Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Batman: The Detective #3 Review


Going Nowhere Fast

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: June 8, 2021

In Batman: The Detective #3, Batman desperately seeks medical attention for Ducard in the Paris underground. Meanwhile, readers are given an issue-long flashback to Bruce Wayne's first encounter with Ducard in his bid to be trained as the world's greatest manhunter.

Was It Good?

It was good and not good.

Kubert and Hope's art is excellent in this issue. The shadows, the lines, and the drama of each panel hit you right between the eyes. There are very few books on the market today that look this good.

The story is not bad if you're reading it to get a snapshot of how Bruce Wayne learned a key skill in becoming Batman. In this case, Bruce and Ducard first meet when Bruce is 17 years old, and you get a neat flashback to see one piece of how Bruce learns to become the world's greatest detective.

What's not good is the almost complete lack of forward progress on the story. Effectively nothing happens. We learn nothing about Equilibrium or their plan. Bruce makes no progress in discovering Equilibrium's plan or how to stop her/them. In short, this is a filler episode, which is not a good place to be when you're only on issue #3.

What's It About?


We pick up right after the events of the last issue. Equilibrium shot Ducard multiple times and threw him off his hotel room balcony. Batman managed to break his fall with grappling hook trickery, but it was unclear if Ducard was alive or dead.

Well, he's alive... barely. Batman gets Ducard to another underground Paris for treatment.

Cut to a flashback in Paris when Bruce Wayne was 17 and searching out Ducard for manhunter training. Bruce finds Ducard who's on the trail of an assassin. Before the assassin can kill Ducard or getaway, Bruce disarms and disables him for capture. Ducard is impressed with Bruce's raw talent and determination enough to train him as requested.

And train he does. Beyond the technical aspects of manhunting, Bruce learns the more valuable lesson of having "friends" as a backup when he gets into a tight spot. After some months under Ducards wings, Bruce goes out on a bounty of his own and learns the lesson of needing friends the hard way when the bounty goes bad.

Eventually, Ducard's bounties sometimes turn into assassinations that conflict with Bruce's moral code, and the two having a parting of the ways.

Back to now. Ducard is recovering in the clinic. While Bruce waits in his hotel to plan the next steps. The Parisian police show up to take Bruce into custody for killing Ducard.

The flashback is a great piece of character development that would work in any issue of Batman. However, it has no relevance to the story at hand, and the sum total of events that move readers along in this arc takes up 4 pages. As fillers go, this issue was really well done, but it's still a filler.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: The Detective #3 looks great and reads great, but it's not much more than one giant flashback of character-developing filler. If Taylor and the team want to keep readers engaged, they need to stop wasting time and put some meat on the table.


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