Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Detective Comics #996 Review

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Mark Irwin, David Baron, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 16, 2019

This is part 3 of the Mythology story arc. Somebody is not too happy with Bruce Wayne. Two people made to look like Thomas and Martha Wayne were found dead underwater at the Gotham Aquarium with pearls lodged in their throats. Leslie Thompkins was attacked by a big red monster who blew the Joker's gas into her face and Jokerized her, killing her in a heartbreaking scene in Detective Comics #995. Alfred almost met his end too, as he was stabbed with a rapier by a man dressed as Zorro (The Mask of Zorro was the movie the Wayne's saw before they were murdered). In the final pages of the last issue, Batman went to Arkham looking for information from the inmates. And he's going to beat it out of them.

We start out with a nine-panel page of the Batman's rogues all messed up and making comments about their beatdowns. Getting no information from the inmates, Batman leaves Arkham and arrives at the Batcave where Damian is monitoring Alfred after fixing his collapsed lung. They figure that the person doing this knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman, and it doesn't seem like something that Ra's and Talia would do, so they both come to the conclusion that it's Henri Ducard.

Ducard first appeared in 1989 and was a prominent character in Tomasi's Batman and Robin run (2011-2015). When Bruce was traveling the world before he was Batman, he approached Ducard in Paris for detective training. However, it turns out that he's not just a detective but also a mercenary for crime and an assassin. His son, Morgan Ducard, becomes the villain called Nobody, who Damian killed in Tomasi's  BaR run.

Bruce goes to Paris and uses different disguises to get information on where Ducard is hiding. When we finally see Ducard he's eating sardines in the Catacombs of Paris and kills a rat with a toothpick. Batman busts in and Ducard starts firing pistols.

After some dancing, they calm down and begin to talk. Ducard isn't behind any of the things happening. He even asks "Does THIS ancient catacomb appear to be a base of operations to you? Do these cans of SPAM signify that my sneak attack on all you hold dear has begun?" Then after admitting that he's being hunted, the monster from Detective Comics #994 comes crashing through the wall of skulls. Only this time it's changed. It's got Penguin's head, Joker's head and arms, Bane's head, Catwoman's head, Mr. Freeze's head, Killer Croc's head and arms, and even a hand coming out of its original head. What the hell?

Both Batman and Ducard go to town, punching and shooting the monster. As they tear it apart, more parts morph out of it. Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn. Ducard gets pulled in close and he uses a grenade to kill himself and the monster. That's another important person in Bruce's life, somebody who made him Batman, who is dead.

He goes to the Temple of Kirigi in North Korea where he learned ninjutsu and it's no different there. Students are slaughtered everywhere outside of the temple, but one student is still alive and he won't let Batman pass into the temple. So they fight and man is it a great fight. Batman beats the student, sees his sensei, and learns that it was the monster who killed all those students. I'm not sure if it's the same one or a different one, though.

Next, Batman goes to New Mexico where a chained Thaddeus Brown, the first Mister Miracle, comes out of a hut in the middle of the desert. He's screaming for Batman to leave because it's a trap and he never should have come... then the ground underneath them starts lifting up and turning over like flipping a pancake. Then they're gone.

Bits and Pieces:

The art is phenomenal, and it’s so good to see Batman and Robin working together again. There's a lot of travel in this issue and the events are really weird, but in a good way. This book has become a must-read since Tomasi took over. I have no idea where this is going but I can't wait to find out.


No comments:

Post a Comment