SYNOPSIS: The Dark Knight is on the trail of the figure behind a brutal series of murders across Gotham City-and what he finds will send a cold shiver up his spine! A public attack on Bruce Wayne has brought the possible perpetrator of these murders to light…so what is an axe-wielding cult leader from the 1600s doing in present-day Gotham? Find out for yourself in the conclusion to Batman’s “Silent Knight.”
Detective Comics #1019 concludes the brief two-part arc “Dead of Winter.”
Here Tomasi tries to provide the reader with a cleansing of the palate so to speak. Similar to the short arcs featuring the Joker at the theme park or Deadshot in the jungle this is a change of pace that you don’t see coming while getting Batman back into the realm of the supernatural. Artist Scott Godlewski provides some of the cleanest pencils you will flip through while colorist David Baron is atop his game adding that little something to make the artwork really stand out.
Tomasi is developing a trend of following long emotional arcs like Mr./Mrs. Freeze with a short arc that almost comes out of left field. Here Tomasi provides two issues that remind me of a poor man’s Deacon Blackfire. Now, Batman vs the supernatural is not normally my thing but when it’s done right, even I can dig it, but this falls short. It almost feels like Tomasi was writing this in his sleep. The action is minimal the villain fits more in line with Stranger Things than it does Batman. This arc seems so random, so out of place. Tomasi has reinvented villains like the Arkham Knight, taken Deadshot out of his element, spun Mr. Freeze on his head and delivered a classic Joker tale since taking over. But this, who is this villain? What is this cult? Some random Norwegian body snatchers? In the words of the great New York radio personality Steve Somers, “What is it?”
There was one shining moment that I liked while it was a brief, hearing Bruce talk about Alfred. The second issue in a row Tomasi has gone out of his way to mention Alfred since his passing. While our favorite butler is gone, he is not forgotten and his presence is felt by Bruce, even in the smallest of tasks.
Scott Godlewski provides the interior artwork for this issue and I almost feel like he was an underutilized resource. With only two action scenes in the book, it feels like a missed opportunity. What I took away from Godlewski’s art was how clean and crisp it is. So many artists over stylize their art, not Godlewski. There is little to no hatching and I feel like I was getting Pat Gleason vibes as I turned each page. One can really appreciate the minimalist approach Godlewski has to his backgrounds this really lets David Baron colors stand out. Barons colors as they do often do really accentuate the art, lamps and lightning provide a certain warmth to the artwork. His use of red and orange catch your eye in almost an aurora borealis way, very impressive without a doubt and the best creative part of the issue.
Detective #1019 isn’t the best book you will read this week and at times it does feel lazy. I can appreciate these interlude stories when they are done right. This arc just feels like a three-pitch strikeout looking. The action is extremely limited, the detective work is almost nonexistent, and the villain is straight-up lame. If you are thinking about jumping on Detective for the first time you could skip this and wait for #1020. That’s when Tomasi is going to flex his muscles again because a certain District Attorney is showing up for the first time since James Robinson had a brief run recently in Detective. And we all know we do not want to miss that!
Until next time BOFers and remember #TheBatmanIsComing. – Peter Verra