Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Detective Comics #955 Review

When You Wish Upon a (Morning)Star

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Marcio Takara, Marcello Maiolo and Sal Cipriano

Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 25, 2017

While I enjoyed the beginning of the League of Shadows story, I have to admit, it's starting to drag for me.  It's not the story itself that's the most to blame, it's the fact that James Tynion has whittled down the team to basically one person now...Cassandra Cain.  Yea, I love Cassandra, but the other thing I loved about this book was a team of crazy characters.  Hopefully, the team is back in full force soon, but for now, I will have to sit back and watch Cassandra being awesome.  Is that enough for me to give this issue top marks?  Let's see...

The issue opens with Cassandra kicking ass like we saw her about to do at the end of last issue.  That is intercut with panels of her being nursed to health by the ballet dancer we saw earlier in this series.  It's a nice little callback on a bunch of levels and sets Cassandra up to let go of the past and embrace what she has become...something much better than Orphen.

We then find out the League of Shadows plan and it is pretty damn bad.  An atomic bomb set to destroy Gotham and much more.  I know that sounds messed up, but there is a silver lining...Kate, Luke, Azrael and Clayface are alive and...well, they're alive and in pretty bad shape.

While they try to figure out how to escape, we see Shiva deal with Batman.  She throws him in a cell and basically leaves him to rot while she sets her Atomic Bomb plan in motion.  I was really hoping to see some Shiva vs Batman, but I guess we'll have to wait for that.

Back with Cassandra, we see her kicking ass as the narration follows the ballet dancer reading a children's book that mirrors the action.  It's an okay device, but it doesn't fit what we've been getting in this arc up until now and comes off a bit forced because of that.

We do go back hours before to see Cass and the dancer which sets it up a little better, but the best part is the payoff where Cassandra drops her father's name for her own.  It's something I was hoping would happen eventually and is just another step in her redemption.

James Tynion then shows us a little bit of Jacob Kane and Ulysses which really seems to be here to remind us how creepy and immoral the General is.  He never was one to follow rules, but has taken it to extremes here, but I'm left thinking that Jacob will be alright with it.  The best part of the scene is seeing Ulysses in his Batman boxers and Jacob's reaction to it.

The issue ends with a quick couple panels that are only mysterious because of the art and Shiva facing off with her daughter and...  Let's just say, Cass isn't alone.  I like the idea of the cliffhanger, but again, it is a bit abrupt and forced.  It does get things in line for the finale, but after such a long running story, I can only think it could have been worked in a bit better.

This was an okay issue that was spoiled (again) by the art.  Everything was just dark and muddy and it really took away from some good scenes.  It lessened the action scenes, but so did the children's book narration that distracted from what was going on and made it less dramatic, in my opinion.  I mean, if you are going to have Cassandra's actions mirroring a kid's fairy tale hero, I kind of think she will win in the end, right?  

Bits and Pieces:

This issue is all about Cassandra Cain and while that sounds great, some spotty art and an odd narrative device made it fall a bit flat.  The big battle never happens and is left for the finale next issue and while I am looking forward to that, this whole arc is starting to drag.



  1. There are glimpses of things I like that just get surrounded and drown in shitiness ... did I miss how everyone escaped because everything was black?

    1. that was one of my biggest is there, but the art ruins it

    2. I agree Brandon, I had to go back and look for that a couple of times. I guess she frees them by cutting the chains and cutting the canisters open.

    3. Sorry - misspelled Branden (don't know how to edit comments to fix that)

      Also, what kind of story is that kid's fairy tale? I agree VERY forced. I did like that the plot finally moves forward though so I'd like to see the team all together fighting next issue

  2. Is it really there? I gave up trying to tell what was going on in those tiny, murky panels. I tried for a while; but I can't be bothered enough to make it a chore. If they don't want to make the art good enough to make the story clear, maybe they don't deserve my 6 bucks a month... I rate this a 5.1 because the art obscures the story.
    At least I think I finally figured out what the cylinders were from your comments; I thought maybe she was cutting off someone's fingers. If I could actually see what you guys say is there, I would rate it higher; but I tried, and don't get it, and can't be bothered enough to go try again.