Review: DETECTIVE COMICS #952 Author: Peter Verra (Follow @PETER ILLUSTRATED)
Date: March 13, 2017
SYNOPSIS: “League Of Shadows” part three! Batman’s team faces the League of Shadows, which believes in only one thing: complete and utter destruction! The League’s plan for the city is revealed…but can even that secret compare to the bombshell that is the identity of Cassandra Cain’s mother?
Since popping up at the end of issue #950 Lady Shiva has been on a mission that seems to center around Orphan and she has looked nothing short of ruthless. Two issues later we find out why she is spying on Orphan and how she gained control of the League of Assassins. I said in a previous review that this was the most violent I have ever seen the character interpreted and it continues to move forward.
In this issue we see Shiva take on Ra’s Al Ghul, the League of Assassins, Orphan and the Batman all with ease. She is showing us that she is second to none when it comes to hand to hand combat and manipulation. She has turned the police against the Batman with the murder of Mayor Hady. She is playing the media into thinking The Joker is behind the riots at Adams Square park. (A great nod to one of my top five favorite artists). She knows how to use the riots to spread the Bat-Family thin so she can pick them apart. Shiva is proving she is every bit the tactician that the Batman is, may be even better?
Colonel Kane is starting to remind me of the Calendar Man from Long Halloween. Locked up in a cell telling Batwoman information that she needs but his reasoning is different. He knows what Shiva is capable of and if he couldn’t take Shiva in a fight then neither can his daughter. I am starting to grow tired of Colonel Kane. I feel that he is getting repetitive with his constant warnings and doubts about Batwoman.
My favorite parts of this story are the beginning and ending. Ra’s vs. Shiva was a very interesting sequence of events as was when Orphan realizes her connection to Shiva. I really enjoy how James Tynion is building up Shiva; she’s fearless, brilliant and knows exactly how to play her foes. She even flat out tells Batman that she let him beat her so she could learn from him and set him up. Clayface was a character that stood out; he didn’t steal the show but proves his value and humor when it comes to “backup.”
Christian Duce comes up top notch with the action sequences, Adams Square Park and Shiva vs. Orphan on the rooftops with skylines in the background. I can never get enough of the cityscape. My only nitpick is that at one point Batwing does an Iron Man pose in the big fight. I really felt the emotion in Orphan at the conclusion. I really feel her grief at this time and I think that the end panels that accompany this are very beautiful.
I do not think you could go wrong with either the main cover or the variant. I choose the main out of my love for horror films and seeing Batman getting taken down by a mob of hands is very scary to me. The variant is the opposite; it’s bright with a splash of red showing the League of Assassins going head on vs. Batman, Batwoman and Azrael. - Peter Verra