DETECTIVE COMICS #990 Review

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SYNOPSIS: Batman is hot on the trail of a murder suspect, but first he’ll have to get past Two-Face. Even though Harvey Dent seems to be asserting control, how long before he becomes a sociopathic criminal once again? More importantly, what is Dent’s connection to the victim, and what does it all have to do with the terrorist organization of slithering serpents called Kobra?! Whatever it is, it’s big enough to reunite Jim Gordon and former district attorney Harvey Dent, and that meeting alone is worth the cover price.

Batman’s newest partner…Two-Face? As Harvey Dent’s persona asserts fragile control over the villain’s psyche, the Dark Knight, Commissioner Gordon and their ally-turned-enemy-turned-ally must work together to stop Kobra’s terrorist attack against Gotham City.

When was the last time you read a comic that left you grinning ear to ear?  For me, it was just now after finishing Detective Comics #990. Batman is back to doing what he does best, taking on thugs with guns. James Robinson’s story isn’t heavy, it’s defiantly not boring, it’s just right. Batman is going toe to toe with one of his oldest nemesis, Two-Face. This is an old-school comic book showdown, with a back issue feel!

Robinson is having as much fun writing this issue as Two-Face is having while causing havoc.  With every speech bubble, you feel this history between hero and villain.  Robinson masterfully writes the perfect amount of angst and hostility in every interaction.  The best part of the book is hearing the back and forth between Batman and Two-Face.  There is something special about Batman going after a standard criminal. No superpowers, not a meta-human, just man vs. man.  Makes you realize how much you prefer Batman fighting street-level crime as opposed to “saving the world”.   Two-Face seems to be up to his old tricks, two here, two there. There is a bit of a silver age feel to this Two-Face but he’s not a goofy trickster he’s got his sadistic side but with a twist.  Actually displaying a brief moment of heroism, leaving me completely clueless as to where our master storyteller will lead us next.

Returning for the interior artwork is Stephen Segovia.  This is Segovia’s best work since he joined Detective.  The first page we get a great view at his scared Two-Face, something I said I wasn’t a fan of the last issue.  I love what I’m seeing now. It’s almost Tommy Lee Jones purple but mixed in with that burnt to a crisp Aaron Eckhart look.  I’m really digging this take!  The book is a great issue to flip through as the art and words really blend perfectly. The action panels are loud with explosions and gunshots, Batman gliding through a sea of bullets or pummeling goons as he chases Two-Face. You hardly will be upset that you need to turn the book horizontally as that allows Segovia the perfect canvas.

Detective Comics #990 is a great time; it has the feel of a classic back issue.  This book is so good you can just pick it up and read it, doesn’t matter that you’re in the middle of the arc. As fine of a Batman tale as you will read, classic villain, captivating panels, intense action, fantastic artwork and a sense of mystery. The end of the book leaves us hanging and scratching our heads. Makes you wonder does Two-Face even know what he is doing at this point? – Pete Verra

GRADE: A

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Peter Verra
A lover of genre films from BATMAN to FRIDAY THE 13th. A producer of college sports at the world’s most famous arena, MSG. A fool for watching that SCOOBY DOO teaser trailer from 2002 and praying Batman is the one who turns around every time. Backyard BBQ enthusiast & sports fan Yankees, Pacers, Devils, who ever plays the NJ Giants!