Here we are, back for another Detective Comics issue, aka what Peter will complain about today.  Good news, I dug this issue; I think V is finally getting somewhere, and it took a connection to a Gotham great to get somewhat interesting; art from Raffaele and Lucas steals the show as the artwork continues to shine bright.  At the same time, my favorite backup writer keeps playing with my emotions.

Let’s get into it!

V starts this issue with a bang, an attractive cold open that sucks the reader in with their favorite zombie Solomon Grundy.  From here, V takes the reader along Bruce Wayne’s most exciting monologue in the run.  V pushes all the right buttons to get Bruce Wayne as moody and broody as you could want him.  While V is fantastic at characterization and setting, he does struggle with new characters.  This is something we saw during Tynion’s run on Detective.  Characters like Ghost Maker or Clown Hunter were met with weak applause, while Tynion did help create the popular Punchline.   Here V is searching for his Punchline, a new character that the fans will gravitate towards.  He might have found that when “The Vigil” comes to visit Oracle, but that looks like a money grab to buy a brand-new title come May.  With that said, V is coming up empty-handed with Arzen, who is as uninteresting as it gets.  The big reveal in the story comes at the expense of Talia and a lengthy exposition dump set in the past.

I keep telling myself that V has a classic Batman story waiting to be written; I know it’s there.  This is just not it.  Every issue of the run seems to become more attractive as more of Batman’s classic rouges gallery makes an appearance; yet again, the main villain is the iceberg sinking this ship.

The artistic team of artist Stefano Raffaele and colorist Adriano Lucas crush the issue.  Raffaele’s art is bold and stunning.  Splash pages, rectangles, and squares; oh my!  The layouts perfectly complement the art.  Shadows of Batman’s silhouette behind Bruce, the dreary, run-down sections of Gotham have the perfect about of abandonment and grime.  Talia’s eyelashes will mesmerize you.  Raffaele feels like they were a fan of Eddy Barrows; those vibes I am picking up.  Lucas is no slouch; some background colors will take you back to the old-school solid color days.  Like the backup, the primary has many cool colors, setting emotional tones in most scenes, from the action-packed to the emotionally invested.  At times the colors of a book act like the score of a film; it draws you in emotionally to the story without you noticing.

I have had an actual love-hate readership with Spurrier.  I am not sure what to make of “Absolute” part 2.  It seems like Mr. Freeze is losing his touch.  Here we see Freeze still conducting his experiments, but his subjects are not making it through the procedure…or are they?  Just not the way he drew it up.  I’m not sure, but I find it very interesting.  Way more interesting than the primary.  Did Freeze fail?  Is this intentional?  Is his brain too cold to work correctly?  I’m not sure, but I can tell you this; these seven pages are better than the twenty-two that came before it.

Detective Comics 1070 is better than the rest of the run.  That is something I have said seems like three issues in a row.  I believe my problem is I am done with new villains.  Even when you sprinkle in vintage Bat-moments in the story, it’s not enough to carry the dead weight.  I stuck through it in Tynion’s run, but now I see what those fans were complaining about.  I do want to see how V ties all this together.  The fact that he is reaching back to a Morrison style is brave enough and has me curious, but I have a feeling this will end up like Batman R.I.P. for me, popular with others but leaving me wanting something like “less is more.”  There are far worse books being published this week. – Peter Verra


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Peter Verra
Senior BOF contributor covering the Bat-beat since January 2017. Co-host of the "Straight Outta Gotham Podcast." Peter has covered the red carpet premiers of BATMAN: NINJA and REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN. Peter has interviewed various titans the industry such as producer Michael Uslan, producer James Tucker, stuntman Richard Cetrone, Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, Loren Lester, Tony Todd, Will Friedle, Marie Avgeropoulos and Cress Williams just to name a few! Contact Peter on all social media platforms @PeteIllustrated!