SYNOPSIS: “Ugly Heart” part three! Batman has been blasted with bullets and left for dead by Two-Face’s deadly Church of the Two-and if Gotham City is going to survive Two-Face’s final revenge, they’re going to need a miracle! But be careful what you wish for, because a resurrection is already in progress, and this one involves a certain Clown Prince and the heir to Gotham’s vigilante throne.

Welcome back BOFers!  I hope you are all safe and sound since the last time we had the chance to talk some Detective.  I can tell you two people who are working from home effortlessly and they are writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Brad Walker.   This one, two punch seems to have no problem getting back into the swing of things as they knock this issue out of the park.  So, let’s jump right into it cool kids!

I honestly can’t help but feel a small bit of nostalgia while reading Detective Comics 1022.  While this book is completely different than Batman Forever, I just can help but think of the small similarities.   Tomasi writes a brilliant Two-Face monologue to start the issue and throws in Batman and boiling acid as the cherry on top.  That is where the similarities end but that little feeling of nostalgia seems to sum up the issue as Tomasi sprinkles it around the book.  If that wasn’t enough of a trip down memory lane, this book is a tie in to Tomasi’s Batman and Robin vol 2 #28.  Always read the editor’s notes, always.  We are getting hit in the feels all over this issue!

The last time we saw the Dark Knight he was bringing Two-Face in but he had to make a pit stop that would cost him his advantage.  Tomasi delivers one of Batman’s most entertaining escapes without his utility belt.  From here Tomasi leads the reader into directions unsuspected.  Tomasi had me at the first few pages, this looked like the end of the Dark Knight.  Two-Face really did have Batman at the “end of his rope”.  As he usually does the Batman is always prepared against certain doom.   At times I will say Two-Face does sound a bit more off his rocker than normal this issue, not as bad as before but he’s still a bit too cracked out.

From there Tomasi is like an artist painting a picture.  Crafting a tremendous save the scene, into a feel-good moment, right into an incredible history lesson/interrogation scene.  Yes, just like that we went from scaffoldings, to flashbacks, leading into the Joker. These scenes blend so perfectly, so naturally together both writing and art are on full display. Literally Batman doing what he does best, saving lives, gathering information, and getting ready to take on the Joker.

Seeing Brad Walker’s name on the cover of any comic book makes me happy.  Seeing his name on the cover of Detective Comics makes me ecstatic with joy!  Walker’s action is top notch from page one. The boiling acid scene has some great panels and not just Batman kicking butt, we also got some of that great Walker/Two-Face snarl.  Walker draws such an incredible angry Two-Face, those eyebrows really sell it this issue.  When it comes to Two-Face I say the angrier the better.   Walker also draws a fantastic Bat-chin.

My favorite scene in the book has to be the scaffolding scene.  Batman in the right place at the right time, swooping in to save the day.  Is there anything more perfect?  The setup, the save, the pay off.  Walker excels in every aspect.  Batman fighting, as a silhouette in front of the lights was a nice touch.  I will also give any artist credit that can deliver a Bat-smile that doesn’t make our hero look like a Kilmer/Affleck meme gone wrong, thank you Mr. Walker!

During the interrogation scene pay close attention to the female’s eyes as she talks to Batman.  You see here Walker really goes above and beyond with the details as you can see all the emotion in her eyes.  Fear and pain are present as she tells her story.  Walker does such an incredible job of selling emotion with the character’s eyes.

Walker gets a chance to draw two Jokers in this book, the Greg Capullo N52 ripped off face Joker and a modern-day interpretation.  I’m really digging the modern-day Joker between these panels and the teases on Walker’s Twitter you can get a real good look at him.  He’s that classic Joker, almost Nicholson-like slender, tall purple suit but as Walker has done throughout this issue, he draws some really scary facial expressions.   There is something about that “stupid grin” on this Joker that looks so menacing.   Seeing that smile as he appears to be beating the hell out of someone is sure to create nightmares for young readers, as it should.

After the break we have had from comics this is how you make a comeback.  Tomasi and Walker are just the two you want as your creative team.  Starting with page one continuing through page thirty-two Detective Comics #1022 is a rollercoaster ride you do not want to miss.  A Batman near death, detective work, rescuing people, providing hope for the youth all ending with Mr. J leaving his mark, in a turn you never saw coming when you open the book. Bravo gentlemen this is just the book that Detective fans needed at this time.  Can’t wait to see what is around the corner for us! – Peter Verra