Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Detective Comics #1081 Review


Written by: Ram V
Art by: Riccardo Federici, Stefano Raffaele
Colors by: Lee Loughridge
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Cover art by: Evan Cagle
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: January 23, 2024

Detective #1081 takes a long walk through the desert as Batman fights to understand who he is while Barbatos and the Azmer battle for control of his mind and soul.
Is Detective Comics #1081 Good?

The countdown has begun. Detective Comics #1081 marks the beginning of the final act in Ram V's Gotham Nocturne story and the end of Ram V's time on Detective Comics. If nothing else, this issue is consistent with the rest of Ram V's run.

When last we left Batman, Catwoman successfully pulled off a heist to kidnap his "dead" body and spirit the Caped Crusader out of Gotham with a little help from Talia and Two-Face. The Orghams engaged in hot pursuit, but once Talia's escape seemed likely, the Orghams retreated to Gotham, satisfied with the knowledge that Batman's public hanging had the desired effect of amputating Batman's myth in the mind of Gotham City.

Now, Talia takes Batman to the desert called Aras so that the crossing will permanently purge the war spirits of Azmer and Barbatos in Batman's soul. Meanwhile, the Question hunts down Det. Henry Fielding's killer to learn and uncover why he was murdered.

Do we learn anything about Gotham City other than citizens have begun to forget about Batman? No.

Do we learn anything about the Orghams' plans for Gotham City now that Batman is gone? Nope. The Orghams don't even make an appearance.

Do we learn how the shootout between Two-Face's gang and the Orghams turned out? Nope, not at all.

Wait, the only thing we see is Batman crawling through the desert as he's plagued by visions in his journey to finally accepting who he "really is?" Yep, that's about it.

Why is The Question obsessed with finding Fielding's killer? I suppose she feels some responsibility for putting Fielding and Nash together on a case, so Fielding's death is partly her fault. It's unclear how she could have known Nash was a dirty cop.

Is this going to be a really long nine months until Ram V is off Detective Comics? Yeah, I'm sorry about that brother. It's going to be a very long nine months.

What's great about Detective Comics #1081? Riccardo Federici presents amazing imagery and visions during Batman's hallucinogenic trek through the desert. Oddly enough, the issue flip-flops between Batman's long walk and Question's investigation, using Stefano Raffaele for the latter, so you don't get Federici for the whole issue. Still, we'll take what we can get.

What's not so great about Detective Comics #1081? The problem in this issue is practically the same in every Ram V issue in this run. Flowery, overwritten narration and abysmal pacing. Ram V isn't concerned with heading anywhere in particular with any momentum or urgency, so you constantly feel like you're reading a directionless story in slow motion.

Backup Story

A small support group forms with people who have all been damaged by Dr. Hurt. Through their sharing, they conclude the only way to gain closure is to find him and kill him.

If you're interested in learning about Dr. Hurt through his victims and gaining perspective on how far he's willing to go for his sadistic ends, you're in luck. This short doesn't add anything to the main story, so some readers may see it as filler.

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 #1081 begins the countdown to the end of the Nocturne story and Ram V's time on Detective Comics with a characteristically slow, plodding, directionless chapter that says a lot but communicates little. The art is fantastic, so the slow trip at least looks good.


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