Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Detective Comics #993 Review

 No. What is on Second Base

Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Carmine Giandomenico
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 28, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

I really gave this story a fair shake when James Robinson started his little run.  I liked the interactions between Batman and Jim Gordon and even fought with some people on Twitter saying this was an angle we used to get in Batman but hadn't in a long time.  I gave a thumbs up to Robinson for working some of the current Batman state of mind when other books were ignoring it and...well. I ended up looking like a damn fool!  Since the first issue, this arc has gone done the drain and since I don't want to mince words has sucked.  However, hope springs eternal when we get to the finale and like a last-second buzzer beater, sometimes it all comes together and a writer can snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.  Does that happen here?  Let's find out...

If you remember, we ended last issue with Batman figuring out that Kobra had been throwing red herrings around like it was Red Herring Day (that's a thing, right?) and their real plan was to pollute Gotham's water with a mind control toxin.  So, it makes sense that we start this issue with...a funeral?!?  Yep, we zip ahead to find out Two-Face died and then through the eulogy, get to the how, when and why.

After all this setup, I can't figure out why Robinson would deliberately slam the breaks so that the payoff is a flashback.  The pacing is further thrown off by jumping between what happened with Batman, Harvey, and Kobra and the funeral that feels like a desperate way to extend the page count here.  The worst part is, Robinson still ends up pages short of a normal sized comic book!

We do find out that Harvey died a hero and sacrificed himself to stop Kobra...or did he?  It's no real surprise that there is a twist ending here that feels weak, unearned and just makes this whole arc turn into rubbish.  Just for good measure, we kind of find out how Harvey almost pulled off his caper and get another forced explanation (see the Kobra Agent with the defective brain bomb and Batman hacking into a destroyed Kobra mask for the first two) as to how Batman knew who Harvey was ultimately working for.  The issue ends with everything reset and of course, Harvey punning for the camera about two's! 

This issue was just bad, plain and simple.  It made everything that came before it seem worse and what came before it wasn't really good in the first place.  This is an arc that will be forgotten in about a month...the problem is, I want to forget about it now!

I did like Carmine Giandomenico's art for the most part, but phrases about shinning something and putting lipstick on something else come to mind.  The art is wasted here big time!

Bits and Pieces:

This is an awful ending to a mediocre story.  With Peter Tomasi jumping on the book next issue, this is the Wally Pipp of Detective stories. 


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