SYNOPSIS: Alfred Pennyworth…attacked at the Wayne mansion! Who’s hunting those closest to Batman? The monstrous shadow creature plaguing Gotham City gains the upper hand when two of the Dark Knight’s most ardent allies fall prey to the violent vendetta. Will those tragedies send Batman over the edge? Good thing he’s on his way to Arkham Asylum—but will he investigate a murder, or get incarcerated in a padded cell?
Look out Tom King, Peter Tomasi is coming for you!
Two issues into his new arc and Tomasi is gunning for the title of best Bat-book. Tomasi writes a thrilling edge of your seat issue while Doug Mahnke continues to impress with his sleek and detailed artwork. These two compliments each other as well as you could imagine, this is an all-star team up. You will have a hard time picking what stands out more in this issue, the words or the art.
This story is a ride on a 17-loop rollercoaster. From page one Tomasi has you clinging to the sides of your pages, eagerly waiting to flip to the next. There is some Batman Begins flavor; Batman racing to save Leslie Thompkins in the Batcave just brings back memories to the summer of 2005. Then before you can recover from that Tomasi punches you in the gut twice! I won’t spoil it for you that is half the fun of the story.
First, we have our hero racing to the cave to save someone then we have him racing up the stairs to do it all over again. The panic in Batman’s voice was the story opens, then listening to him open up while conducting surgery is heavy and you can feel it with every word. The range of emotion that Tomasi pulls from is heartwarming and tragic. He is taking The Dark Knight to places emotionally we have not seen in a long time and again, it is only his second issue. Get ready for a great ride!
Doug Mahnke is nothing short of a tremendous artist. His Bruce and Alfred are what I picture when I close my eyes. He captures what I feel is the perfect look for an early to mid 30’s Bruce. Mahnke might be my new favorite Alfred artist; the widows’ peak and mustache are perfect, as is his wardrobe. Well-done sir, the book is stunning from the first page to the last! Interesting panel placement in the book from splash pages to rectangles of all sizes, Mahnke utilizes various shapes to tell his side of the story.
I’m calling it right now, Tomasi is going to tell a story that we will be talking about for a long, long time. I have never felt the hype for a story more than I do this one and it is two issues deep, not Bendis Superman, not #BatCat it has been a hot minute since we have been here.
You should totally add this issue of Detective Comics to your pull list. The book has been slept on consistently since Rebirth, now it will get the credit it deserves. Do not miss an issue! – Pete Verra