Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Detective Comics #1071 Review


Written by: Ram V
Art by: Stefano Raffaele, Ivan Reis, Eduardo Pansica, Danny Miki, Joe Prado, JĂșlio Ferreira, Juan Castro
Colors by: Brad Anderson, Adriano Lucas
Letters by: Ariana Maher
Cover art by: Evan Cagle
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: April 25, 2023

Detective Comics #1071 finds Talia giving Batman a history lesson on the origins of the Orgham family and their unique treasures.
Is It Good?

No, Detective Comics #1071 is boring. It's sooooooo boring. There's no nice way to put it. B.O.R.I.N.G.!

When last we left the Caped Crusader, Ram V interrupted the already glacial pacing of this arc by using issue #1070 as a backdoor introduction to Ram V's other forthcoming series, The Vigil. The Vigil had nothing to do with the Orghams or this arc, in general. All they did was show up to warn Batman to clean up Gotham, or they would do it for him.

Now, we get back to the arc but spend the entire time relaying the family history of the Orghams and how they acquired the reality engine. Mind you, there's no explanation about what the reality engine actually does or what the Orghams intend to do with it. This story explains the family history, its connections with Ra's Al Ghul and, to a lesser degree, Vandal Savage, and how they obtained the reality engine. And that's it.

This critique might be different if the Orgham story was somehow additive to the present predicament Batman finds himself in, but it isn't. The Orgham family history reads, with all of Ram V's flowery, pretentious dialog in tow, like a Victorian drama novel without the deep character work or drama.

Instead of focusing on the conflict at hand (the opening of the Orgham Center), the entire issue is taken up with a flashback to the ancient deserts of the Middle East and how the Orgham matriarch came to power. There's no clarity surrounding the Orghams' plan for Gotham, what the reality engine is, or how Batman is supposed to stop whatever is happening.

I harp on the notion of questions all the time in storytelling. A good story gets readers to think about forward-thinking questions, ala "What's going to happen next?". When readers are stuck on unanswered questions from past issues, the story quickly becomes frustrating. This arc is well past the frustration line.

What is the reality engine? What does it do? Why are the Orghams interested in Gotham? What kind of building is the Orgham Center? Is it a residential building? An office building? A convention center? Why is Ram V spending so much time introducing side characters and telling inconsequential backstories when he hasn't answered even the most basic questions to build a sense of stakes and urgency?

The art is surprisingly above average for a book with this many artists working on it. Artist transitions are largely unnoticeable, and the visual aspects of the storytelling are solid. For what it's worth, the issue looks good.

Absolute (Backup)

There's nothing of value worth discussing in the backup. Avoid it.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Detective Comics #1071 takes a slow train to nowhere with a plot that doesn't move, an extended flashback that isn't interesting or adds anything of value to the challenge confronting Batman, and a lot of unanswered questions. The art's decent enough, but you could skip this issue and not miss out on any important information.


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