Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Detective Comics #983 Review

Duke it Out

Written by: Bryan Hill
Art by: Miguel Mendonca, Diana Egea, Adriano Lucas and Sal Cipriano
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 27, 2018

What DC Said:

“On The Outside” part one! Duke Thomas. Cassandra Cain. They and other young heroes don’t intend to stand down, no matter what Batman thinks is best. Who can Batman trust to guide them? They need a teacher...and Black Lightning fits the bill!

The issue opens with a kid, Darin Griffith, being interviewed about his Viewtube channel, Bat Fam.  Yea, it's all about how great Batman is and Darrin is really pushing to start wearing tights and hand with the Dark Knight on a rooftop...until things go very, very wrong.

I'll give Bryan Hill some huge props right off the bat, I usually hate any kind of social media in comics, but I liked Darin right away and his enthusiasm actually put a bit of a smile on my face.  Yea, that smile disappeared very quickly.  We hardly knew ye, Mr. Griffith!  Like I said, things go wrong and Duke is there to take a big chunk of pain.  We do see who does it and get an idea why, but that is still the big mystery of the story going forward.

We continue with Batman and Martian Manhunter having a meet and greet to discuss Batman using Black Lightning for an "Outside" project and again, it was a nice touch to have J'onn in the book and anytime you tease the possibility of an Outsiders book, you have 100% of my attention!

After Bruce makes sure Duke is okay (well, resting at least) and gets a couple clues to be looked into later (one of which was a really clever little bit), we head off to Metropolis and get our first glimpse at the reason I was so pumped Bryan Hill was on this book...Black Lightning!

Hill introduces Jefferson with a rotating scene that shows the double life of Mr. Pierce, School Principle, and Black Lightning and like the beginning of this issue, he doesn't pull any punches.  What he does, though, is give us a solid setup of the character that is leaps and bounds better than the one we just got in six issues from Black Lightning's creator.

Continuing on, we get Darin Griffith's mother throwing shade and blame at Batman for her son's death as well as a possible tiny clue as we shift to Batman meeting up with Jefferson.  This is where this issue shines.  Anyone can have Batman jump off buildings and punch bad guys in the face (I say that, but it is a rare thing these days), but getting his voice down is a bit trickier.  Hill nails it here!    The scene just flows so well between these two and even ends with Batman disappearing into thin air.  Boy, it's nice to have Batman back!

Back in Gotham, Batman takes care of some would be robbers as he listens to the audio file left with (in) Duke at the start of the issue.  We get a name, a motive, and a very huge surprise as to what this big bad knows.  We get to see him too, but it's a cliffhanger that will have fans of a certain awesome character worrying for the next two weeks.

Forgive me for gushing throughout this review, but if you have read been to our site or listened to our podcast, you know that Eric and myself have been waiting for a kick-ass Batman that we can get behind.  I can't speak for Eric, but I really like what we have here.  That alone has me very happy, but adding Black Lightning to the mix makes it almost unfair!  I can't tell you everything is perfect...the overall vibe is very "Death of the Family" so far and I wanted a bit more of Black Lightning, but the pieces are already in place for a brutal and fun story and I'm all for that!

The art was good as well.  Miguel Mendonca's character work was good and it fit the focus of the story.  The backgrounds were a little sparse, but Adriano Lucas' colors were vibrant and while it doesn't really matter much in the whole scheme of things, the look really fits in well with Tynion's run.

Bits and Pieces:

This is a damn good start to Bryan Hill's Detective Story and I can't wait for more.  For those out there starving for a smart, kick-ass Batman (amen), this might just do the trick.  It did for me!


1 comment:

  1. Really liked this issue, feels like a new direction "Worth Traveling". And you right Jim "Finally a Batman in character". I liked how black lightning came of as well, and I'm interested to see how this Detective Arc works with the focus on non bat fam characters like Jefferson. The only Negative is this bullshit copycat Villian that shows up at the end, tell me that isn't a red hood ripoff. He even has the grant Morrison versions Mission, only difference is it's a black Hood instead of a red hood. Book loses a couple points for unoriginallity.