Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Detective Comics #987 Review

Blame it on the Pain

Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Miguel Mendonca, Diana Egea, Adriano Lucas and Sal Cipriano
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: August 22, 2018
Cover Price: $2.99

It's the end of Bryan Hill's mini-run on Detective Comics and I can't be the only one who wishes he was staying.  I've been down on the Bat-books lately and his arrival felt like a shot of adrenaline that got me back up and running.  So, does this issue end it all in kick-ass fashion?  Let's find out...

We open in Wayne Enterprises where Fred, the night security guard is taking his shift when Karma and some of his hired goons take him hostage.  I didn't think that was the route that Karma was taking, but I guess he went to Plan B after Batman gave him the old "fly me to the moon" bit the last issue.

We then head to the Batcave to get some info on the woman who sold Karma his mask and we finally get a little bit of stats on what it can do, though we've kind of seen it in action so we know most of it.  Now, there is a bit of a continuity fudge here...Batman says if Karma takes off the mask, he becomes a mental invalid, but we've already seen him take it off to show Batman his "battle scars".  It's not a big deal, just something I wanted to point out.

Katana jumps in here and we are given the setup that Markovia's Black Market is just one of many problems that are rising out of the No Justice story.  This (and the ending) really feel like Bryan Hill is setting up an Outsider's book and I am all for that!

After a brief art snafu that seems to switch Duke and Jefferson, Batman finds out what is going on at Wayne Industries and after proving that he may know a little too much about Fred the Guard, the whole team heads off to save the day.  It seems that the mercs are only here to let each good guy punch somebody, but again, I am okay with that.  Of course, Karma is elsewhere and as Batman heads off to face him, Katana gives him last second advice and Jefferson realizes this is something Batman needs to do.

Batman and Karma finally come face to mask and instead of punching him, Batman just lets him feel the pain...his pain.  It's a pretty cool concept that ties especially ties into Batman's current state, but it still felt a bit lackluster, especially since it's just what Katana told him to do.  Plus, it's another one of these flashback pages that every book seems to be doing  (Flash, Batwoman, Nightwing have all done it this month) and it hits a little less for me each time.  I joked this week on the podcast that this thing is the new "DC Method" and now I'm not so sure it was a joke!  The battle might end abruptly, but I did like how it ended.  Bryan Hill does not write a sappy Batman and Karma's story doesn't get a happy ending.  We get a couple of epilogues, but each of them does one thing...set up an Outsiders book!  Please make it happen, DC! 

I am going to tell you that this issue is way beyond the sum of its parts.  I think there was something that happened (maybe why or because of the delay before it started) that changed this story around a bit.  We got a lot less Black Lightning than it seemed we'd get and some of the resolutions felt forced and a bit too quick, but overall, I really liked this final issue.  Batman felt right again and I really am excited about the possibility of an Outsiders book now.  The art was really good here and I have to give a special shoutout to Adriano Lucas' colors which were a highlight.

Bits and Pieces:

Bryan Hill ends his time on Detective Comics with a really good finale to a good arc. Everything is wrapped up and even if it may have felt a bit too convenient at times, the promise of bigger and better things to come won me over in the end.  If you haven't checked out this arc yet, you really should.



  1. It's so great to have a real Batman, compared to that other series...

    1. We will see if james robinson can continue it now

    2. I definitely wasn't as positive about this issue as you Jim. The way Batman Defeats Karma was Corney and dumb. Under what circumstance does karma loss the ability to stop using his powers, because I'm pretty sure all those memories where already in Bruce's head before this battle, so why where they to much now. I know how to beat him now...I Just need to think Thoughts and I win. I know this really sets up a outsiders book but the majority of the issue dealing with Karma is hoekey and lackluster. Art was at least really good, and I am interested in an Outsiders book.