second there, but of course, it's something a whole lot more badass than that.  Have I mentioned how much I like what Tynion is doing on this book?  He knows the character of Batman so well and it comes through loud and clear when the Colony scientists explain why they can't remove the cowl and see who the Bat is.  It's awesome, but quickly takes a back seat when we get a peek at the twisted version of the Batcave that Colony has set up.

We then catch up with Team Batwoman, but it's Tim Drake's time to shine.  He set up the awesome Clayface getaway, but that pales in comparison to the incredible bullet train system he has set up underneath Gotham.  I know that might sound crazy, but believe me, Tynion and Tim do a really good job explaining it.

We then get a difference of opinions about what to do with Colony.  Batwoman wants to keep it in the family while the rest want to join in on the ass kicking.  The latter wins out and they are off and running.  Before I go on, I'd like to mention that it's been a long time since I've enjoyed Tim Drake so much.

Tynion takes us back to Batman and we also get to see "his biggest fan".  His name isn't Buddy, but it might as well have been.  Nope, he is Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong and he has spent most of his short life trying to figure out everything there is to know about Batman.  He is a big fanboy and it's through him that we get to see the origin of Colony.  It all makes total sense in the timeline and motivations and while their methods aren't as code friendly, they at least believe they are doing good.

Tynion uses Ulysses to great effect here.  He is an obsessed Batman fan who is enamored by the surface without any care for what lies underneath.  It's a great metaphor for Colony as a whole who only sees Batman as the blueprint for a new age super soldier.

We see that this genius kid is a bit crazy which leads to Batman doing his best Axel Foley impersonation and meeting up with his Uncle Jake...yea, that's Kate's father.  Again, Tynion understands the Batman side of things and the two talk by themselves amongst a squad of Arkham Knights.

The issue ends with Uncle Jake telling Bruce the who and what that is the big threat that has entered Gotham and then the Colonial coming face-to-face with his worst nightmare.  Or is it a dream come true?  Nope, I think it's his worst nightmare!

Tynion continues impressing me with this book.  This issue may be more setup and not the action that I have been patiently waiting for, but I loved the stuff with the utility belt, Tim Drake, Ulysses and...well, just about everything else.

The art is one of those "everything else" things with Alvaro Martinez giving readers some great character work and detailed backgrounds.  The high point for me this issue was the Colony's cave.

Bits and Pieces:

While I am at the point that I need some action soon, James Tynion continues setting everything up from who the Colony is, how they came about and why they are upping the ante at the moment.  The story and art were really good and again, I can't wait until the next issue.



  1. I was initially pretty irritated that the rest of the team just shows up in the Colony's base. Like you, Jim, I'm chomping at the bit over here waiting to see the team kick some ass! But this review made me remember that we don't see exactly how Batman escapes, either, so I'm a bit more okay with it now. But I'm going to be so mad if Kate and the others get taken out quickly next issue. I want to see a brawl, dagnabbit!

    I also thought it was pretty bizarre that no one called Kate out for the fact that the guy who kidnapped Batman and captured their base was her dad. She's the only one who brings it up at all! I'm glad she owned up to her mistake, but wow, talk about a missed opportunity.

    I did like that the Colony doesn't seem to be completely Jacob's idea, which makes it more believable, and I still like how Jacob had this plan for Kate in mind all the way back in Elegy. The way the current story meshes with her backstory is so neat. Tim and Kate's relationship is still good; I love how he still butts heads with her but in the end still defers to her and doesn't try to take over, and I sense that Kate respects that about him.

  2. This title hasn't disappointed me yet. It's by far my favorite Bat-book. This issue keeps up the consistency.

    1. Agree on the best bat book so far but, I was hoping for just a little more action this issue.

  3. I hope a backup in one of the next issues is them cataloging the rest of the utility belt that was awesome. Also Batman is a sadist for willing loving dental pain.

    Best Rebirth book so far!

  4. DC just can't help themselves when it comes to screwing up Batwoman. Editorial interference that altered plots and eventually drove Williams and Blackman off Kate's book. Followed by Andreyko's atrocious run. Now, they ruin a great story about a father who, against his better judgment, helps his daughter fulfill her dream of serving.

    1. Nothing was ruined at all. I'm an enormous Batwoman fan and I love these new revelations and how well they fit into her backstory. Jacob can be both a supportive father and one who was secretly grooming Kate for this position the whole time. And he's been an antagonist to Kate for a whole lot longer than he's been an ally, don't forget.

      Also don't forget that Jacob is the one, way back in Elegy, who designed Kate's suit to look like Batman's and suggested she wear a Bat symbol.

    2. I'm an enormous Batwoman fan as well. IMHO, the new revelation doesn't fit in with Kate's backstory. I can see why you think it does. I just think it goes against the spirit of Elegy, Go, Cutter, etc. I also never saw Jacob as an antagonist. Just a man who made mistakes trying to do his best to be a father to a daughter who lost her mother and sister in a horrible manner. With respect to the bat symbol, it was Kate who told Jacob that it was Batman's example that finally showed her how she could serve. She also had the bat symbol drawn on her whiteboard. So, it only made sense to design a uniform based on what inspired Kate.

    3. I don't understand how it "goes against the spirit of Elegy" and all those other stories. Could you explain?

      Jacob's an antagonist because he lied to Kate for years about Beth, and once she finds out she quite understandably wants nothing to do with him for a while except in dire situations. Just because he made a mistake in not telling her sooner doesn't make him not an antagonist.

    4. By spirit, I mean what a story boils down to. Or what a character boils down to. For example, Alfred boils down to a man who, in a supportive capacity, helps his employer/friend/surrogate son fight crime. If you boil down Jacob from Rucka's stories and those of Williams and Blackman, he's a father who loves and wants to help his daughter but has damaged his relationship with her. It's not a father secretly preparing his daughter to lead a covert ops team.

      To me, an antagonist is an opponent. Alice is Kate's chief opponent. Falchion was an opponent. So was Medusa. Whisper A'Daire. Mannheim.

      I think a better way to have approached this arc would've been to have the Colony start after Kate was already Batwoman and after Elegy and Go. Otherwise, I would think the best time for Jacob to have tried to recruit her would have been when he confronted her about her vigilante activities or when she came back from the training he sent her on.

  5. This is a pretty ingenious premise. The U. S. Government wanting to militarize Batman's mission and methods? I find myself wondering why Batman would NOT want to serve his country? I realize that's a probably a really loaded issue and I am admittedly APOLITICAL. But if Batman was real and could put his considerable talents to figuring out some way to beat the terrorists to the we really think his noble cause should remain Gotham alone instead of National security?

    Really enjoying this book and anxious to see where it all goes.

    1. I think that's why they stressed the show it's just not Batman's way. However, I would love to see Batman lead a Dark Knight Army to kick some terrorist ass!

  6. Calling bullshit on the utility belt, no way it contains 70% more gadgets unless they are micro sized but it's still a cool concept. The tooth gas bomb is why I could never be Batman. Too much of a whimp to pop a tooth loose to break free. The main cover was amazing!

  7. This was solid, but spent way too much time with cliched trope of "I'm the villain and let me explain my master plan to you". The colony is still rather dull, and I don't care for the Jacob Kane twist, because he's done nothing this series except act like an asshole. I'd put this below Wonder Woman, Nightwing, and Titans, and a few spots over Hal Jordan and Red Hood. 7.5/10

  8. Huge fan of how they were cataloging the utility belt. When Batman was messing with his tooth, I also briefly thought that this was it. Batman was going to go out his way, cyanide capsule. Sure hope Bruce never accidentally triggers that at a party. That might alert a few people that he's Batman.
    Red Robin explaining the old tunnels is ridiculous, but I did appreciate it. It will set up for future issues where they need to be across town in a moment. I loved that he talks about how fast this will go, 20x as fast as the top speed of the batmobile, and then he says "I still have to nail the braking system..." Those better be some good brakes!
    That video Ulysses, The General, plays for Batman showing him what it would be like if dozens of him were dropped somewhere, isn't really them being like Batman. Yeah, they are dressed like a bat, but they aren't stealthy at all. They just show up guns blazing.
    I really liked the confrontation of Uncle Jake and Bruce. I'd be interested in finding out how long the Bat family was standing there and how they got there unnoticed. In a few panels before it shows Batman against a wall, and then when the Batman and Colonel notice they look up at Kate. Either way I'm excited to see the action in the next issue!