Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Detective Comics #1072 Review

Written by: Ram V
Art by: Ivan Reis, Stefano Raffaele
Colors by: Brad Anderson, Lee Loughridge
Letters by: Ariana Maher
Cover art by: Evan Cagle (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: May 30, 2023

Detective Comics #1072 marks the beginning of the Fall for Batman and Gotham as the Orghams unleash their final gambit.

Is It Good?

Detective Comics #1072 marks the beginning of the end. Of what? Honestly, I have no idea, and neither do most readers of Ram V's run, but at least it looks like something is happening. We'll take any progress we can at this point.

When last we left Batman and his less-broody allies, they didn't do much except receive an unexpected visit from the Vigil, Ram V's recently-launched hero title. That part only lasted a few pages, as the rest of the issue was devoted to a flashback explaining a chunk of the Orgham family history and its connection to Ra's Al Ghul. Issue #1071 was chock full of historical information, but it contained nothing about the Orghams' plans for Gotham, the nature or intended use of the Reality Engine, or the purpose of Orgham Place.

Now, it's the grand opening celebration for Orgham Place, and the Bat-family is on high alert to stop whatever the Orghams have planned. And therein lies the problem.

Does Batman know what the Orghams are planning to do? No. Does the GCPD know? Nope. In fact, Commissioner Montoya struggles to accept that anything untoward is happening. Does Ram V know what the Orghams are planning to do? At this point, I'm not entirely convinced.

How do you wrap a multi-act arc around a new criminal organization/family with a master plan designed to change Gotham forever, and nobody seems to know what's in the plan, what it's supposed to do, the stakes of the plan if it succeeds, or how to stop it? As of this writing, Ram V has delivered ten issues to make the plan, and the Orghams' motivations behind it, clear. C'est la vie.

Watch our Detective Comics #1072 Video Review

Still, things happen in this issue. Cass/Batgirl tracks down the kidnapped citizens, only to learn they've been Azmer-ized and set loose on the streets to set explosives. Why did the Orghams create an Azmer Army to set explosives when they employed a small army of workers for months to build Orgham Place? Who knows.

Nightwing runs crowd control. Oracle coordinates everyone. Gordon tracks down Montoya to tell her "something" is about to happen. Which leaves Batman to deal with the Orgham family.

Batman tracks down the Orghams to an underground control center beneath Orgham Place, where they give him a choice - let the Azmer army blow up the city around Orgham Place or blow up Orgham Place to send the building (they just finished building) down on their heads in a bizarre form of suicide. No spoilers on which one Batman chooses, but if you know Batman, you know the choice he makes.

This final development somehow makes the issue, and the arc as a whole, worse. What's the point of going through all the trouble to buy up property, clear the low-income citizens, build a sparkling new tower, and create a big PR push to announce the salvation of the city if the Orghams always intended to just blow it all up? If readers knew about the plan, maybe we could see some method in the madness, but as it stands now, it appears Ram V is just pulling big moments out of a hat to distract away from the lack of a clear, concise, cohesive plot.

How's the art? Gorgeous. I don't say that lightly. Reis and Raffaele's art looks fantastic. The big sin of this run is the lack of a cohesive plot, but the much bigger sin is how much Reis and Raffaele's talents are wasted on a script not worthy of the work they're delivering.

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 #1072 feels like the beginning of a climactic finale, but the bizarre lack of motivations, stakes, or clarity results in a comic where explosive things happen that have no meaning or purpose. Reis and Raffaele deliver stunning art, and the action scenes look great, but it's not clear if this title (or Ram V) knows where it's going, or if the creative team is just making it up as they move along. Right now, it feels like the latter.