SYNOPSIS: “BATMEN ETERNAL” part one! With his team completely shattered, Batman must confront Red Robin about the future of their partnership…if there even is one!

Detective Comics #976 resumes the psychological angle of the last issue.

Writer James Tynion IV continues to dig deep into the Bat-Family psyche, while the fallout from Detective Comics #975 lingers. Javier Fernandez brings a refreshing dark and rough look to the book while matching the emotional moments in Tynion’s writing for an impactful payoff.

I cannot get enough of how great Tynion writes Orphan/Cassandra Cain in every issue; it’s always a highlight of the book.  Instantly capturing my attention from the first page, then drawing me in during her therapy session. Seeing her fully come to grasp how emotionally tired and how completely aware she is of everything happening around her.  There are, as you come to expect from Tynion several really high emotional moments in the book.  Leslie Thompkins has a great one with Bruce, Batman and Red Robin have a deep moment resulting from Batgirl’s analysis last issue; the consequences are spilling over into this issue.  The new Colony does seem a bit more interesting these last two issues than what we have seen in the past.  I for one cannot be more thankful.  The Colony has been my biggest complaint during this run.  Tynion is setting everything up while concluding in jaw dropping fashion. Even Red Robin did not see this coming.

Javier Fernandez brings grit and grime to the book, matching the strong emotional moments that Tynion loves to write.  The book does give me vibes of Tony Daniel and Frank Quietly in terms of how the characters are drawn and the use shadows.  Orphans action scene is really fun and pure Batman bliss.  The panel placement is unique allowing you to flow through the fight with Orphan with a fun cameo moment. Cassandra’s face during therapy breaks your heart, as does Bruce’s reaction.  Fernandez did a great job with all of the emotional moments and there are plenty to go around.  I cannot get the two panels of Red Robin yelling out of my head, the passion and anger leave a strong lasting impression.

Tynion is again weaving us through a grand story from the Batcave through the Colony and leaving us with yet another trail of breadcrumbs to follow – guiding us to a surprising ending that leaves me feeling like we have only just begun.  At times I’m brought back to various issues and stories in the run.  Coming to grips with the larger connection every story seems to have with the previous one. The book is without a doubt one of the heavier emotional issues in Tynions run.

Detective Comics #977 goes on sale 3/28 and I’m really looking forward to seeing what twists and turns are to come next. – Pete Verra