While Ram V’s run on Detective will not be on my stack to re-read. I thought issue 1069 was more to my liking than past issues. Simon Spurrier continues the peak and valley effect on his run of backup stories. Detective Comics has been up and down from my point of view lately. Let’s dive into this issue and break it down the BOF way, shall we?
V does some magical things in this issue. The way that Ten-Eyed Man investigates the mind and psyche of The Batman is a real thrill ride. Only the Ten-Eyed Man can outdo Entrigan the Demon in linguistics. I must credit V for the deep pull here; not many writers would have the guts to use such a character. The back and forth between Ten-Eyed Man and Two-Face was a treat, but that leads to Two-Face and his final threat to a down-and-out Batman. The writing is good as Two-Face gives Bruce his last warning, but I feel Two-Face has been inconsistent in this run. At times he kneels like a coward, then at others, he’s the alpha and omega; it’s an interesting take.
That is not even the best exchange in the issue. A beaten and worn-down Batman comes stumbling to the window of James Gordon. Characters are where V excels for me, and I wish for moments like these to take center stage. He gets these characters so well; you wish they were the focus. The story’s backbone is weak, and in fact, it is incredibly forgettable.
While I have had issues with this run, it has never been about the art. The book is beyond visually pleasing. A trio of artists provides the interiors, Dexter So, Stefano Raffaele, and Miguel Mendonća. We are used to having Ivan Reis and Rafael Albuquerque draws the book, even though they did team up for the last issue. Well, this trio does not drop the ball. The book looks eerie and creepy when the Ten-Eyed Man does his thing. Two-Face looks fantastic in his trench coat, and Gordon and Batman in opposite rooms “sharing” a drink is art I would even buy. I can’t tell you who drew what, but I know it’s stunning from page one.
Simon Spurrier is one of the most frustrating writers I have encountered in a long time. Sometimes Spurrier writes gems, others can be straight duds; well, Absolute part 1 is a diamond! A Mr. Freeze tale that seems classic yet fresh. Freeze is still obsessed with Nora, but things are different, and he blames himself. Freeze has been keeping up with experiments in a kidnapper sense; you might even get vibes from the animated film Sub-Zero.
The art in the book is remarkable; Caspar Wijngaard provides some impressive panels that feel perfect for Freeze. Wijngaard’s art seems to fit an ice-based villain. I will have to do some homework on them because I am impressed with their style; I can’t imagine another artist comparing them.
Overall, this might be the best issue in V’s run. There are some wonderful character moments in this book. Moments will live on in the memories for Bat-fans for a very long time. The same cannot be said for the main antagonist of this story. In comparison, the backup story outshines the primary. I will say that the past two issues of Detective have been more enjoyable for me. I know I am in the minority here, and others have praised this run. Good for you, enjoy it. I’ve enjoyed other Batman titles and don’t have much to complain about. Comics are like basketball, “it’s a game of runs.” – Peter Verra