Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #943

The most important thing to take away from this issue: Everyone's bad haircuts got fixed! That's all that matters, don't even try to convince me otherwise.

The Spoilers:

Shortly after the Monster problem, Wayne Enterprises is attacked by a group of villains whose only goal is to leave a message: No more bats.

What remains of Batman and Batwoman's team is still trying to pick up the pieces. After conversing with Renee Montoya about the aforementioned crime, Batwoman checks in with Batman who she believes to be avoiding his duty. She specifically wants to talk about Spoiler who has been the most effected by Red Robin's death.

Speaking of Spoiler, she's at Leslie Thompkins' clinic, where Harper Row and a now full head of hair, Jean-Paul Valley are volunteering. Steph wonders if she's cut out for the super hero life and Harper gives her the whole she's doing a whole lot more good on the other side of the mask talk. Elsewhere, Cass and Clayface train in the mudroom, but when Clayface asks for the mudroom's biggest threat, he gets an unflattering reflection which leads to Cass stopping the simulation immediately.

Later that night, the entire team gathers at a police charity event, held by Luke Fox who wants to change the way the police in Gotham do their job with a new line of tech. Bruce is there for a very specific reason, and that is to add someone to the team who is capable of handling the kind of tech Tim did. Kate is not too impressed with Luke Fox, she basically sees him as the arrogant Iron Man type. But nonetheless, the party is cut short by the new band of villains known as the Victim Syndicate who crash the party.

The Opinion:

This book is still just so god damn good. The character work in here is just amazing. I wasn't too hyped on Luke Fox joining the book because I honestly just sort of stopped caring about him and didn't see him as a good fill-in for Tim. But to see Kate just completely against the idea leads me to believe it's not going to be just some quick replacement, but something the book will have to grow into, which I'm totally okay with... Also, Kate has hair again! WOO! HAIRCUTS! Anyways, further more on the character front, there seems to be a little friendship developing between Clayface and Cassandra, which isn't something I knew I wanted, but as the two most outsider characters in the book, seeing them form some sort of bond has been great. Also, Clayface in general has just been a great addition. I like how they've completely gone passed the "is he too far gone to redeem" trope thing with moral shades of grey, but instead it's just "no, he's giving it his best, he wants to change" and to see him grow as a character is enjoyable. 

Alvaro Martinez's work has grown to impress me. Next to Eddy Barrows, he was kind of cast in an unfair shadow, but the work throughout this issue, which is more daring with things like layouts is quite honestly some of the best I've seen from him stretching from Eternal to here. Barrows' shadow grows a bit smaller with every issue Martinez pencils, that's for sure.

But let's talk about my favorite part of the book. You might have seen me bring this up to James Tynion on Twitter, it's was this character: 

Who is that? Well, it's the receptionist at Wayne Enterprises. No big deal, right? Wrong. That's Ellie. Remember her? She was introduced by Grant Morrison in Batman and Son as a young girl working the streets. Batman saved her from one of his "ghosts," and did the usual Batman thing by giving her a card saying to call in to Wayne Enterprises for a job opportunity. That happens a lot in Batman comics, but Grant Morrison made sure to stick with it. Through out his run, all the way up into the second volume of Batman Incorporated, you would see Ellie as her life progressively got better thanks to her chance encounter with Batman. And as I'm typing this up it just fucking hit me... The Victim Syndicate is a group of people who see themselves as being scared by the collateral damage that Batman has brought to Gotham. That's why they've got a bone to pick with him... Yet, on the other side of the fence, here's Ellie, who went from a girl on the streets to having a much improved normal life, thanks to Batman. Holy shit, that's clever. Now, I don't want her to be posterized to bluntly hammer that point home, but damn. I was just going to say I loved that it was just a deep continuity cut on the part of James Tynion, but if what I just realized is indeed the intention, then daaaaaaamn


  1. James Tynion really knows how to write characters! DC should have had him write the Batwoman solo. James is killing it on Detective Comics.

  2. I thought the same thing about Cass and Clayface! The two biggest outsiders on the team, plus they're both on redemption arcs. It makes so much sense they'd gravitate toward each other.

    Something about Kate's reaction to Luke doesn't sit right with me. I think it's just how overt she was, because I can buy her having issues with someone who (in her mind anyway, since she's never met Luke before) is just playing at being a superhero, since she had that same problem with Bette. It's her lack of tact that bugs me. Anyway, I hope she and Luke patch things up quick, because this conflict feels forced and I don't want them sniping each other the whole arc.

    But yeah, overall a good opener to this arc. Lots to like.

  3. This book is definitely Tynion's best work with the Batman characters. It feels like all the stuff he did in the weekly were just a warm up for this.

  4. No offense, but for what reason can Batman be justified in being responsible for the monster attack? He was saving people and fighting monsters, not making them in the first place.

    1. Strange's motive was specifically focused on Batman. No Batman, no monsters.

      Not the most sound of explanations, but if I were a Gothamite and got wind of that... yeah, it could be a final straw sort of thing for me. The people of that city put up with a lot of crap to begin with.