SYNOPSIS: The Tower” begins! The 12-part weekly Detective Comics event starts here. Arkham Asylum has fallen, and in its place, Arkham Tower has risen in the heart of the city, a pitch made by the mysterious Dr. Wear. Backup: “House of Gotham” begins! For a long time, two houses have overlooked Gotham City, beckoning its broken: Wayne Manor and Arkham Asylum.
If you are not familiar with who I am by now, then by the end of the 12-week Detective Comics event “Shadows of the Bat,” you might be my become of my best Bat-friends.
That’s right, for 12 weeks straight, we will get an issue of Detective Comics every Tuesday. What an intriguing idea if you ask me. “Shadows of the Bat” is not a mega-crossover event spanning various books. One writer, one title 12 issues,
Bring it on!
If you know me, you know I hate the money grab crossover, “Shadows of the Bat” does not seem like that. Let’s dive into it!
The book results in a bit of a slow start, but then the action kicks in heavy. One moment you go from this press conference/media drama to this Die-Hard style action piece. Tamaki does a great job teasing what is future with what has already happened. Tamaki also juggles Gotham’s and Batman mythology simultaneously without its central figure.
Tamaki lets the reader know early and often that Batman will not come to save the day. Batwoman, Nightwing, the Batgirls are watching over Gotham City now. The early Mayor Nakkano/Dr. Meridian’s story moves a bit slow but seems to be the story’s backbone, so we will see how that develops. I love seeing Deb Donovan back. When she is around, trouble/entertainment usually follows. At the end of the book, the action saves it from being too much set up and not enough follow-through. This isn’t a barnburner issue this week but an excellent introduction into what we are in store for until April.
Ivan Reis did a phenomenal job on pencils this issue. Last issue 1046 was artist Dan Mora’s last issue, and that was a bit of a blow, but having an artist a Reis’ caliber picking up for at least this issue and the next is a big deal. Detail is something that I love about Reis and their style of work. Facial emotions, interesting panel placement, backgrounds, there is no one he can’t do as an artist. My favorite page in the book is Batgirl and Batwoman perched atop the skyline looking down at the city, poster material. I might be more pumped for the artwork next week, sorry not sorry.
The backup story written by Matthew Rosenburg and drawn by Fernando Blanco does the rare accomplishment of being the better half of the book this week. Not every week, you have the backup come-out top dog. Here Rosenburg crafts a wonderfully creepy story that could only take place in Gotham. This has all the makings for the next big bad in Gotham City. Will we see the birth of Gotham’s next freak? Only one way to find out, and I am all in so far for this short story.
Here we are, week one of “Shadows of the Bat.” We have eleven more to go. We have the setup; we have an idea of who the main characters are. Can Tamaki pull off this very ambitious task? The Batman is gone, Gotham is in the hands of the kids, those who are Batman-only fans might want to take a break from Detective since it looks like he will be MIA for a while. I’m interested to see what Tamaki has up her sleeve with this story. One issue in she has me for now. Not having Batman in Detective is a bit of a letdown for me. Tamaki has the chops to use the Bat-Family to create a dynamic story.
Interesting primary story and a great backup; you won’t hear me calling you crazy for buying this book on new DC day. See you next week, BOFers! – Peter Verra