Sunday, October 1, 2017

Detective Comics #965 Review

Back in the Saddle

Written by: James Tynion  IV
Art by: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas and Sal Cipriano
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 27, 2017

It's finally here...Tim Drake is back!  After the long wait (and a bit of a false start), we will get to see Red Robin and maybe even watch him make his way to freedom.  After the recent Mr. Oz reveal, it seems that some major pieces are being put into place and this is one of them.  So, was it worth the wait?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with a flashback that puts Tim Drake's origin into a new light and while it's a bit different than I remember, it fits the story and the character just fine.  Listen, I am almost to the point that my continuity is the one I saw last so I'll almost go with anything nowadays.

We then go to the present with Tim being interrogated (kind of) by Mr. Oz and it leads to us jumping back and forth between then and now and it's all about Batman needing a Robin and the how and why that Tim became just that.  I will admit it right here and now that Tim Drake is my least favorite Robin, but seeing him trying to convince Dick to go back to the sidekick role and then him taking it himself makes me see him in a different light.  After learning why Tim became Robin, Mr. Oz wants to know why he was ready to leave.  Tim claims that it's because he set up a network to help Batman, but Mr. Oz says it's because of fear.

The questioning ends abruptly and suddenly, Tim can hack into Mr. Oz because of some old Kryptonian coding theory.  Yea, it's very forced and threw me out of the issue a minute while I rolled my eyes.  A brief fight happens, but Mr. Oz gets the upper hand and then reveals his identity to Tim.  Yea, if you didn't already know that Mr. Oz is (presumably) Jor-El, here is your big moment.

Before making his exit, Jor-EL hints at the actual Big Bad, compares himself to Tim himself and tells our hero to think and work things out.  The issue then continues and ends with Tim sending out one last distress signal and finding out that Batman is closer than he ever thought.  It's a cool twist ending that throws what Tim believes out the window (if it's true), but also sets up a kickass cliffhanger that is part Death of Superman and part Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

This may not be the bombastic issue that some expected, but for the most part, I liked it.  James Tynion doesn't feel the need to rush things and I am okay with that as long as we keep learning new information.  He is fleshing out Tim Drake in a way that has been sorely missing since before the New 52 and after dealing with a not-so-cool Tim in the New 52, this continues the delayed resurgence of the character.

Eddy Barrows is back on art and while I have enjoyed his work on this book since Rebirth, it is off here.  There are some Tim Drake faces that look demonic and made me sit and stare at they stared into my soul!

Bits and Pieces:

Tim Drake is back and I am on the trolley already.  James Tynion is taking his time here and those looking for immediate returns may be disappointed, but this is just setting up what I hope is going to be a really good story.  



  1. I haven't read this issue yet, but that splash/title page above is God-Awful. It looks like fan art instead of professional work. What the hell, DC? Detective is a title on thin ice with me as it is for the hot mess they made of Azrael, if the art's going to take THAT much of a slide, I'm out.

  2. I am curious to know what Eric is going to say about the issue. I expect he is going to be upset that this contradicts the continuity of the New-52. I think perhaps you are on the right track, Jim, in saying that the current continuity is whatever was most recently stated.

    1. I told Eric about it and I think he is starting to get numb to it...they may have defeated the Continuity Kid!

    2. To be fair to Eric, I'd be willing to let them slide on this issue, too. The Teen Titans series was, to put it lightly, not very good. Tim's origin in that took away a lot of intelligence and compassion that he originally possessed while adding a good dose of jerkass. If DC wants to sweep that bit of the New52 under the rug, I wouldn't put up too much of a peep.

    3. New 52 Teen Titans wasn't very good (had it on the pull for my daughter) but I'll admit that the Red Robin costume Tim Drake wore in it was probably the best outfit he's ever worn. . .in my humble opinion.

    4. I must agree with you humble opinion. I don't really like his current Robin outfit personally. It doesn't look any different from a regular Robin outfit, and doesn't make him feel like he's branched off from that identity like say Nigh wing or Red Hood has.

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  5. Besides the weird faces in this issue and blatant retcon, this was an enjoyable issue that let know that Oz is just a goon for a bigger bad. That ending made me tell "there done for"

    1. I liked it...just a slow start, but I think it will pay off in the end

  6. Fuck the New 52! Tim was the third fucking Robin, he wasn't adopted with some witness protection program bullshit backstory, and he wasn't dressed like a cross between Randy Savage and Koko B. Ware, and he wasn't a complete prick. As far as I'm concerned, the more they wanna retcon the major mistakes and missteps of the New 52 out of existence, the happier I am! Boosh!

  7. “Batman needs people”, says Tim Drake. “No he doesn't”, says me.
    I continue to dislike Detective comics and James Tynion's version of Batman. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's bad. I think it takes great effort and talent to craft stories and I have a great respect for those who do it. I think Batman is the greatest literary of modern times and the character lends himself to many interpretations. I always say if you don't like this Batman, just wait a moment and the next version coming down the turnpike might be moving more your speed. My Batman is more of a tortured loner and this is not him.
    This is also not my style of comic storytelling. It actually has most of the things I don't care for.
    A change in continuity for no real reason: Check.
    A tie in to a larger story: Check
    A story title that references a popular title from the past: Check
    Yoda like riddles by the antagonist for the hero to solve: Check
    Using science “Mumbo Jimbo” to propel the story: Check
    The return of a “dead” character: Check and check again.
    I didn't care for the art much either. It seemed to be an artist's experiment in creating a comic with nothing but Sharpies.
    There were certainly things I liked here though. Getting to know Tim (my least favorite Robin) and his motives a bit more was very enjoyable. Also as far as changing continuity, it actually made me like Tim's character more.
    I really don't mean to criticize anything here. Everyone involved in creating this issue is much more talented than I could ever hope to be. Again, I have such a deep admiration for artists and craftsmen. (Or craftswomen. Or craftspersons Or craftsfurries) Like grilled chicken on a pizza, this just wasn't for me. Not that anyone's asking, but 4.5/10 for me.