Wednesday, July 25, 2018

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #985

I'm getting the pretty distinct feeling that plans for this arc changed pretty drastically.

The short and dirty of this issue is that Bruce remembers Karma is just some nobody from Markovia he did dirty back in the day, and in the present, Karma kidnaps a bunch of kids and demands that Batman get rid of his to save the ones he kidnapped. Elsewhere, Black Lightning is getting acquainted with Barbara, Cassandra and Duke, who all eventually get him to realize it's a typical "no you're supposed to ignore his orders because Batman is a dick and can't ask for help when he's in over his head." But it's about then when both parties see Karma's message and a burning news reporter on TV (who delivered said message) when they realize shit got real.

So like I said above... I really feel like this arc changed a lot. In fact, it seems neutered. Let's look at the facts... Hey, remember when all the solicits mentioned Katana and the Brainiac Files, whatever those were? On top of using every word with "Out" in it without saying "Outsiders." Oh the bad guy is from Markovia? and he knows Bruce's identity? Wonder if that has anything to do with anything... and then there was that DC Writers retreats and rumors that Geoff Johns met with Bryan Hill to talk Outsiders (which also have some part to play in Doomsday Clock?) and now no Katana, no Brainiac files, the "out" puns are done, and the guy from Markovia? Just some dude. How does he know who Bruce is? Fucking mind reading, why not. Lest we forget this arc was pushed back at nearly the last minute.

The cracks are starting to show. If this dude we see in this issue truly is Karma, his motivations make no sense. Why does he have an axe to grind with Batman being watered down now apparently due to his young allies? He's just some dude who was left tripping on fear toxin... OH! And now Barbara is part of the mix completely... not as an outside force sort of acting as Cass's guardian... no, she's apparently under Black Lighting now too, and gets talked down to as such, which really felt weird, wrong, actually.

So can you blame me for thinking something drastically changed in the middle here? The arc started out strongly and had the vibe that it would lead to something else... now it has the vibe of "they is just meant to take up space with very little consequence" especially with the villain turning out to be just some dude with very flimsy motivation and random mind reading. This issue just gave me an unfortunate vibe.


  1. Wake me when Tomasi comes on. The issues until then will be fodder and not necessary from any standpoint.

  2. I know it's a hypocritical stance for me, since I was angry she dared speak against Tim's plan, but I don't think infantilizing Batgirl, one of Batman's longest serving allies, was a good idea. Babs doesn't need babysitting. She's smart enough to know when things need to be handled carefully. Cass still dangerously has something to prove and Duke is injured, so it makes sense for them, but Barbara? Barbara is a big girl. She may not be the ally that contributes the most to the brand, but she's not seven. He wouldn't have Black Lightning sit on Dick or even Jason. Nobody's even bothering to talk to Gotham Girl, either (does Tom King have sole ownership of her?).

    But it's not like any of this is BAD per se, just not as good as we were led to believe it might be.

  3. My prediction about Karma: He is not the gun-runner from Markovia. Instead he/she is one of the children from Markovia who witnessed how Batman dealt with the gunrunner. He/She feels that batman has gone soft since then, due to his multiple allies/proteges. At least that would make more sense as a motive...