Detective Comics #973

by Hussein Wasiti on January 24, 2018

Writer: James Tynion IV

Artist: Jesus Merino

Colourist: Jason Wright

Letterer: Sal Cipriano


The team really nailed this issue. James Tynion and Jesus Merino et al really give this issue an emotional core which carries over from the ending of the previous issue, which is that Clayface is now an absolute monster and must be stopped. Tynion injects some parallels and references to NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN, that really misguided crossover from the first few months of the Rebirth initiative. These references reflect nicely on the image of Clayface rampaging through the streets of Gotham; he's definitely viewed as a kind of Kaiju monster, which the creators even acknowledge by putting a not-so-subtle cinema marquee advertising a film called "Atlantic Rim", a play on the title PACIFIC RIM.


This feels like a defining issue of the run so far in that I really don't think things are going to be the same after this; or, at least, I really hope things change. The dynamic of this team was fun while it lasted but I need a proper ongoing Batman book since Tom King can't give me one.


I continue to take issue with the lack of characterisation of the First Victim. We don't get a single appearance or even a mention of the other members of the Victim Syndicate; they're window dressing and were never important. However, to see such a big change in the team's dynamics instigated by a pretty shallow character is kind of hard to accept.


I'm a big fan of Jesus Merino, and his style was pretty hard to spot. Jason Wright completely changes Merino's style with the choice of colouring, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It looks quite nice, and Merino really sells the huge-scale action of the issue.


Despite some issues I had with the story, I really enjoyed this issue and I hope it's a sign of better things to come. The art was really strong but this book needs to find a consistent artist rather than artist-swapping every other issue.

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