Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Detective Comics #1063 Review



The Deed is Done

Writer: V. Ram, Simon Spurrier
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque, Dani
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 23, 2022

While it seems that I am one of the few people who haven't fallen head over heels for Ram V's writing, I understand his appeal and have read some things of his that I loved, like the Justice League Dark Annual a few years back and his
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, which I highly recommend. I will put the blame solely on my shoulders - I am a dummy who likes to read comics to have some fun and forget about real life for a little, while Ram V is obviously going for something a bit more substantial. With all that said, I was optimistic after reading the last issue of Detective Comics, his first of the series.  Yea, it didn't hurt that he is following Mariko Tamaki's less than stellar time on the book, but the horror-tinged story feels like a great fit for him and Rafael Albuquerque.  So let's see if Detective Comics #1063 continues the upward trend...

Detective Comics #1063 opens with a nightclub scene with Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne exchanging pleasantries and some over-the-top dialogue.  Is the dialogue a bit pretentious?  Sure, but I like any time that Bruce and Harvey get together, and while the voices felt off, I have to admit, it was refreshing to see Batman being a little more assertive than he has been lately.  Plus, Ram V gives nods to Harvey's recent past, which I always appreciate.  I'm sure this will only get better as he writes Bruce and his supporting cast more.

We then head to sea to see a couple of the (maybe) villains of the story, Shavhod, Arzen, and Neang.  The names roll off the tongue, don't they?!?  We get a better look at their land title deed for Gotham and a more odd-sounding name leading to the very familiar name of Arkham.  The overall concept Ram V is giving us is not new (Curse of the White Knight dealt with a similar theme), but more disquieting is that it's not that exciting either.  I don't know what it is, but DC stories dealing with real estate rarely hit the mark!

The story continues with Batman sneaking into Blackgate Prison, and here, Ram V pushes the Bat-Narration big time.   Again, it felt off... almost like Batman was trying too hard to sound like Batman.  It threw me out of the issue like a fourth wall-breaking joke.   If you don't agree, try saying it out loud and listen to how silly it sounds.

The Dark Knight is in Blackgate to show Maestro the music box he found in the last issue and see if he can identify the melody.  While I like seeing underused characters get some spotlight, the scene plays too quickly, especially for the result to be so big...maybe.

I say maybe because Ram V is giving readers a lot to digest but playing it so loose that by the end of the issue, I wasn't sure if I got too much or too little.  Ram V seems more concerned with the atmosphere and feel than the story and plot progression.  That's something that bothers me personally, but that's just me.  I know a lot of people who are not only not bothered by that, but actually like it!

The ending gives me hope of the return of a classic villain, but again, Ram V muddies it up way more than he needs to.

I was not fond of this issue much at all.  Ram V is busy giving the readers a slew of new characters that aren't very interesting and are taking page space away from Batman.  This issue looks excellent thanks to Rafael Albuquerque's art, but right now, the story is a bit of a convoluted and ill-defined mess, though, with a bit of explanation, that can turn around very quickly.  Ram V is a talented writer, and while he may not be my cup of tea, I would not be surprised if he pulls this together and gives readers a classic Batman horror story by the end.

I did not include the Si Spurrier backup story in my score below because I don't think it would be fair to Ram V.  The story is not good and isn't worth the extra dollar.  What I'm saying is it stinks!

Bits and Pieces:

Detective Comics #1063 was a downer for me as Ram V throws a lot at the reader but struggles with character voices and overall focus.  It looks great thanks to Rafael Albuquerque's stylized art, but it's a bit of a slog overall.



  1. 100% agree about both Ram V's story and Spurrier's. I don't think DC really cares about Detective at this point. And that's just sad.

    1. Here is a funny thing I noticed this week - when you get an issue like this from Ram V, it puts the reviewers into "Pretentious Prose" mode in their reviews! It's like they grab the thesaurus to sound as fancy as the dialogue in the book!!!

    2. But I honestly can't think what can they extract from this. Like, there is no substance here, nothing you can think of and ramble about. Hickman is pretentious as hell, Morrison used to be, but they put some ideas forward besides all their pretentiousness. Ram V does nothing here. He doesn't even come up with his usual shtick where he philosophizes for an entire book only to come up at the end with the "answer" that humans are awful but we need to move forward, like in his Swamp Thing. I don't think he's the worst writer out there, God knows there are A LOT worse than him, he's just bland and he lacks interesting ideas, it's all style over substance with him and once you've read one of his stories, you've read them all.

    3. He is better than a whole lot of writers and fits on certain books - this should be working better, but you are right, there just isn't any substance to this!

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