Detective Comics #934

by Brandon Davenport on June 08, 2016

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas
Published by: DC Comics
Detective Comics returns to its original numbering in its 934th issue following DC Comics’ Rebirth Event. Legacy is back, Bruce Wayne is back too, and trouble is brewing in Gotham City. Following the efforts of the power team of Scott Snyder and up-and-coming writer Tom King’s “Batman: Rebirth #1”, some people would say this book has big shoes to fill. Personally, I am more concerned with how this book stands on it’s own, and the premise could fulfill that purpose nicely.
More mysteries are popping up in Gotham, after the savage beating of Jean-Paul Valley, better known as Azrael, takes place. His assailant curiously bears a resemblance to The Dark Knight. In that regard, I was pleased how this book opened. Using Valley as a part of the inciting incident hints that this story arc will take advantage of the sprawling Bat-Family and its mythos.  The book also does a fairly good job of not confusing the reader too much, in terms of what’s going on and who’s involved; this is a well written issue for new readers, perfect for the Rebirth event as a whole. For instance, Batman’s doppelganger who we see in the beginning of the book, could easily trick a new reader into thinking this is the Batman we came for, that is, until he opens his mouth to threaten Azrael with imminent death. Tynion takes advantage of people’s expectations for the characters, and makes a solid narrative out of it.
Given that this is the first issue of a new story arc, most of the book is set-up, and while there could be a little more substance in the dialogue itself, at least the book establishes these characters somewhat efficiently for the readers who may be in the dark. Batman, in an effort to solve the mystery of his look-alike, and the drone that he left behind at the site of his attack on Azrael, assembles a team of various members of the Bat-family, including a villain too (looking at the cover, guess who it could be). During the recruitment process, we get a couple hints of some of the character dynamics we will see fleshed out throughout the story, and some of them seem interesting, especially with the inclusion of a sympathetic villain on Batman’s squad. Although, I worry that said villain will be the butt of various jokes at his expense, hopefully there will be time for him to shine and do something nifty.
Katherine Kane, Batwoman, is one of the major players on Batman’s team, and it seems she will be one of the larger forces in the book, given her seeming arc to seek independence from Batman himself; she doesn’t want to be in his shadow, or play second banana, if you will. Some of her dialogue, especially when she speaks to the newly formed team, is a little cheesy and feels forced, but I am interested to see where her story will take her, especially in relation to the rest of the group.
The art in this book is well done, for the most part. The book is very colorful and varied, and that is helped in part from the cast of characters involved. I believe as the story moves forward, the imagery that could be seen could be quite striking. Each panel expresses the actions very fluently, although there are panels here-or-there that seem a bit off, for better or for worse. One panel of Bruce talking to Katherine, to me, makes Bruce look a little soft, if that could be a way of describing it. The panel composition was generally spot-on, featuring varied styles of presentation, splash pages when they work, and it creates a very aesthetically appealing issue.
In the end, I think this book accomplished its goal of setting up something fun and entertaining. We know the story is going to keep building up to something greater, given the threat present at the end of the book, and given the characters who encompass Batman’s crime-fighting posse. If this arc keeps its momentum up, this will be a book I want to keep coming back to. 

Our Score:


A Look Inside