DETECTIVE COMICS #1074 Review

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Detective Comics has recently been a title in transition.  Since Ram V has taken the reigns, the title dove into the supernatural headfirst, in the shallow end.  Supernatural is not usually my cup of tea regarding The Caped Crusader.  However, I have come to love an appearance by Zatanna every once in a while.    V has closed one act on his run in Detective, and now we begin Act II, “Out of Hell.”  Will it be more enjoyable than the previous act?  We shall soon find out.  Dan Watters is back with another backup tale featuring one of Ryan Lower’s favorite weird Gothamites, The Ten-Eyed Man.  TEN-EYED POWER!  (If you don’t get this, you don’t know Lower.)

V does some magic in this issue, then wipes it away with every werewolf you see.  There are some beautiful moments in this book, the Thomas and Bruce Wayne scene at the docks, Bruce, and a young Dick Grayson at an abandoned Haley Circus, leading to Nightwing and Bruce at the top of a trapeze.  All three of these scenes will hit the reader in the feels; Hercules himself couldn’t hold up the emotional weight of these scenes.   There are even exciting scenes with Montoya and other members of the GCPD.  These alone sound like an excellent comic book.  these three moments that dive into the psyche of Bruce Wayne are fascinating and better than what Zdarsky delivered in Batman with “Failsafe.”  I’m all in until I see that sneaky werewolf turn the corner in Crime Alley and fight with “those we don’t speak of?”   What is going on?  Grant Morrison never had me this confused; at least his insanity was about Batman’s past, present, and future.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you what the wolf and six-eyed woman want with Batman or Gotham City.

Dustin Nguyen is one of my favorite artists of all time.  When I saw his name on the cover, I knew that 1074 would be at least a beautiful piece of art.  Nguyen did not disappoint; his distinctive designs are perfect for this gothic fairytale through Gotham.  Nguyen’s stocky Batman and cape never looked better before explosions, jumping from the rooftops, or being beaten down in an alley under mental stress.  Even though these weird werewolves look creepy, Nguyen brings his A-game to the book, and it’s not surprising.  That has been the trend with this title in recent months.

Colorist John Kalisz did just as good of a job on the book; his colors perfectly matched and contrasted Nguyen’s work.  Reds, blues, and oranges dominate the book, which is a beautiful display.  Each panel fits the tone of the writing; Kalisz and V are in a beautiful rhythm throughout the book, and even if I don’t like the story, they work well together.  This title has a fantastic one-two punch handling the artwork, which is beautiful.

Dan Watters is back with a backup tale that will make you smile.  It’s short and sweet and involves everyone’s favorite fast food.  I did not know what to expect from the Ten-Eyed Man reappearing in 2021’s Arkham City: The Order of the World, but these are the shenanigans I enjoy after a dud of a main story.

For those enjoying V’s run, I don’t see why you would not like this issue.  For everyone else, me included, sit tight.  Comic books are like basketball: “It’s a game of runs.” You will get to yours sooner or later.  In the meantime, you have a beautiful book to look at from cover to cover and one of the fun and exciting backup tales you will read this month.  Is that enough for me to tell you to spend $4.99?  Sadly, no, I would suggest tons of other Batman books to readers.  Check out my monthly appearance on Ryan Lower’s The Batman Book Club Podcast for those.

Until next time, BOFers! – Peter Verra

GRADE: C