Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Batman: The Detective #4 Review


Does Anybody Know Who Or What Is Equilibrium?

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: July 13, 2021

What's It About?

After being arrested for the murder of Henri Ducard, Bruce Wayne learns Ducard is not as dead as he was led to believe, his police interrogators are not who they say they are, and that glass of water he just swigged down has more than just water in it.

Stabbed, poisoned, and on the run, Bruce Wayne calls upon his European network of spies and a mobile Bat Cave cum Bat Train to stop Equilibrium before she/they kill a few hundred MORE people.
What Worked & What Didn't?
Spoilers Ahead

As with the entire series so far, the highlight of this issue is Andy Kubert's art style. Rough and tumble character lines make Bruce Wayne an intimidating figure as he muscles his way through every situation. He doesn't look and imposing in a superior, Olympic athlete kind of way. Bruce looks like an old-school football coach that's tougher and meaner than the biggest linebacker on the defensive line.

That said, the two oddities of the art are some awkward body postures when Bruce lumbers in and out of doorways or down hallways. It's tough to tell if Kubert intentionally drew Bruce Wayne with a severe spine curvature or if keeping him in a perpetual hunch projects a more animalistic stance... like a British Bulldog.

The story is the paper thing and thinning with each additional issue. Tom Taylor seems stuck in this perpetual mystery of Batman chasing down a person/group intent on killing everyone Batman has ever saved. It's not a bad premise, but the villain(s) glaringly lack any sense of motivation.

Who or what is Equilbirium, and why do they want to kill all of Batman's past saves? After four issues, we have no information about this person or group, so their mission comes across as arbitrary; almost random. If it was a single person doing the killing, it would make at least some sense as you could attribute what's happening to some psychotic sensibility. However, Equilibrium is funded, connected, and has a small army of people on the case. You can only suspend disbelief so far when you're talking about a whole crowd of people engaged in mass murder without any clear agenda.

Bits and Pieces:

In Batman: The Detective #4 you get a little forward progress in Bruce Wayne's investigation, putting him through the wringer to make this feel more like a James Bond story than a Batman story. With no information to understand or care about Equilbirium, the story is starting to feel small and frustrating.


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