Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Batman: The Detective #2 Review

 The Game Is Afoot

Written By: Tom Taylor
Art By: Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope
Colors By: Brad Anderson
Letters By: Clem Robins
Cover Art By: Andy Kubert, Brad Anderson
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 11, 2021

In Batman: The Detective #2, Knight recovers from the plane crash and an assassination attempt in an underground clinic while Batman tracks one of the killers back to Equilibrium's lair. When the trail leads to Paris, Bruce crosses paths with Henri Ducard to track down the killers.

Was It Good?

The art is outstanding. Not a single complaint to be had about the lines, the colors, the panel perspectives, the action, or any of it. This is a gorgeous book.
The story, on the other hand, lacks something. Somebody is killing everyone who's ever been saved by Batman. That should be a massive crisis in the making, and yet, there's no motivation or emotional connection for any of the players involved. 

Why is this group killing people saved by Batman? Are they all just crazy? They're not acting crazy. They're acting organized, cool, calm, and collected. It doesn't compute, and the net result is it feels like things are just happening randomly because Taylor wants them to happen.
How can a book that looks this good feel dull?

What's It About?


Batman (with Squire by his side) dangles one of the would-be assassins wearing a white Batman costume over a ledge on Big Ben. The terrified tough is "dropped" and released to run away. Of course, Batman is tracking him and Squire is either impressed or annoyed with the lengths Batman went through to get this tough to run home.

In an underground clinic under Piccadilly circus, Knight recovers from her injuries. Batman asks how Knight found the latest Squire, to which she only answers "She's talented." That's not much of an answer. Before the conversation gets contentious, Batman's sensors detect the tough is on a train headed to Paris.

Back at the Equilibrium's lair (it's not clear if Equilibrium is the name of the group or their leader), the tough reports back in, explaining he was sure he wasn't followed. Their leader scans him and detects a bat-tracker inside his chest.

*record scratch*

Hold up. How did Batman get a bat-symbol-shaped tracker the size of a pack of cigarettes inside a man's chest without him knowing about it? C'mon, man!  Equilibrium scrubs the site packs up and kills the tough to prevent further tracking.

Cut to Bruce on a train to Paris when he hears a knock on his cabin door. When he checks, nobody is there... but an obvious trail has been left for him to follow. Follow he does to a few cars over to find an old "friend," Henri Ducard, waiting for him. Henri knows why Bruce is headed to Paris and he scolds him for not asking for help.

Before the train arrives in Paris, Henri tells Bruce to find him later and he will track down Equilibrium for him... for a fee.

That night, Henri is smoking a cigar on the balcony of his hotel room while he waits for Batman to arrive. Unfortunately, Equilibrium arrives first as a group. They tussle, and Henri takes out more than a few group members but the numbers are overwhelming. Just as Batman arrives to save the day, Equilibrium puts a few bullets in Henri and tosses him over the balcony to ensure Batman tries to save him instead of pursuing Equilibrium.

We close the issue with Batman cradling a dying or dead Henri Ducard on the street below while Equilibrium escapes into the night.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: The Detective #2 is a gorgeous book with unique characters and an original setup but it lacks emotional weight or a sense of stakes. When you add in a nonsensical plot contrivance, this second issue feels disconnected and gives you nothing to care about. The score will be higher than you might expect based purely on the strength of the art.


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