Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Detective Comics #985 Review

Instant Karma's Gonna Get You

Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Philippe Briones, Adriano Lucas, and Sal Cipriano
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 25, 2018

Batman called Black Lightning to Gotham City for help with a specific case-but what is Batman hiding from Jefferson Pierce? It looks like he's in touch with somebody from their mutual past, and he doesn't want Black Lightning to know about it -and that operative might be in over their head!

We open this week's issue with Alfred almost begging Bruce to use the Family to help stop Karma and Bruce telling him it's just not going to happen.

We then get a really cool scene where Bryan Hill shows us what Bruce likes to do when he is trying to remember something that isn't coming to him.  It's not just the method itself I like, but how Hill ties it back to Ra's and Bruce's early training with him.  However, I really don't like what Bruce remembers.

Since it is Bruce remembering it himself, I'm going to accept it as the whole truth and it just doesn't feel like Batman...yet.  Yea, there is still plenty of details to fill in, but in a story arc that gets so much right, this felt oh so wrong.

After seeing Karma's origin, we head off to Jefferson and the kids and we do see some of the things that Bruce warned him they would do, but we also get a kick-ass Barbara who shows Jefferson a different way to look at the situation.  It's probably going to save them all in the end and I'm glad that we get to see that Jefferson is willing to bend the rules to do what eventually feels right.

We finally get to Karman who ups the creep level in this issue when he involves children and newscasters to get his point across.  After a nice conversation between Alfred and Jefferson (I love what Hill has done with these two in this arc!) we see what Karma exchange of children for children...give up a family to save many other families.  It's a pretty gruesome ending, but we see that Bruce knows what he has to do, but also knows he should have done it a long time ago.

This is my least favorite issue of Hill's run so far.  It starts with what Batman did to make (deserve?) Karma, but also goes with the fact that this is a pure set-up issue.  These things have to happen at points, but I have to call it like I sees it.  The other bit is that I am not sure yet if I like what is set up, but that's another thing that can only be looked at in hindsight, which I don't have...yet!  I still have faith in Hill and expect him to rebound next issue.

I did not like the art in this issue at all.  Some characters looked off at times and the overall look of the book just didn't jive for me.  It's odd because I'm usually a fan of Philippe Briones, just not this issue.

Bits and Pieces:

We learn what Karma is all about this issue and while that seems like a good thing, I don't quite know what to make about it.  Add in some rough art and a story that is mostly set up and you get the first issue of Bryan Hill's Detective that I can't fully recommend.  I am still all in with this arc, just not this issue.



  1. The background on the villian was eh but damn what a badass he is in the issue with the bus driver, gettin on bus, the kids, and what he did with the news reporter. Though still had no idea why Cassandras dialogue had her talking... the... way... it... did

  2. Cassandra is officially a Wrong-turn. Barbra has no experience and is to young compared to black lightning. Bruce throwing him self a pitty party for something that's happened over a dozen times in his career as a hero. Jefferson talking down to Barbra is hilarious. This issue was a couple steps in the the wrong direction for me, I did really like a single part of it. Hope it picks up next issue.

  3. Props to you, Jim, for the John Lennon reference. But you should really check out Eric's reviews for a few pointers on how to up your overall review game.
    Yeah, this issue depressed me. Apparently we're going back to the Scott Snyder-esque "Batman is a really bad person who f***s up lives left and right, and isn't really heroic at all" trope. Yay.
    Audible sigh. I WAS enjoying this arc...