Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Detective Comics #1038 Review


Dead and Buried?

Writer: Meghan Fitzmartin, Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic, Karl Mostert
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: June 22, 2021

I enjoyed the beginning of Mariko Tamaki's Detective Comics.  It had the street-level feel that went well with the book and worked as a different feel to what Tynion is doing in Batman.  However, this story has gotten more bloated and convoluted with each issue, and at this point, it's just getting silly.  Mr. Worth is too over the top to be a street-level villain, and Mayor Nakano, a big focus at the start, is a delivery system for the ridiculously named Hue Vile, who seems to have an alien-looking parasite that comes out of his mouth.  Throw in eye-worms, an odd Lady Clayface, and so much more, and I wonder if this is a book or a garbage plate.  Maybe this week's issue irons out a few things.  Let's find out...

The issue starts with Batman fighting Mister Worth, who is blind with rage over his daughter's death.  That all stops when Lady Clayface, still looking like Sarah, shows up.  There is still no real explanation of why the A-Day attack made Lady Clayface only take Sarah's form, and even Huntress mentions they have no idea.  I have an idea why. To keep pushing this convoluted narrative!  Everyone knows Sarah is dead and possibly even buried by now.  Her body is at least in the morgue.

We then get some odd story progression as Batman takes Worth to jail in cuffs, but then he is out the next day yelling that he will take down Bruce Wayne and Batman.  Alright...  I understand that everyone is on Worth's payroll, but why did he let Batman take him in?  Maybe shock at seeing his daughter (who he knows is dead) melt into clay?  

I think the big problem with all of this is Tamaki showed us too much too early.  The reader knows Sarah is dead, and this is Lady Clayface, but she keeps going to the well, and it just feels silly by now.

Hue Vile sets up a deal with Worth and a meeting with Deb Donovan to push things forward.  Tamaki reminds us that he has a crazy parasite worm in his mouth and he wants Batman and Huntress dead.  

Tamaki ends the issue with an explosive cliffhanger that no reader will ever believe, which goes well with everything going on with this book lately.  There is no tension at all because nothing going on is very believable.  That's multiplied because some things that could happen, like Bruce Wayne getting arrested, get pushed aside after seeing the wow moment it was there to set up.  The art is excellent, and the Penguin backup, giving reasons for Oswald to team up with Mister Worth, is way better than the main story.

Bits and Pieces:

This book has become silly and convoluted and needs some focus.  So many things in this book are ill-explained or pushed aside, affecting any tension or mystery Tamaki tries setting up.  It all looks fantastic, but I find myself less interested in each issue.


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