Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Detective Comics #1021 Review

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Brad Walker
Inks: Andrew Hennessy
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 25, 2020

Tomasi is continuing his Detective Comics fascination with cults in this story arc, and this time it's Two-Face who now apparently has one of his own. Which is really weird, because Two-Face is more of a gangster with hired henchmen than a cult leader with obsessive followers. It's just completely out of character. But maybe that's the point.

Batman is outside of the hospital where the dead bodies of the cult members (who killed themselves after being caught in the last issue) are being delivered via ambulance, while we also see Two-Face delivering a speech to his followers. Batman knows that this is Two-Face doing this and he makes it clear that it still doesn't make sense; meanwhile, we see Two-Face basically delivering a sermon and it just doesn't feel right.

Two-Face isn't doing too good. He tried to commit suicide by taking a bullet to the brain once upon a time, but the dude is still alive with a bullet in his brain. As you would imagine, an object lodged into an essential body part would hurt. So we see a lot of Two-Face holding his head and in obvious pain. So, anyways, he has created this cult that implants coins on their foreheads. They're going out and threatening other criminals like Catwoman and Penguin, and Two-Face is making it sound like it's all for the good of Gotham.

Meanwhile, Batman is doing his detecting and sneaks up behind a doctor to scare the crap out of her and make a convincing argument to perform his own autopsy on the cult members from the beginning of the issue. He does all sorts of work to link this to that and then that to this, but in the end, it's all connected to people who have a terminal illness. All of these followers are going to die anyway, and Batman himself almost called this before he was cut off by his computer making the connection.

Bruce drives the hell out of the Batcave in his Batmobile but just outside there's Harvey Dent standing right in the middle of the road. Bruce slams on his brakes so he doesn't hit him, and Harvey keeps covering his face so nobody sees his features while he explains what's going on. 

There's a lot of connective talks here between the two. Harvey has no idea what the hell is going on but he knows it's getting out of hand. Every single thing is causing him to flip his coin and he doesn't know who he is anymore, which is why he sought out Bruce's help. I actually didn't know that Harvey knows Batman's identity while Two-Face doesn't. I just learned that's something you'll have to read the Rebirth All-Star Batman to get.

Bruce, as Batman, tells him that the only way to help is to take him back to Arkham... but he doesn't take him there. He drives to the Superior Courthouse and leaves Harvey in the Batmobile so he can dive deeper into all of the Gotham crime. While Batman goes down old stairwells further into the history of Gotham, Harvey is struggling. Two-Face is winning. And he's bashing on the paneling of the Batmobile to get out.

Bits and Pieces:

The art in this issue was phenomenal. Batman in torrential downpour looked amazing. Two-Face also looked amazing throughout (and let's be honest, it's not often when that happens). I like that Harvey is in dire need of help and Two-Face has completely spun out of control to be a threat again. But we've had a cult theme for how long in this run? And now Two-Face, of all people, has one? It just doesn't fit. The whole thing feels out of place.


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