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Review: Detective Comics #981

James Tynion concludes his run on Detective Comics with smiling, hugs, and the simple refrain that maybe one should take things one day at a time instead of coming up with complex algorithms and plans for the future. His first artistic collaborators on the series, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas, return for Detective #981 and provide chilling double page spreads of possible futures and more solid ones of the present of the Bat-family. The Brother Eye/Ulysses Armstrong/future Tim Drake plot is resolved fairly quickly so that Tynion, Barrows, and Ferreira can dig deeper into the characters’ emotions and relationships and tease out the different paths that the members of Batman and Batwoman’s hero training squad follows.

Probably the most unexpected hug is the first one between Tim Drake, who has been possessed by Brother Eye technology, and Batwoman as they realize that finding a perfect algorithm to fight crime involves pushing away friends and family and giving into one’s darker nature. It’s not punching or gadgets that brings Tim back to his real self (I love how Sal Cipriano gradually “de-Brothers” his word balloons.), but Stephanie Brown’s voice on the other end telling him she loves him no matter if he’s Red Robin, a future autocratic Batman, or just Tim Drake the college student. The split screens between her and ruthlessly manipulative and pragmatic Ulysses Armstrong represents the warring side of his psyche as Tim wants to efficiently prevent crime in Gotham City and elsewhere, but the human cost is too great. Batwoman experiences almost the same thing in a potent vision of the future where she is hunting down Batman for the government and is content to let him go, but because Bruce is dying of radiation from Brother Eye, she executes a mercy killing. Even if it’s a potential future timeline, Lucas uses a full color palette and Barrows uses tighter knit panels to show the tears on Kate’s face as she puts down an aging Bruce, who has realized that Bat-symbol is a powerful force for good, but it’s not one that needs to be eternal. It’s a direct refutation to the machine set up by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy back in 2014’s Detective Comics #27 where Batman set up a way for a Batman (and Alfred) to exist in every era perpetually.

Detective Comics #981 is all about being able to love your family members, but also knowing when they need to go down their own path. Especially in the early part of Tynion’s run, Batman, Batwoman, and Red Robin have all been about control with strict training protocols and focus on efficiency and results at the expense of emotions, which caused Stephanie Brown to leave the team, poor Cassandra Cain to be estranged, and Clayface to die. The second half of this comic sets this all to rights with honest conversations, smiling, hugs, and yes, breaking up the proverbial band. Kate and Bruce share drinks at a fancy restaurant where their parents used to “parley”, and Bruce admits that the fact that she’s one of his only living relatives is why their relationship is so frustrating. Also, Kate talks about starting to figure out where she fits in this world of vigilantes and high tech paramilitarism as more of a solo act like she was back when J.H. Williams was writing her comics. But everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows because this is a book predominantly set in Gotham City so, of course, Jake Kane is listening on their entire conversation. Kate might wear the Batman symbol and have respect for Batman and her other cousin Bruce, but she doesn’t answer to him.

Even if she isn’t technically the “star” of Detective Comics #981, the short scene with Cassandra Cain and Barbara Gordon is definitely the most heartfelt as Cass moves from Wayne Manor to a room in Leslie Thompkins’ clinic where she can be a student and young woman and not just a crime fighter. In contrast with her completely face and form obscuring Orphan costume, Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira draw Cass and her surroundings as open and dynamic before slowly pivoting to this issue’s saddest moment. At the clinic, she isn’t her codename, and Barbara Gordon is “Babs”, not Batgirl. Even though the glimpse of Cassandra picking up her pre-Flashpoint mantle as Batgirl in the previous issue was glorious, it is good to see her learning how to speak and function in society as a human being and not just as a human weapon and nicely caps off the arc that James Tynion has set up for her throughout Batman and Robin Eternal and Detective Comics.

Although it features alternate timelines, crazy future tech, and of course, masked vigilantes who wear a flying rodent on their costumes, Detective Comics #981, and by extension James Tynion’s whole 47 issue run on Detective Comics, has been a family drama with Batwoman playing the badass aunt and Tim Drake as the son, who wants to please his father and also wants to do his own thing. It ends with Batman going into action alone while his surrogate family members forge a path of their own. Sure, Tim and Stephanie are investigating alternate timelines and not going to college, but Batman trusts and loves them enough to let them strike out on their own. Batman fighting crime in Gotham City is a constant, but there is room for change in that constant.

Story: James Tynion IV Pencils: Eddy Barrows
Inks: Eber Ferreira Colors: Adriano Lucas Letters: Sal Cipriano
Story: 9.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Suicide Squad #42

Suicide Squad #42

(W) Rob Williams (A) José Luis, Jordi Tarragona (CA) Guillem March
In Shops: May 23, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“CONSTRICTION” part two! Cornered by the Suicide Squad, Deadshot won’t allow anything to stand in the way of him saving his daughter – not even his Task Force X teammates!

Preview: Batman Beyond #20

Batman Beyond #20

(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Mark Morales, Marco Castiello (CA) Viktor Kalvachev
In Shops: May 23, 2018
SRP: $3.99

“Target: Batman” part one! After his first outing as a vigilante, Matt is hungry for another chance to prove himself, but Bruce and Terry butt heads over what’s next for Matt. Will Terry shut his brother down for good, or will the original Batman succeed in training him to become the latest Robin? Meanwhile, a hostage crisis turns deadly, and Commissioner Barbara Gordon has to sort out why the Jokerz are resorting to far more violent and extreme measures than ever before.

Preview: Batgirl #23

Batgirl #23

(W) Hope Larson (A) Minkyu Jung, José Marzan (CA) Dan Mora
In Shops: May 23, 2018
SRP: $3.99

“STRANGE LOOP” finale! Trapped in a prison of her own mind’s making, Batgirl must act out of character in order to reenter reality. Can she put her need to survive above the needs of those she’s sworn to protect? Or is she doomed to wander the mazes of her mind for all of eternity?!

Preview: Mera: Queen of Atlantis #4

Mera: Queen of Atlantis #4

(W) Dan Abnett (A) Lan Medina, Norm Rapmund (CA) Nicola Scott
In Shops: May 23, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Desperate for a new ally in the fight for the soul of Atlantis, Mera turns to her ex-husband Nereus, the king of Xebel! But even after winning his favor in a deadly clash, can someone like Nereus ever be trusted? And what of Ocean Master’s promise to return to the surface? Is there anyone Mera can trust?

Review: The Flash #47

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the beginning of Flash War!

The Flash #47 is by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi, Steve Wands, Francesco Mattina, Andrew Marino, Rebecca Taylor, and Marie Javins.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Justice League: No Justice #3

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the third issue of No Justice!

Justice League: No Justice #3 is by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Riley Rossmo, Marcus To, Hi-Fi, AndWorld Design, Andrea Shea, Rebecca Taylor, and Marie Javins.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Preview: Detective Comics #981

Detective Comics #981

(W) James Tynion IV (A) Eber Ferreira (A/CA) Eddy Barrows
In Shops: May 23, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“Batmen Eternal” finale! This is it – the unbelievable conclusion of James Tynion IV’s Batman epic! It’s the last stand of the Gotham Knights, fighting a monster they helped inspire… and a destiny they won’t accept! What will become of the greatest crime-fighting team Gotham City ever saw?

Preview: The Flash #47

The Flash #47

(W) Joshua Williamson (A/CA) Howard Porter
In Shops: May 23, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“FLASH WAR” part one! Barry Allen and Wally West… at war?! The long-rising tension between mentor and former sidekick is brought to a head when the Renegades of the 25th century come to claim Iris West for the murder of Eobard Thawne… but that’s only the beginning of a plot that will change the future of The Flash forever! By the end, it will be Flash versus Flash in a mythology-shaking event!

DC Rebirth Roundup: Comics From The 16th and 23rd of May

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth Roundup where we take a look at most of the comics released by DC and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in assuming we’ve read said series.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up with only a basic familiarity with the characters.  You’ll also notice that each comic will get a rating that falls on Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, so you’ll have an idea if the comic is any good or not (remember quality and accessibility don’t always go together).

Not every comic is covered released will be covered, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often), or I really can’t bring myself to pick up the issue (which is more likely).  Typically comics released prior to the weeks covered won’t be featured.


 

AQM_Cv36A shorter entry than is typical this week, as I had less time than usual to read comics… c’est la vie.

Aquaman #36 Arthur Curry was usurped as King of Atlantis  by Coram Rath, who over the course of a dozen issues or so has gone insane… guess who’s going to try and stop him? The comic is kind of  Friendly, and an excellent continuation of the series. Rating 7.8

Batman #47 Finally the conclusion of the Booster Gold gives Batman a wedding present is here. It’s… neither worth reading nor is it a good jumping on point. Unfriendly. Rating: 5

The Flash #47 You’ll find the first issue of a new arc if you pick this comic up,  and despite the build toward Flash War over the past couple months, this is still a relatively Friendly issue. Rating: 7

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Crops #45  There’s a war brewing between the Green Lanterns and the Darkstars, a group of space vigilantes who believe in a lethal justice solution for murderers – something that the Green Lantern Corps isn’t too happy with. Consequently there’s a tension building, and this Friendly issue will catch you up and set the stage for you going forward. Rating: 8

New Challengers #1 Funnily enough, a first issue is a decent jumping on point. It’s also quite an interesting comic to pick up, and consequently worth your time. Rating: 7

Superman Special #1  It’s Friendly. Rating: 7.5

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