Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Detective Comics #988 Review

World's Greatest

Written by: James Robinson
Art by: Stephen Segovia, Ivan Plascencia, and Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 12, 2018

Kicking off an arc guest-written by James Robinson (writer of the Batman classics "Blades" and "Face the Face") with art by rising star Stephen Segovia! It looks like the kind of murder case too ordinary to draw the attention of Batman...but once the World's Greatest Detective gets involved, the identity of the victim completely unravels-and leads to a conspiracy among some of the Dark Knight's strangest foes!

The issue opens with Batman and Jim Gordon at the scene of a murder.  Though I would have liked a bit more reference to Batman messing up royally with Mister Freeze, I loved how Gordon stood his ground and threw some shade Batman's way.

Gordon and Batman agree Batman can look into the murder of Harold Frank and so Batman is an awesome spread page where he is gliding across the Gotham skyline.  It looked so damn awesome and since we rarely get to see Batman doing such a simple, but kickass thing nowadays, it put a huge smile on my face.

James Robinson continues by giving us a peek at how the failed wedding has affected the Dark Knight and while I am so over that, he does a better job than in the main Bat title.  Batman references it out loud and then talks a bit with Alfred about it?  Who would have thought to do such a thing?!?!  Yea, it is a lot more meaningful than destroying urinals, if you ask me.

Robinson does move on and gets to another thing we rarely see these days...Batman doing some detective work.  I like seeing Batman being the World's Greatest Detective, but I loved the back and forth with Alfred.  Robinson gives it a kind of playful competitiveness to it that made me laugh a couple of times.

Batman does discover there is more to Harold Frank and his murder than meets the eye...just as he gets attacked by a protege of Firefly.  I liked how Batman and Alfred work this out together, though Batman takes the abuse of it all first hand.  Robinson then shows off his knowledge of Firefly by having Batman mention the original, Garfield Lynns, and it's a cool reference especially since Ted Carson became Firefly by murdering Lynns during the New 52.  The issue ends with Firefly getting away, Batman trying to put all the pieces together and a group of villains showing they are part of the trouble that seems to have come to Gotham.

I really liked this issue.  I have been critical of James Robinson's DC work since Rebirth began, but it's mainly because I expect more from him.  This issue shows why.  Robinson shows that he has the voice of Batman down, but also the voices of Alfred and Gordon which combine to give the reader a really tight and smart story.  Plus, two Fireflies and lots of action.  I know there is a large bunch of fans that think you can't have both a humanized Batman and a Batman that punches problems in the face, but this issue shows that you can!  I hope Robinson can keep this going because, after Bryan Hill's kickass story and now this, Detective is the place to be for me to get my Batman fill!

Stephen Segovia and Ivan Plascencia do a great job making everything look great.  My only complaint is that the action with the two Fireflies did get a little confusing, but that was more because of the characters involved than the art itself.

Bits and Pieces:

Detective Comics continues to be the place for fans of Dark Knight action to go, but James Robinson also gives us detective work, smart interactions and a bit of feelings as well.  I hope Robinson keeps it up because this issue is a great start and proof positive that a hurt Batman can still do his job and a humanized Caped Crusader can still punch bad guys in the face.  Imagine that!



  1. THIS is a Batman I want to read! Batman solving crimes in his own city. Batman talking to Alfred and Gordon. Getting this book put me in a good mood. (and Jim, Lady Firefly has boobs)

  2. Loved it , great art, nice story centered in the city w some classic Gillian work done right. Even shutouts to where this takes place without being heavy handed or needing an interview podcast to explain further . Who woulda thought it's so simple.

  3. I like this Batman better than Bryans easily. This is the James Robinson I love from Starman. Making a hero human by tell more human like stories. The back and forth between Bruce and Gordon was real people talk. Not some bullshit where Batman says 3 words and the rest is every other character in the Batman story. Writing this I now see ho jaded I am from kings run. But I guess it couldn't be helped.