Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Detective Comics #1053 Review


I'm Not Just the Owner...

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg, Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Fernando Blanco, Max Raynor
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: February 15, 2022
Cover Price: $4.99

I keep waiting for the moment in this weekly Shadows of the Bat story that shows me this whole thing is coming together.  It was a weird play to show us what happens to Tobias Wear to start, but more bizarre, there doesn't seem to be a swerve coming.  Dr. Wear is a piece of shit who is heading for a fall.  Pun very much intended!  Sure, we found out that Doctor Psycho is behind the "miracle cure," but that hasn't even been that interesting overall, and because the reader knows most of what is going on, the Bat-Family always ends up looking like they're two steps behind.  This is the Bat-Family, not MC Skat Kat!  Let's check out this week's issue to see if things turn around now that we are starting the story's second half.

Detective Comics #1053 opens with the Party Crashers claiming they are innocent of all charges and counting on Dr. Wear to post their bail.  I wish Tamaki pointed out that he was doing this to make up for that short shipment of numb a couple of issues back, or maybe he is afraid the Party Crashers might expose his scheme in court, but they seem to be on his payroll as enforcers as well as being clients.  It's like a fucked up version of the old Hair Club for Men!  "Not only am I a member of the ridiculous-looking goon squad, but I'm also a scumbag drug dealer."

To that end, Tamaki seemingly gets rid of one of the few interesting things from the last couple of issues when an ax-wielding Party Crasher tries to take out the nurse who filmed the Arkham riot.  Cassandra Cain stops him, but he had already put the fear of God (and, you know, an ax) in her, and it looks like she is gone.

Another odd thing here is that Dr. Wear goes to the Penguin for a loan to bail out the Party Crashers.  Again, Penguin was short-shipped numb, and it looked like that would be big trouble for Wear, but the worst thing that might have happened is a few extra percentage points in Penguin's interest?  

Let me get this straight.  Toby Wear was selling drugs to the Penguin and the Party Crashers.  But unfortunately, he messed up or tried to expand his profits by selling both shipments of half salt pills.  Then, he borrows money from the Penguin to bail out the Party Crashers, who then go and take care of the nurse?!?  Now, maybe the Party Crashers are just dealing the drugs for Wear, but it did not seem that way when they found out they were short-shipped.  And the Penguin?  I'm sure that Wear has no intentions of paying back that loan, and that will be the sticking point with the Penguin, even though the salt pills were already enough, but that seems forgotten.

Detective Comics #1053 can't all be horrible, right?  No, it's not.  I enjoyed parts of this issue, but I still needed a bit of suspension of disbelief to get there.

We finally get a good dose of Nightwing, which is always a plus for me.  Dick impersonates a doctor by putting on a random lab coat, recognizes that Helena's blood message is "written in her handwriting," and finally decides to break into the top floor because it's the place "no one wants anyone to be."  The last one leads to a cool cliffhanger but still feels forced in and not a natural progression.  All this goes down as the Bat-Family is attacked (what happened to them saying they were moving out of the sewers?) and need Nightwing's help.

The House of Gotham backup looks fantastic, but there is a weird disconnect from the last issue.  I still enjoy seeing The Boy be the Forrest Gump with the Gotham Rogues (he's seriously met just about everyone!), but this entry was probably my least favorite so far.

Overall, Mariko Tamaki continues to muddy up her story with inconsistent details that present things as a big deal, only to forget them an issue later.  The art is excellent, but the slow pace still makes me believe this could have all been an arc with a regular monthly schedule than a 12-week story.

Bits and Pieces:

While I liked Detective Comics #1053 more than the last few issues, mainly because Nightwing gets something to do, the pacing and inconsistencies from issue to issue are still a huge problem.  Maybe by the end, I'll be able to recommend this story in trade, but I can't as a weekly release.


No comments:

Post a Comment