DETECTIVE COMICS #22
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
July 3, 2013

SYNOPSIS: Meet The Wrath! In Gotham City, he’s the anti-Batman, and the body count is about to shoot through the roof! And in the backup story, Man-Bat makes a startling discovery!

The Wrath (Or is it just “Wrath?” I like The Wrath better!) is a favorite Batman villain of mine – though the character only had a sip of coffee (not even a cup) when it comes to appearing in the pages of the Batman comics.

The character first showed up back in the great year of 1984 (I graduated high school in May of '84 - that's why it's great!) in BATMAN SPECIAL #1. The character was rebooted, re-imagined, re-whatevered a few years ago in the pages of the gosh-awful BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL as the “New Wrath” took on The Batman in issues 13-16. I quite like both Wrath stories in the comics, and it was rather cool to see him show up in an episode of THE BATMAN (more on that later). ANYWAY…

The fine Batman folks at DC Comics decided to bring Wrath back for a third time and inject him into the New 52 via DETECTIVE COMICS #22. And yes, that means Wrath is being re-rebooted, re-re-imagined, re-re-whatevered yet again – but that cool by me. So, what we’re getting here is a multi-issue Batman vs. Wrath story that, I hope, keeps the character around longer this time around. Now for a history lesson…

The Wrath is – with all due apologies to Owl Man – the “Anti-Batman.” Where Batman wages war on crime because a criminal murdered his parents, Wrath wages war on cops because cops killed his criminal parents. Now, I’m not sure if that’s totally the case with this version of Wrath, but based on what I read in DC #22, I’m figuring that’s the way we’re going.

In this issue, someone’s killing cops and witnesses say it’s The Batman. Of course, we know – as does Jim Gordon – that The Dark Knight doesn’t do that. Thus, something’s up in Gotham – could an evil Batman imposter be on the loose?

Yes, that’s exactly what’s going on!

Not only is Batman having to deal with some BS, so is Bruce Wayne. Some dude named E.D. “Ed” Caldwell wants to buy Wayne Enterprises…for whatever Bruce price Bruce names.

Of course, Bruce isn’t going to sale WE, right? Well he doesn’t (that’s not a spoiler), but he does come away from this meeting smelling something fishy when it comes to this Ed Caldwell.

Could he be The Wrath? You know the answer to that – and that’s not a spoiler either!

No, the real question here is Caldwell/The Wrath’s motivations. We know he kills cops, but, well, WHY? Obviously, THAT’S where we’re heading and – thanks to writer John Layman’s wonderful set-up story here in DC #22 – I want to find out dammit!

On other words, they’ve got me hooked…and I think you’ll be too if you give this issue a read.

And one last observation…

It’s better to be a “Robin” than a “Scorn.” The job’s definitely more secure. - "Jett"

GRADE: A

And here's The Wrath from THE BATMAN...

A life-long Batman fan, "Jett"
is the founder of
BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He resides in the great state of Texas with his wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.


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