Review: DETECTIVE COMICS #963
Author: Peter Verra (Follow @PETER ILLUSTRATED)
Date: August 27, 2017

SYNOPSIS: “LONGER CHAINS” part one! Having exiled herself from Batman’s world, Spoiler has nearly destroyed herself trying to expose the corruption of Gotham City’s vigilantes. Fortunately for her, help has arrived…but unfortunately for the city, it’s in the form of the mysterious Anarky! Is he truly on the side of the people, or is he a dangerous lunatic?

James Tynion and Christopher Sebela bring us “Longer Chains” the new arc in DETECTIVE COMICS #963. Sebela is credited with the words and while his style is different from Tynion it is embraced and long awaited since issue #957. The story brings us closer to some favorite characters while introducing the new threat, Anarky.

While you notice Tynion does not write the book, Sebela brings out great character moments just the same. The opening scene, a flash back that gave me “10 Things I Hate About You” vibes just about 200 stories on top of a skyscraper (the joys of comic books). Stephanie Brown draws you in emotionally, you see her at her happiest then find her searching for all the answers. You instantly can tell that with out Tim Drake/Red Robin she is lost and questioning everything, her current motives with Anarky and wanting to be different from Batman. I have been anticipating the return of Spoiler but it was Clayface who innocently stole the book. I have been a huge fan of this particular portrayal of Clayface in Rebirth. It was refreshing to see the character get his due after nothing short of stellar cameos in previous issues. The pain and suffering that Clayface is going through bleeds through the pages and really punches you in the gut. The dialogue between Clayface, Dr. Victoria October and Batman is sharp and witty, becoming one of my favorite scenes so far in Rebirth.

Carmen Carnero graces Gotham City with her pencils and inks. Carnero draws a beautiful brighter Gotham than we have been getting. The opening Spoiler/Red Robin scene was drawn just as magnificently as it was written. Carnero’s sunrise is the perfect mood lighting for Spoiler and Red Robin’s romantic breakfast. I loved the shades of orange and yellow in the backdrop, a cool November dawn against the skyline. I must say this is a gorgeous version of Stephanie Brown; she could rival Gwen Stacy on her best day. One thing I have noticed with Carnero is how she draws facial expressions; she really uses her characters eyes to sell you on the emotion even when they are wearing the mask. A fairly funny moment that stole my heart was Clayface’s Lazy Susan scene. I was literally laughing out loud.

Eddy Barrows draws a cover as bright and stunning as what you will find inside the book. A back brick ally, Spoiler and Anarky vandalizing a building, Batman lunging into action. This cover is just fun, the colors, poses and the word marks all blend together. All fantastic, almost controlled chaos. Rafael Albuquerque draws the variant cover and it’s the polar opposite of Barrows. A dark medium close up of Batman with the Anarky logo bleeding on top of his suit, very Superboy Prime. I find myself considering picking up both covers whenever I pick up Detective. We have had a great run and I’m afraid for when it will end.

“Utopia” delivers a solid introduction that shows so much potential. Spoiler is always such and interesting character, her motives always amaze me. I can’t wait to find out what Tynion and Sebela have for us. I’m also thrilled for more Clayface. More often than not he steals panels that you don’t expect but you always love them. This whole crew returns for #964, which drops on 9/13/2017. As always, looking forward to it cool kids. - Peter Verra

GRADE: B+

A lover of genre films from BATMAN
to FRIDAY THE 13th.

A producer of college sports at the world’s
most famous arena, MSG.

A fool for watching that SCOOBY DOO
teaser trailer from 2002 and preying Batman is
the one who turns around and every time.

Follow Peter on Twitter @PETEILLUSTRATED.


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