Detective Comics is back!
Detective Comics wrapped up “Shadows of the Bat” — its own self-contained event, twelve issues in twelve weeks. Now the title is back to a monthly release schedule. Mariko Tamaki is sharing writing duties with Nadia Shammas on the primary story. While Ivan Reis handles the interior artwork for part one of “The Seven.” Detective Comics does feature a new backup tale, “Gotham Girl, Interrupted.” Written by Sina Grace and illustrated by David Lapham. Are you all ready for this new adventure? Let’s dive into it!
Hot off the heels of the major motion picture, THE BATMAN, we see The Riddler grace the pages of this issue Like the film, This Riddler reaches the city’s masses not on social media but through radio broadcasts. Riddler is teasing and taunting Batman, almost like a shock jock but with a taste for blood. Tamaki and Shammas do a fine job with the riddles; they are complex enough to allow you to realize you are no Dark Knight detective. Tamaki and Shammas are teasing a tale of deception and corruption that you can only find in Gotham. While the Riddler is toying with Batman and murdering people in plain sight. The real question is who is playing Judge Donovan and others to do their dirty work. There is more than meets the eye in this issue, and as we have come to expect from a Tamaki detective story, she never shows her full hand early. Tamaki and Shammas bring back fan-favorite Deb Donovan, and we learn a little more about Gotham’s hard-nosed reporter and her softer side. While Bruce Wayne is playing both sides of the coin, saving people under the cape and cowl and doing some out in the open detective work with his signature playboy charisma.
I, for one, welcome Ivan Reis back to Dthis title with open arms. Reis brings his excellent, detailed Neal Adams style of art in full force. Reis does a beautiful job with layouts guiding the reader effortlessly from panel to panel. Not one page in this book is like the one before or after it, columns, splash pages, squares. Some overlap; some have the traditional white border, others don’t. Reis combines various eras of comic storytelling here. Mixing and matching to perfection. In this issue, Reis can tell a story with expression alone; anger, fear, and shock is all there, telling the reader what is going on without the need for a word bubble. Like the rest of us, Reis loves a good shadowy Batman; whether he is crashing through a window or crouched on a fire escape, the whites of Batman’s eyes are all he needs to not strike fear into criminals but the reader as well. My only gripe with Reis in this issue is his design for the Riddler. It’s a bit too ‘66 Mad Hatter for my liking; the goatee is not working for me.
Gotham Girl is back, and now she has her own tale. Grace brings an exciting element to the character; we learn that she has recently been released from Arkham Tower and is trying to blend in with the rest of Gotham’s teenage youth. Grace is crafting a tale that seems to be centered around mental health with a hint of Supergirl vol 5. Gotham Girl has a tough time trying to fit in and live an everyday life but wants nothing to do with Batman or the Bat-Family. Grace does a magnificent job of displaying the internal struggle that Gotham Girl is having socially, and this seems very early on that it could be relatable to a lot of people.
Detective Comics 1059 does a wonderful job setting up both stories. Where “Shadows of the Bat” seemed to stall out of the gate, “the Seven” cuts right to the chase. Drawing the reader in with instant action and compelling mystery. Could there be two psychos in Gotham terrorizing the city simultaneously? Can both Batman and Bruce Wayne handle this double duty, or is this “one giant death trap?” Only time will tell, but it does feel great to be riding this Riddler high right now, both on the screen and in the pages of Detective. Gotham Girl and Sina Grace both have some big shoes to fill, being the follow-up, backup tale to Rosenberg and “House of Gotham,” and he has captured this reader’s eye and I’m sure many others. One issue in Grace has made Gotham Girl far more interesting than what we have seen from Tom King. This could very well be a big hit! Once again, Detective Comics lives up to its name and deserves to be on your pull list this week; it does not disappoint. – Peter Verra