Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Detective Comics #964 Review


Written by: James Tynion IV and Chris Sebela
Art by: Carmen Carnero, Ulises Arreola and Sal Cipriano
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 13, 2017

I know it's on the cover and it's been set up for a while now, but I just don't want to have Clayface go back to his old, villainous ways.  It's not just that I love him as a good guy, but I'm actually not hip on him as a bad guy.  So, do we get a couple more issues before the big change-up?  Let's find out...

The issue opens up with Basil visiting Glory in Arkham.  I know I could go with Mudface, but if Basil gets his people name, so does Glory.  They are talking about the good old days and it's a nice little scene that only serves to setup the eventual disaster.  Even before that, however, Glory reminds Basil he will always be a monster whether there is a cure or not.

After seeing him monster out back in Monster Town (kind of makes sense though), we go to Utopia and catch up with Lonnie and Steph and a few friends.  It feels a little off seeing Harper Row underneath Monster Town, but I'll go with it because unlike a Dancing Mike, I love Harper.  

After learning a bit more about Lonnie's plans for Utopia, the unthinkable happens...Steph and Lonnie kiss...on the lips!  The scene ends with Batman showing up to spoil Anarky's party and it's about time because I hate Lonnie so much!

We then head back to Clayface and if it wasn't for Cass, he may have killed Dr. October. Luckily, Clayface gets his bracer back on, but he still thinks he's a monster...just like Glory said earlier.

Back with Batman, we find out that Anarky has ties to the Victim Syndicate and as someone who was hoping to never hear that name again, I was disappointed.  With all the options this book has, we are going back to them?!?    After hearing the truth, Steph fights Lonnie, but when its all said and done, leaves Batman again.  However, before she leaves, Batman fills her in on a little truth...or does he?  I was a bit confused if she heard him.

The issue ends with Cass and Clayface showing that they are a great team and the First Victim getting the evidence he needs to get the rest of the world against Batman.

This issue was okay.  I liked how Chris Sabella opened it up, but the issue ended up feeling rushed by the end.  Steph and Lonnie's relationship moved too quickly just so Batman could end it and I already told you how little I like the Victim Syndicate as villains.  All in all, it was another average issue of Detective Comics.

The art was decent enough.  Carmen Carnero does a good job, but there just wasn't a lot to do in the issue.  There are some pretty cool Clayface panels, though.

Bits and Pieces:

Chris Sabella continues his work on Detective Comics and it all feels like it's treading water at best and going in reverse at it's worst.  The art was okay, but overall this is just another dip in the roller coaster that is Detective Comics.



  1. First of all, great review Jim. I'm not hip to the Victim Syndicate either. While I have problems with Batman, he usually does more good than bad. How does making him look bad benefit the common person? His villians are still running around, and aren't going to stop because Joe Doe doesn't like him. This book continues to intensify my hatred of Stephanie Brown. Despite that, I love Basil and Cass and I'm going to be sad when they turn him evil again.

    1. i do love Basil and Cass too!!! This whole series is about a bad Batman, I don't get it

  2. This book seems to like making Steph dumb. Half the time she's walking around with her mask off, and she oughta know a phone is no place for sensitive information. But I'm glad she told Lonnie off for being so condescending last issue!

    Just before the phone was delivered to the first victim, I thought it might actually be Cluemaster, and got unreasonably excited. The victim syndicate is just so unmemorable, why're they bringing them back.

  3. Finally read this... 0 / 10
    ... f***ing Harper Row...

  4. ". . .it all feels like it's treading water at best and going in reverse at it's worst."
    This is the same impression I've been getting from Detective. Almost as if the creative team is struggling to figure out what to do with the large cast of characters they've been handed. This book sort of solves the problem of having to pick up 6 different Bat-Books in a month, but the new problem at hand is that the stories seem unfocused.

    1. Yep! It sucks because when it's "on" it can be so good

  5. I haven't been a huge fan of Detective lately. Not that it's bad it's just not "my Batman". While I love the Batman supporting characters like Gordon, Bullock and Thompkins, I prefer the immediate Batfamily to be small and intimate. I realize that 'Tec has always had a focus on supporting characters but it's starting to feel like Bats is a minor player in the book. James Tynion IV has created such a large Batfamily that it makes Batman's abilities seem no longer unique or special. Also, I don't mean to go on a Dancing Mike purple cape rant, but I just hate Batman's yellow lined emblem and crooka-belt.
    All that being said, I liked this issue a bit more than I usually do. Maybe it's the addition of Chris Sebela's dialogue, but I loved the exchange between Basil and Glory. I know I say it ad nauseam, but I'll almost always prefer emotional character progression to action splash pages. The art here is fine and gets the job done, but comes off a bit stiff to me in some places. While I wouldn't call myself a fan of the Victim Syndicate, I do find it to be an interesting concept. All and all I'd give this a 6.5/10.