Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Batman: The Detective #1 Review


Somebody Is Killing The Children

Written By: Tom Taylor
Art By: Andy Kubert
Colors By: Brad Anderson
Letters By: Clem Robins
Cover Art By: Andy Kubert, Brad Anderson
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 13, 2021

In Batman: The Detective #1, Bruce Wayne heads to Europe to investigate a Wayne Airlines plane crash that was definitely not accidental. With a little help from Knight and Squire, Bruce learns all passengers have something in common and the terrorists responsible for the crash aren't done connecting the dots just yet. Also, Batman punches a ghost.

Was It Good?

It was just okay. This is the type of issue where the art outshines the writing. Visually, it's a gorgeous book. As a storytelling concept, it's a little too early to tell if the story is a keeper or more DC treading water until the next event.

What's It About?

We start with a Wayne Airlines passenger jet flying over Europe. The plane is sabotaged by a bomb from terrorists stowing away on board, disguised as the flight crew. Knight is also on board and she tries to stop the terrorists before they parachute off the plane wearing white Batman cowls. Knight holds on until the terrorists hit the ground in a rough landing while the plane goes down in flames. All passengers are lost.

Bruce Wayne analyzes the news from the Batcave and packs his bags to head to the crash site. During his analysis and travel, he spends a large amount of time lamenting how the lives he has saved at a personal level are far outweighed by the lives he hasn't saved.

Bruce's inner monologue here seems out of place for the character. He's done a lot for Gotham, and with the Justice League, saved the Earth several times over. This speech either confirms this is an Elseworlds where the JL doesn't exist, or Taylor missed the mark on Batman's perception of his own history and accomplishments. It comes across as needlessly self-deprecating.

When Batman arrives at the crash site wearing his #SnyderCut nightmare sequence uniform, he uses an array of gadgets to scan and collect data from the crash. Squire arrives to assist as Knight is still in the hospital recovering from her fall and shooting by the terrorists. As they talk to discuss what Batman is looking for, Gentleman Ghost shows up to feed off the fear of the dead passengers. He no longer looks like a headless tuxedo but a monstrous, ghostly demon.

To Squire's amazement, Batman punches out Gentleman Ghost with a pair of magic gloves he acquired from Constantine. As cool as the scene looks, it's very out of the blue and serves no purpose other than for Batman to do something outrageous in front of Squire. It's cool and pointless.

Batman visits Knight in the hospital while his AI systems analyze the flight manifest and the crash site data. The computer confirms the thread that links all the passengers --they've all been saved by Batman at one time or the another, including Knight. Batman prepares to move Knight to a secure location when armed terrorists, again wearing white Batman costumes, show up at the hospital and start firing. Batman disarms them handily and captures one for capturing while the rest escape.

Bit and Pieces:

Batman: The Detective #1 is an okay start to a new arc for the Caped Crusader. The art is great. The jury is still out on the story. It's not flawed. It's just that there's nothing to blow you away or really hook you.


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