Tag Archives: detective comics

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What do you plan on getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Comichron – July 2018 comics sales estimates: Batman #50 ships more than 441,000 copies, Spidey #1 289k – For those that enjoy the horse race.

CBR – Don’t Worry, Thor’s Ex-Roommate Darryl Survived Thanos’ Finger Snap – We can sleep at night now, how about you?

Newsarama – Marvel Reaches Out to John Byrne About New Work – After a Bitter Break-Up 18 Years Ago – Um…

 

Reviews

The Outhousers – Detective Comics #986

Talking Comics – She Could Fly #2

The Outhousers – Superman #2

Newsarama – The Thrilling Adventure Hour #1

Preview: Detective Comics #986

Detective Comics #986

(W) Bryan Hill (A) Philippe Briones (CA) Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira
In Shops: Aug 08, 2018
SRP: $2.99

Black Lightning, the Signal and Cassandra Cain are working very well together…but now they’re up against a foe who can tap directly into their worst emotions and play them like music! When you’ve seen the kinds of horrors these poor souls have, there’s plenty of trauma to work with…and with that, you can turn these heroes into deadly weapons! Meanwhile Batman’s “side project” has been revealed-what are the Brainiac Files, and what, exactly, does Batman plan to do with them?

Preview: Detective Comics #985

Detective Comics #985

(W) Bryan Hill (A) Philippe Briones (CA) Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira
In Shops: Jul 25, 2018
SRP: $2.99

Batman called Black Lightning to Gotham City for help with a specific case-but what is Batman hiding from Jefferson Pierce? It looks like he’s in touch with somebody from their mutual past, and he doesn’t want Black Lightning to know about it -and that operative might be in over their head!

Preview: Detective Comics #984

Detective Comics #984

(W) Bryan Hill (A) Miguel Mendonca (CA) Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira
In Shops: Jul 11, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“On the Outside” Part two. Batman wanted Black Lightning involved in the lives of his protégés-but how involved was the Dark Knight thinking? What kind of missions will Jefferson Pierce take them on? And what, exactly, is he whispering in their ears about Batman himself?

Review: Detective Comics #983

Beginning with a nod to the zeitgeist where “YouTubers” have supplanted television, film, sports, and music stars as the idols of youth culture, Bryan Hill lays out his thesis for his Detective Comics storyline and with artists Miguel Mendonca and Diana Egea and colorist Adriano Lucas adds explosions and obstacles to the team-up between Batman and seasoned principal, yet up and coming superhero Black Lightning. Detective Comics #983’s mysterious villain’s M.O. is that giving young heroes the opportunity to be a member of the Batman family and wear the Bat-symbol and dulling Batman’s edge as a vigilante who strikes fear into the heart of criminals. Hill and Mendonca immediately create a fairly high threat level as Batman’s young allies begin to be picked off one by one.

I really love how Hill, Mendonca, and Egea introduce Jefferson Pierce the principal and Black Lightning the superhero in Detective Comics #983. They show his dual nature by juxtaposing text of Pierce interviewing a potential teacher candidate with Black Lightning rescuing a kid from a masked criminal with a gun and a grenade. Hill’s writing, and Mendonca, Egea, and Lucas’ art show Black Lightning’s realist approach to crime fighting and life in general and that includes sometimes not saving everyone. Sadly, some students fall through the cracks, or criminals end up blowing themselves up instead of being taken alive. But this is the reality of Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning’s jobs, and his persistence and willingness to learn from his failures is why Batman wants to recruit him to lead and teach a team of young heroes.

Although, he could have gone the standard, house style superhero out, Miguel Mendonca makes Detective Comics #983 more memorable and even pays homage to the great comics of the past through his layout choices, like Dark Knight Returns-esque talking heads that add commentary to the events of the story. For example, explosions are a given in a superhero book, but Mendonca and his inker Diana Egea don’t do a double page money shot and move on. First, they show the impact of the bomb on Duke flying from a building in a way that screams pain and not cool action movie. And then they build on this by crafting a page with fragmented panels that look like stitches or veins as Alfred treats Duke after a fight with this mysterious hater of young people who are inspired by Batman and wear his symbol. In the panels, you can see Alfred pull shrapnel out of Duke’s skin with his own hands before it cuts to the title/credits page with Batman holding Duke’s arm and saying it’ll be okay. This inciting event shows the need for a “safety net” that Jefferson Pierce says his role as a principal is and coupled with the murder of the Batman-loving YouTuber creates the question of the Bat-symbol leading to more harm than good, which has sort of been a big theme in the comics since the death of Jason Todd in the late 1980s.

If there’s any real weakness in Detective Comics #983, it’s that Hill and Mendonca’s scene to scene transitions can sometimes be jarring like immediately going from Batman feeling pain for Duke to Bruce Wayne in sunglasses telling Martian Manhunter and the Justice League to not interfere with his new team that he’s setting up with Black Lightning. It’s a bit of a mood swing, and there’s a bit more in the Batcave before introducing Black Lightning in Metropolis. A thought will be introduced like Duke telling Batman that the villain said having a “Bat-family” made him weaker, and then it’ll cut to a fight scene in Metropolis. Hill has a definite grasp over the big picture and ends the book on a dark, powerful note, but location transitions could be a smoother. However, it is damn cool when Batman and Jefferson Pierce have their first meeting with Adriano Lucas bringing extra shadows, and Hill giving Batman a bit of a know it all attitude when it comes to calculations for his Black Lightning suit.

By starting Detective Comics #983 with a pair of tragedies that Batman failed to prevent, Bryan Hill, Miguel Mendonca, Diana Egea, and Adriano Lucas immediately place the Dark Knight on the defensive and challenge his preconceptions and reliance on young people to assist in his war on crime. Black Lightning is an organic fit for the story and doesn’t seem like a second fiddle with struggles and strengths of his own. Finally, Mendonca, Egea, and Lucas’ art work captures the power of a superhero action sequence without glossing over the pain that comes after especially in Duke’s case.

Story: Bryan Hill Pencils: Miguel Mendonca
Inks: Diana Egea Colors: Adriano Lucas Letters: Sal Cipriano
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Detective Comics #983

Detective Comics #983

(W) Bryan Hill (A) Miguel Mendonca (CA) Eddy Barrows
In Shops: Jun 27, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“On The Outside” part one! Duke Thomas. Cassandra Cain. They and other young heroes don’t intend to stand down, no matter what Batman thinks is best. Who can Batman trust to guide them? They need a teacher…and Black Lightning fits the bill!

Preview: Detective Comics #982

Detective Comics #982

(W) Michael Moreci (A/CA) Sebastian Fiumara
In Shops: Jun 13, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“The Cursing of Gotham City!” The abduction of a child by a strange, militant, religious sect of Gotham’s homeless takes Batman into the city’s darkest subterranean tunnels… and into the upside-down world of the vicious spirit Deacon Blackfire!

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that and wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

IGN – Rosario Dawson Unsure If She’ll Return to Netflix Marvel Shows – Boooo!

 

Reviews

The Outhousers – Clue

Talking Comics – Delta 13 #1

The Outhousers – Detective Comics #981

The Beat – Niki de Saint Phalle: The Garden of Secrets

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: 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?

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