Detective Comics #1062 is under a new regime. Ram V is our new writer, and Rafael Albuquerque is our latest artist. V is coming off an extended run-on Swamp Thing and a short stint off Catwoman. V is one of the hotter writers; having him, scribe Detective, already has readers expecting big things. Now that is a ton of hype. Can this one live up to it! Let’s break it down!
I was overjoyed when I heard Ram V would get a shot at Detective. Since I have enjoyed V’s other DC runs, I had complete faith in the change of creatives. Right off the bat, V delivers a tale that will be a deep dive into the psyche and will of Batman. Great character moments of present-day heroes are mixed with callbacks to Grant Morrison’s run on Batman. V sets up a lot in this issue, taking the reader along as he details motives and introduces characters. V leaves the reader begging for more with good teases, but I feel that the character moments shine more than the plot points. This story already feels like re-reads will be required because of how dense this tale will be.
I’m no stranger to Rafael Albuquerque; that is a name you see on a cover and know you are in for a good book. Albuquerque has a beautiful style; this reminds me of Gary Frank. His Gotham is not over the top; it feels just right. Albuquerque does wonders with shadows and feels like a perfect fit got Gotham City; there is an astounding amount of spookiness on every panel. It is impressive what shadows can do for a Batman book. Albuquerque has detailed backgrounds and moves the story along nicely. Albuquerque’s art is the best part of the book this week. Even the elements of the story I didn’t like were drawn wonderfully.
I’m not too fond of this Gordon tale for the first time since DC has inserted backup stories in monthlies. Simon Spurrier wrote bland fiction that just could not keep my attention. I was not into this one from the get-go. The story and the art were not vibing with me at all. I’m going to tell you to pull a Lower here and skip it.
With all the hype surrounding Detective with Ram V hoping on the tile, I may have over psyched myself. This one felt lackluster; the art from Albuquerque is my lone highlight. I’m sure V can rebound quickly in a four-issue tale. Personally, when I see Barbatos, I cringe, but we will see what V has up his sleeve. Overhyped book, forgettable backup issue, hefty price tag. I won’t tell you to skip this book since I expect it to rebound, but if you told me you passed on it, I could see why. – Peter Verra