Detective Comics #1065 keeps with the trend of the recent run, underwhelming. Ram V is one of the hottest writers currently at DC, but V and Batman are not connecting four issues into Gotham Nocturne: Overture. On the other hand, Rafael Albuquerque goes above and beyond the call of duty with pencils. While V is searching for Batman redemption in every issue, Simon Spurrier has done that with the new backup tale, A Tale Of Three Halves, now paired with artist Hayden Sherman.
To say that I am disappointed in Gotham Nocturne: Overture thus far is an understatement. This story sometimes seems a bit convoluted, but this issue has some good moments. While the main plot is a bit of a slow burn, the subplot of Arkham Asylum for sale via a shake-down is something we have not seen before. There are some interesting character moments sprinkled in with some mystery. Commissioner Montoya and the GCPD are at odds over asking Batman for help, Ubu’s loyalty, Two-Face stabbing everyone in the back, Gordon saving the title hero, and Talia’s whereabouts after the big finale of the last issue. The story itself isn’t my jam, especially when Batman gets into underwater trouble, and it is not because of Killer Croc. The elements surrounding the main plot make up for it a bit.
Rafael Albuquerque has been the hero that Detective Comics needs and deserves right now. While the arc’s first issue (#1062) did not live up to expectations, he has rebounded in a fashion that you expect from a true professional. Albuquerque illustrated some great action pieces like the standoff with the cops and terrorists, one of Batman’s best entrances to a comic this year, and the fight with Ubu are the highlights. Visually Albuquerque excels as a storyteller. Easy-to-follow page layouts, splash pages mixed with squares and rectangles. This is how comics were meant to be drawn.
I was highly critical of Simon Spurrier’s last backup, enter The Coda. In this issue, Spurrier has responded. A Tale Of Three Halves is a deep dive into Two-Face’s psyche, which will draw the reader in from page one. Exploring the internal conflict between Harvey Dent and Two-Face is not new for seasoned readers. Spurrier’s angle is that the reader now sees this from the inside out; we are inside the head of one of Gotham’s most wanted. Artist Hayden Sherman brings a unique style of art to the book that seems to be heavily influenced by JRJR. Coming off the previous backup, this is an intriguing tale by a writer that I was ready to write off.
Detective Comics #1065 is an improvement over the previous issues. The main story is a bit of a drag, surrounded by fine character moments and spectacular artwork. Charging an extra $1 might not seem like a big deal, but it goes a long way when the publisher stuffs an all-time dud. Thankfully that is no longer the case as this month’s backup outshines the main story, not to the level of Rosenberg’s House Of Gotham (1050–1058), but by the story’s end, it very well could be. Detective 1065 is a rebound issue if I ever read one. – Peter Verra