I am pretty sure that Ram V’s run on Detective Comics has been the most scrutinized since I started reviewing books for BOF. V is doing things I like, wrapped about something I do not like. Meanwhile, Ivan Reis is doing absolutely no wrong at all. All that and the final chapter of Simon Spurrier’s Two-Face tale.
This arc by V brings me back to Tomasi’s run on this title when it centered around his take on Arkham Knight. I knew that once Tomasi got to a classic villain, he would crush it. V feels like he is right there. The Mr. Freeze parts of this issue are phenomenal and top-notch. I cannot help but find Master Arzen and his six-eyed girlfriend any more boring. Mr. Freeze and Two-Face have been my saving grace on this run. However, how long can that last? I know V can write the hell out of these characters; he does it in small portions.
Reis is the star of the issue. His Freeze design is superb and has that classic fishbowl/containment suit vibe. Wide shots of Batman running into the snow or gliding into the fire all look stunning. Reis draws a Batman you are familiar with; this is a Batman that any reader can pick up, and they have been through battles. It is not only the splash pages where Reis shines in the emotional range. Some panels have a Batman emotionally drained while hearing Freeze talk, and others have the less exciting villains scowl and look more menacing than they are.
Spurrier finished his three-part backup on a high note; this peaked and valleyed for me. I found that this issue was a pretty wild ride inside the head of Two-Face. It is twisted, raunchy, and violent; it is everything I expect from a Two-Face psychological tale. This chapter might be my favorite of the three. Spurrier is very hot and cold with me, but this was an interesting take.
Overall I think this is one of the better issues of Detective in V’s run so far. Mr. Freeze and Batman are an easy way to my heart, and when you write this portion of the story as well as V has, it is an easy sell. I wish the other parts of the arc we as good as the “side mission.” #1067 is another issue where the backup beat the primary. Wonder what will happen next month.
MERRY UXMAS! – Peter Verra