Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Detective Comics #1036 Review


Something Suspicious

Writer: Mariko TamakiArtist: Clayton Henry, Dan MoraCover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 26, 2021

I have liked Mariko Tamaki's run on Detective Comics so far, even though I would love a more concise storyline.  The problem that I'm having is Tamaki is setting up many story beats, but they are starting to run together and not in a good way.  We have a couple of murder mysteries, a new status quo with Bruce, the pressures that could lead Nakano to accept the Magistrate, creepy Neil, and more, including a possible zombie outbreak.  It's a lot to remember, and things are becoming a bit tangled because of that.  So, how was this issue?  Let's find out...
After the last issues, crazy Sarah Worth is a zombie cliffhanger, I was pumped to see what was happening, and in a twist that's older than just about everyone reading this review, it's a Clayface thing.  Well, a Lady Clayface thing.  Now, Lady Clayface showing up in Detective Comics has a cool precedent, going back to James Tynion's run on the book, but Tamaki does nothing at all with it.  The explanation of why she took the form of Sarah Worth makes little sense, and after way too long, it is obvious this is only here to push the story forward.  I am all for story progression, but this is DETECTIVE Comics, and Tamaki plays this as if Batman could never figure things for himself.  Thank god for A-Day, right!

The forced nature of this issue continues with some Penguin thugs (in masks, I might add) are looking around for "something suspicious".  They even question the ambiguity of it just as a guy attacks them.  Why did he attack them?  Who knows, but they figure they should take this rando to the Penguin.  Alright... It's only to show the reader this guy has a disgusting eye fungus which gets us back to Neil.
Since Lady Clayface mumbled, "Neil", Batman and Huntress (who showed up to deal with Lady Clayface) track his cellphone, and when they find him, get this, he dies in front of them with the disgusting eye fungus!  The wow moment is he dies with someone else's blood on his hands...literally.

The issue ends with a death that will undoubtedly point to Bruce Wayne being a murderer instead of the kidnapper he was at the beginning of this issue.
We also get a Huntress backup that has one of the worst progressions of an interrogation I've ever read.  I hope it's a review copy snafu that gets fixed for the regular print issue because it makes Helena look like a complete idiot.
This issue takes a huge dive when it comes to the story.  The art by Dan Mora is still incredible, but this story is a complete mess to the point that I'm not sure what's going on at points.  I seriously don't know what I'm supposed to care about, which leads me not to care. I am not at that point just yet, but if Tamaki doesn't tighten things up, I will be.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue of Detective Comics takes a considerable nosedive as Mariko Tamaki adds a bunch of swerves in what was already becoming a convoluted story.  Misdirections and forced reveals have taken the place of detective work, and while this book continues to look great, it needs more focus as we advance.

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