Monday, October 2, 2023

Detective Comics #1074 Review



Written by: Ram V
Art by: Dustin Nguyen
Colors by: John Kalisz
Letters by: Ariana Maher
Cover art by: Evan Cagle
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: September 26, 2023

Detective Comics #1074 travels with an Azmer-infected Batman as he visits Gotham locations that have a special meaning for him. But will it be enough to hold off the Azmer fighting for control of Batman's mind?
Is Detective Comics #1074 Good?

I've been rightfully critical of Ram V's writing on Detective because Ram V has an extreme allergic aversion to getting to the point. Decompression in comics, when every page counts, is a bad thing. Purposeful decompression because you consider storytelling a selfish act, as Ram V has declared, is a disrespectful thing. That said, Detective Comics #1074 is intriguing.

When last we left the Dark Knight, Batman narrowly escaped the explosion at Orgham Place (a building built with no apparent purpose) that leveled the building. Before Batman could fully escape, he was infected with Azmer (a substance that would put a person's mind under Orgham's control... maybe... sorta. It's not clear).

Now, Batman battles the Azmer demon infecting his mind by savagely tearing through Gotham locations that have emotional significance to Bruce Wayne. The GCPD tracks Batman from one location to the next in the hopes of capturing Batman before his rage-filled path of destruction goes up in flames.

If you're wondering what happened to the Orghams and the purpose of their grand plan, the Orghams only show up briefly, and no attention is given to whatever the heck the Orghams are doing in Gotham. See the opening paragraph above about rightful criticism.

What's great about Detective Comics #1074? When Batman visits each location, you see a metaphorical vision play out in his mind as he first remembers why the spot is important and then sees the Azmer trying to consume Bruce's memory in an effort to break his will. Ram V gives you interesting perspectives to chew on relative to Bruce's past, going all the way back to his childhood. The entire issue is one man's fight to hold on to the memories that matter, and in fairness, Ram V delivers an impactful execution.

What's not so great about Detective Comics #1074? Decompression will be the death of the Big 2. Not a lick of information is given about why the Orghams infected Batman with Azmer, what their motivations are in doing so, or what the Orghams are after in the first place. If new readers were considering this issue as a jumping-on point after the ill-fated Knight Terrors, forget it. You'd be completely lost.

How's the art? Decent but odd. The last time we got a glimpse of Dustin Nguyen's work was in the phenomenal Robin & Batman mini-series by Jeff Lemire. Nguyen's style worked there because Lemire's story had an element of whimsy that suited a young Robin's point of view. Here, Nguyen's art is generally good, but the hint of whimsy creeps in for scenes that should be intimidating. I think it works, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea.

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

Follow @ComicalOpinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Bits and Pieces:

Detective Comics #1074 is an intriguing walk through Batman's mind as he struggles to fight off the Azmer infection. Ram V's metaphorical ideas (usually a down point) suit the plot, and Nguyen's art is an interesting change of pace. That said, the Orghams are nowhere to be found, so this issue would be a tough sell for anyone but a diehard Detective Comics reader.


No comments:

Post a Comment