Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Detective Comics #1017 Review


Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Colorist: John Kalisz
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 11th, 2019

Review by Joey Casco of

Tom Taylor jumps on Detective for an issue called "Orphans", where Batman and Robin must try and find a runaway from the Martha Wayne Orphanage. And, of course, the situation is more than it seems.

We start with a flashback scene of Bruce Wayne in the Wayne Manor yard, sitting all depressed in a tree. He doesn't want to go to the grand opening of the Martha Wayne Orphanage because it makes him sad, and Martha tells him that it's important that they go. The children deserve to have people who love them, and until they find a family they're going to take care of them. So they go, with running children chasing after the car, and they cut the cut ribbon. This will all come back around at the end.

In the present, a teenager named Miguel escapes the orphanage and injures his knee jumping from the wall, but keeps running away. Later, Lucius Fox finds Bruce in the Batcave and informs him of the runaway. Of course, orphans do run away, but this was the third this year. Lucius even makes him go to the orphanage as Bruce Wayne instead of investigating at night as Batman. So Bruce makes a visit with a bunch of equipment and supplies for a science and art center (that may require a new wing in the building) and ice cream. This is where we meet Mr. Morrison, who runs the orphanage.

Then Batman basically lays the job on Damien. I mean, Batman is a busy man! And Miguel may respond better to another kid than a big scary man in a bat costume. So we go through a week of Damien searching for Miguel and Batman fighting crime, each day it gets colder and more snow fills up the frames until Damien finds Miquel laying in the snow on the street hypothermic and malnourished. He calls Batman and they rush him to the hospital in the Batmobile. Miguel tells them that he left to go get help because kids were going missing from the orphanage and never being seen again, and he left to get help but didn't know who to contact because "grown-ups never believe".

Two parts to this scene were touching: Miguel tells Batman that Superman is his favorite superhero and Batman tells him that Superman is his favorite too. Batman also tells him that he will find the other kids and it will never happen again. "I saved them?", "You saved them", just before he falls unconscious.

Unfortunately, Miguel dies at the hospital, and Bruce is keeping his promise. The orphanage keeps meticulous records on all of its children... but Bruce finds that something is missing. There is a conclusion, and somebody is busted by Bruce Wayne himself and not Batman because these are children under the responsibility of the Wayne's and he's failed them. But it's still left open with more work to be done in this case.

Bits and Pieces

A few plot holes and unanswered questions aside, this was an excellent one-off issue that took a tragedy and turned it into hope. I feel like the art will look better in print, and many of the Batman and Robin frames are so covered in heavy snowfall that it’s a bit annoying, but these storms do add to why it took them so long to find Miguel. Best moments: Batman admitting to Miguel that Superman is his favorite superhero, and the obvious parallels of the first few pages to the last.


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