Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Detective Comics #981 Review

The Last Victim

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas and Sal Cipriano
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: May 23, 2018

“Batmen Eternal” finale! This is it—the unbelievable conclusion of James Tynion IV’s Batman epic! It’s the last stand of the Gotham Knights, fighting a monster they helped inspire...and a destiny they won’t accept! What will become of the greatest crime-fighting team Gotham City ever saw?

For his final issue, Tynion opens with OMACed out Tim talking trash to Batwoman while continuing to show her the perverted future where she ends Bruce Wayne Batman and continues to put into motion the nonsense that Future Tim was trying to prevent earlier in the series.  I guess we are past the point of wondering if this is an alt-timeline thing since it has become a bit more...kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point.  

While this is going down, Steph drops a huge bomb...Ulysses isn't revealing the whole truth!  Go figure.  Speaking of the General, he seems to be the biggest issue for artists to maintain a consistent look for in this book and while Eddie Barrows does a really good job throughout this issue, his Ulysses is crazy looking.  Part Road Warrior reject, part touring member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I barely recognized him save for the star tattoo that luckily showed up out of nowhere last issue!

 The issue continues with Cass joining Batman's side to fight as a Bat as Steph pumps the full video of the future to Tim and Kate.  It all knocks Tim to his senses as he sees that he's being played by Ulysses just like his future self was manipulated by Brother Eye.  

That's enough to pretty much stop all of Brother Eye's OMAC takeover as we see Luke, Azrael, and the Colony soldiers revert back to normal and after a "pep talk" from Steph, Batman gathers the troops while we get some forced emotions from Tim and Kate as the Belfry goes down...again.

We then start our "victory lap" resolutions as Bruce and Kate make up and fill us in on Colony (done), Jacob (good to go), Luke (damn it) and Azrael (off to be part of Justice League Odyssey).  It seems like Kate and her Father are a team of two for now but we'll have to see where since her solo book is ending in August.

We continue with Cass getting some help (and a bed) at the Tompkins Free Clinic where she meets up with a surprise tutor and is being watched by a REALLY surprising person.  If you ask me, this was my least favorite part of the entire issue and maybe the series.  It felt like a huge copout and I really hate it.  I'm sure others will disagree.

The issue ends with Tim going off to school (or is he???) like he wanted...and with whom he wanted.  Tim and Bruce had a nice goodbye, but for some reason, I didn't have any feels going here.  Then it's over.  Tynion's Rebirth run on Detective Comics comes to an end with Batman by himself swinging into action and I know it's symbolic of the book heading to a new start, but it felt off for a series based so heavily on the idea of a team.

Yea, I really want to say I loved this issue, but I didn't.  After such a long setup, the whole Ulysses/Brother Eye story ended without us knowing what happened to either one of them.  I'm assuming Ulysses is in Arkham or dead, but how can you put a game changer like Brother Eye in the current continuity and not address the ramifications going forward?  I'm not just talking about the A.I. itself, but the idea that Bruce and Tim have now dealt with it earlier than they normally would have.  Not even a mention...WTF???  Yea, I also wanted to know who the First Victim was, but Brother Eye...BROTHER EYE!?!?!?!  We didn't even get an Animal House ending!   

Bits and Pieces:

James Tynion's run on Detective Comics has come to an end in a forced and rushed way, but the fact that we get no real answers to this runs biggest questions is the thing that will leave a bad taste in my mouth for a while.  I am sure that other reviewers will be fooled by the sappy wrapup and even go so far as to call this run a "classic" (seriously, look at the scores above mine on the Roundup - Mumbo Jimbo), but I don't see it that way.  Tynion started off Rebirth with a unique book that was one of the standout titles, but as I read this finale, it felt like he had grown tired of it all and so have I.  I can't wait to see what he will do over on his Justice League Dark book, but I also can't wait to get excited about reading Detective again.



  1. I agree completely. I didn't really like that the Rebirth Detective was going to be a team book in the first place, but I gave it a chance and really liked it. . .at first. As it went on, it just seemed to me that Tynion had a good idea, but couldn't really follow through with it. Characters started getting lost in the mix, the book lost direction, and recent issues have definitely looked like it was limping toward the finish line.

    It's still been a lot better than Tom King's Elseworlds fan-fiction take on Batman, but I'm glad that Tynion is moving on to something else instead of struggling with a book that he's really not into writing now that it's beyond the "Hey, look. . .BATMAN TEAM BOOK!" stage of reader interest. I'm pretty excited to see what's next for Detective.

  2. Very meh ending to a very meh run on detective. But there are some pluses from this issue going forward: Tim is finally going to do something else moving forward and he's taking Stephanie with him which is an A+ in my book. Cass and Barbra might lead to a proper batgirl and Oracle. The minuses are Luke quitting again(Just pass the Batwing mantle to someone else bud, you can't handle the job), Batwoman probably straying away from bat family again, Azreal teaming with cyborg for No damn go reason, and not real resolution for the villian of this arc.
    This was in plain terms not a worth while ending, even if a certain characters makes there return. The art this issue should have been stepped up in terms of quality for the last issue, but it wasn't.

  3. F***ing f*** f***!WHO IS THE F***ING FIRST VICTIM??? So frustrating...
    and I give it a 0/10 for mentioning Harper Row...