Author: Peter Verra (Follow @PETER ILLUSTRATED)
Date: July 13, 2017

SYNOPSIS: “INTELLIGENCE” part three! With Zatanna joining the ranks of Batman’s allies, there shouldn’t be any foe the team can’t take on…but does that include their teammate Azrael himself, who just might be cracking up?

I honestly do not know how long Tynion can keep this up. Intelligence part three is one hell of a book. There is so much “flavor” in Detective Comics #960; it might be too much to soak in with one reading. I found myself rereading word bubbles, starring at panels over and over again. I am fully invested in this story with these characters; I truly love every page and I’m anticipating the next issue.

I could read Tynion write conversations between Bruce and Zatanna all day. It was one of the many highlights of last issue and it continues. Zatanna is just as confident, capable and talented as he is and isn’t afraid to prove it. Their exchanges really get you in the feels, there is something deep here, they have history more than we know and Tynion makes you want to know more. I also can’t believe I am about to write this but all the St. Dumas material in this book is top notch and I can’t get enough. Unlike the Colony and Colony Prime, I am totally on the Ascalon and St. Dumas bandwagon. I did not spoil this in my review of #959, how cool was it to see Jim Gordon’s robo-bat in Lucas Fox’s Lab? I thought it was absolutely tremendous and “Rookie’s” cameo this time around is even better.

Alvaro Martinez is back to drawing Detective for us and I couldn’t be happier that he is. From this point on when I think of Batman standing in the rain I will be referencing this book. He looks so stoic and powerful while at times looking almost vulnerable. Martinez would draw a real breathtaking horror book. Is Wildstorm still around? His Gotham City is perfect, it reminds me a lot of the Arkham City skyline with Seattle’s weather. The St. Dumas panels with the fog in the run down church would look great in anyone of James Wan’s films. He just understands the atmosphere that these panels take place in. Both Ascalon and Azrael had a “Your entrance was good, his was better…. Showmanship” moment and I honestly couldn’t tell you who came out on top.

Yasmine Putri draws our main cover and it’s just a bit late for the 4th of July. Azrael is bursting out with reds and yellows while we get a great brooding dark Batman mug shot in the background. Rafael Albuquerque is back with our variant and this was an interesting one. It shows Batman working on a blueprint to a new suit. Here me out, it looks like a combination of Night Owl, Justice League Batfleck Tactical and Optimus Prime and that’s just the cowl. What do you think it looks like? Sound off in the comments section please.

This issue works on every level – great writing with beautiful artwork, this book is a gem. If you have been reading the run this is the best it’s been, this story is just fun and I’m yearning more. It could be read as a stand alone if you don’t read Detective monthly and I guarantee it will make you go back and catch up. The book is just a pleasure to read, Tynion and Martinez are on the top of their game. Unless you are dead set on solo Batman I do not know how you don’t read this book. Go pick this one up! - Peter Verra


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