Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Detective Comics #976 Review

Something New

Written by: James Tynion
Art by: Javier Fernandez, John Kalisz, and Sal Cipriano
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: March 14, 2018

It's the beginning of the end for James Tynion's Rebirth run of Detective Comics and while I look back at it as a good run, it has been getting a bit stale lately.  I know that sounds odd, what with what happened to Clayface and Batwoman and even the Future Tim Drake recently, but I can't shake that feeling.  Tynion's run has been dominated by such uninteresting villains like the Victim Syndicate and Colony and that trend looks to continue to the very end.  Of course, it looks like the real villain is Batman and his secrets and lies and that's just another thing I'm tired of seeing (see Batman and Robin Eternal for a ton of that).  So, does Kate becoming Bat Enemy #1 shake things up here or are we just getting the same old song and dance?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with a flashback of Cass kicking some Yakuza kidnappers lead by Lord Shokka (awesome name, btw) and then being saved by...Clayface!  Remember, though, I said flashback and it all wraps around to being a very depressing psych session with Leslie Tompkins and Cass with  Batman looking on upset.

After hearing Leslie state the obvious to Bruce (Cass needs help!), we go off to see some Talons robbing a ship before Batwoman, Luke, Azrael, and some Colony thugs show up to stop them.  Talons?  Court of Owls?  With everything we've had leading into this, it feels really silly to have the Court of Owls still in operation, but maybe Batman has just been too busy to finish up his business with one of his biggest enemies of recent years.  It's okay, Kate does it for him.

Back in the Batcave, Batman figures out that Tim has been trying to update the Gotham Knights program and tells him to stop.  Of course, Tim disagrees and yells at Batman (a lot) and points his finger menacingly at him.  It ends with Batman wanting Tim to get help and Tim denying that and more.

We then head off to Colony and learn what Kate plans to do with her newfound leadership role...form a global peacekeeping team with her, Luke and Azrael at the head.  There is a good part where Kate explains why it's only slightly different than Batman in philosophy but much bigger in scope.  The issue then ends with Tim Drake punching walls and coming face-to-face with the one guy who holds Tim's future in the palm of his hand.

This issue is a whole lot of setup.  Not just set up for the next issue, but it also feels like a setup for how Tynion will end his run.  Batman feels like he is stuck between a rock and a hard place and while I like that he is finally looking to help Cass and Tim with their problems, it really feels like just a start.  Seeing the Talons again did make me roll my eyes a bit, but it gives Batwoman and Company something to do until the inevitable all-out war of Colony, Batman and everyone else.  Being so setup heavy, the issue dragged a bit and the art was easily the worst this book has had in its entire Rebirth run.

Bits and Pieces:

This is the beginning of the end of James Tynion's run on Detective Comics and while it was setup heavy, some of what we got was interesting enough.  Unfortunately, the art was awful and in a run that has had some of Rebirth's best art, that was very disappointing.


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