Review: DETECTIVE COMICS #969 Author: Peter Verra (Follow @PETER ILLUSTRATED)
Date: November 30, 2017
SYNOPSIS: “FALL OF THE BATMEN” part one! Everyone in Batman’s orbit is broken somehow—some more than others. For Clayface, keeping the pieces of his psyche together has been a years-long struggle…and it’s a war he may be about to lose! And as the team tries to pull itself back together, their enemies have learned something from Batman’s newfound spirit of cooperation…and have formed a cabal of their own!
Detective Comics #969 is the begging of something new. Artist Joe Bennett joins James Tynion for “Fall of the Batmen” Part One. With “A Lonely Place of Living” still fresh in my head, I wondered where Tyinion would take us but he continues his strong run on Detective right out the gate.
There is a new Mayor and he has a campaign promise, cracking down on vigilantes in his town. I enjoy and prefer it when the local government severs its ties with the Bat; I think that tension is very important to the mythology. There’s a scene in the Mayor’s office between the Mayor and the Batman that is just pure perfection. This Mayor is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the Dark Knight.
The heart of this issue is Spoiler. Stephanie Brown is distancing herself from Batman; she is clueless to the return of Red Robin. When the two do reunite it truly is everything 90’s Robin/Spoiler fans will eat up. The surprise and comic relief of the issue is Killer Moth and his Gotham Injustice Gang. Tom King brought Kite Man back from out of nowhere in Batman. Now, Tynion brings some obscure characters back and it couldn’t have worked out better.
It was really interesting to see that the Mayor and the villains almost have the same agenda. The Bat-family is not only working, it’s grown quite large and effecting both parties. That might set up something epic down the road. Once again, I love how this Clayface is used on this run, reformed criminal, possible black mail against Batman and/or undercover ruse. It’s fresh and adds to the book at the right moment, Tynion has a knack with timing.
Joe Bennett pencils the book and did a fantastic job. His splash pages are lavish and bold. The scene in the Mayor’s office is perfect; Tynion and Bennett aced it on both ends. The expression on Stephanie Brown’s face when she reunited with Red Robin is panel-by-panel excellence. I really enjoyed the costume and look of Killer Moth and as always it’s a pleasure to see Grundy. The villains meet and greet has a ton of great winks and nods to the rest of the Gotham City rouges gallery and is a fun panel. I did feel that the face of Clayface looked a bit bland but that honestly is my one and only nitpick. The book is a beauty to flip through as we have become accustomed to on this run.
Guillem March and Tameu Moray draw the main cover to the book. From the rooftops of Gotham City the entire Bat-family looks down. Batman front and center, Batwoman standing almost Wonder Woman like beside him. Even on the main cover of the book, Spoiler stands out to me. Looking more ninja like crouched on a gargoyle next to Red Robin. This one has a JRJR feel too it, if you ask me.
While the main cover focuses on the heroes, the variant drawn by Rafel Alburquerque is all about Killer Moth and his new gang of villains. This version of Killer Moth is a bit more armored up. Zsasz is looking as evil and sadistic as ever and Grundy doing his best Hulk impression. It’s pretty rad; I’m not going to lie.
Overall, this book was really fun and gets me excited for where it can take us. I can’t get enough of Stephanie Brown or Spoiler. In my opinion, Tynion has given us the best interpretation of the character. I’m hoping we get a Spoiler series soon, fingers crossed. The government vs. Batman is always an aspect I enjoy sprinkled in stories and there never is a shortage of bad guys who return in Gotham. Part two goes on sale 12/13/17 and I can’t wait! - Peter Verra
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.