Author: Peter Verra (Follow @PETER ILLUSTRATED)
Date: June 30, 2017

SYNOPSIS: “Intelligence” part two! While his team comes to grips with Azrael’s past, Batman is on the trail of the shocking secret he learned at the end of last month's epic BATMAN/FLASH crossover, “The Button”—and it's brought him directly to the Mistress of Magic, Zatanna!

James Tynion IV and DETECTIVE COMICS #958 had me at the last page of my book wanting more and in issue #959 they gave me everything I wanted and more. These two past issues have been some of Tynion’s finest work on Rebirth. From the first page I was captivated and could not put this book down.

I have enjoyed Tynion's run on Detective and it just keeps getting better and better. In this issue he gives us two beautiful Bruce/Zatanna moments, early in his training and in present day. Seeing Batman and Zatanna talking on the rooftops of Gotham stands out and can only be described as pure Batman bliss. Watching Bruce open up to someone who he truly trusts is always rare and intriguing. Every moment we get with Zatanna is astonishing, not just those emotional moments with Bruce but her action scenes, watching her work her magic; all a real delight. I am ecstatic with what Tynion is doing with Clayface, this new Rebirth Clayface is really heartwarming and when given a chance to shine he steals panels often. Tynion is also getting me interested in Azrael for the first time, in a long time. I want to know more about St. Dumas, their rituals, who is this hairy man creature? I have so many questions and the best part is you don’t know where Tynion is taking you.

Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez had me from page one. This book was a pleasure to flip through so beautifully drawn. There are fewer things in a comic book I enjoy more than a gorgeous skyline and there are so many great scenic shots. Not only was the later Bruce/Zatanna scene wonderfully written it is the best artwork in the book. The two of them in the rain, Zatanna using a magic “umbrella” Batman soaking, dripping, it’s just perfect. The ending with Jean-Paul was just the right amount of creepy and eerie. The action panels are grand with wide panels and close ups showing you every move. The emotion on the characters faces draws you into their conversations. Las Vegas is bright and alluring as ever while Gotham is dark and damp. Zatanna’s stands confidently while her magic pops with mystic flashes and flares. I for one really enjoy their work; they get Batman and Gotham City down to a T.

Yasmine Putri draws the main cover while Rafael Albuquerque draws the variant and the two of them are home runs. The Putri cover is bright with Batman and Zatanna swooping into action while being showered in poker chips with screaming faces in shattered glass behind them. The Albuquerque cover is dark and magical, with a very Frank Miller looking THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS Batman. I cannot see how you don’t pick up both of these covers in the comic shop.

Over all I strongly suggest you read not only issue #959 but also the issue before #958 as well. This Azrael story is really starting to get interesting. These past two issues have been some of the most fun I have had reading since Rebirth. Tynion continues to blend a large ensemble well with character-focused story telling issue after issue. Part three of “INTELLIGENCE” will be on sale 7/12, this book is a must read! - Peter Verra


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