Ram V and I have not been seeing eye to eye on Detective. I will say that V has been on a streak lately. He has delivered three consecutive enjoyable comics for the first time since he took over Detective duties. On the other hand, Dan Watters has had a rough go with his lackluster backup tales. Will V’s streak continue? Can Watters break out of his slump? Let’s get into it!
Right now, V is hitting all the marks. His use of the Catwoman and various members of the Bat-fam has turned this story around. What started as a weak, borderline pretentious story about new villains you don’t care about. Has become an incredible tactical display of superheroics. V writes a Catwoman who is in charge and not afraid to take chances or risks; this is the Catwoman I read when V was on that title. Cassandra Cain and Catwoman both had moments to shine, but the appearance of AzBats in grand fashion stole the show. There is a lot going on in this issue; there is no shortage of action or plot. While I do find Batman going along with this public hanging odd, I did enjoy seeing how not only the Bat-Family has reacted to this but also the people of Gotham. The only characters interested in hanging Batman seem to be the six-eyed woman and her ilk. This issue is a giant cliffhanger setting up many events that we should see unfold in the next issue.
Jason Shawn Alexander once again graces the pages of Detective, and once again, I am left with my jaw on the floor. I never really got into art like this, the Kelley Jones, Sam Keith style. It’s an honest artistic take, but somewhere, Alexander toes the line perfectly. It is not too far out there, not too gothic or comic book; it’s a wonderful blend of art and grit; sometimes, it is a bit rough, but that is the intent. This is not the smooth style of Jim Lee; this is pure stylized art. Alexander draws magic when it comes to Batgirl taking down a SWAT team. Layouts are as unique as the point of view. Alexander adds something to this story, but he might have outdone himself with AzBats and his flaming sword entrance; Hoss will be a happy fanboy, that is for sure.
Everything is coming up roses for this title. Even the Watters story is enjoyable. It’s a short, simple story starring Eiko as she juggles her personal life and life as the other Catwoman. Eiko takes a page from Selina’s playbook and uses her personal life to guide her work life. This tale was gripping enough that I look forward to seeing where it goes.
Detective Comics #1078 was a long time coming. At the same time, this is still far from where the tile should be, its progress. V does wonders when he must write a tactical story, using classic characters to dilute the appearance of those he created. Alexander’s art is still the best thing about the book, but it’s not carrying dead weight on its shoulders now that Watters is picking up some slack. Issues like this make me look forward to the end of this arc and the beginning of a new one. I see the potential; we have to get past this. – Peter Verra