DETECTIVE COMICS #1002 Review

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SYNOPSIS: Batman’s first battle with the Arkham Knight was as brutal as they come…but things are about to get worse, as one of his most important allies jumps into the fray, and ends up in far over their head!

Every so often an artist outshines a writer.

While I love art and drawing myself,  I usually focus on what is written, the driving force of the story.

When you read a book by Tomasi who’s a living legend you almost don’t expect it to happen. Then you open the book, get captivated by panel placement, guns, bows, action sequences, facial expression and suddenly you say “Damn! Who drew this?!”

Brad Walker come on down!

This is Walker’s second issue on Detective and he is climbing up my artist rankings.  The book is perfectly balanced, as I will get into story later, the artwork was so good I had to lead off this review with it!

Walker catches your eye with his style.  It’s not over stylized and detailed but very sharp and clean.  The way Walker draws a characters eyes is his way of translating emotion.  The action is aggressive and gives off vibes of glorious 80’s action films, Batman and the GCPD vs the Arkham Knight and his “band of merry men” is something to behold.

One of the better action scenes and the most intense stare downs you find in a comic this week.  Then in a true nostalgic moment and I’m sure Rob Myers of ELTD would agree.  Walker delivers another fun action scene with Robin under water fighting the Knights. You can’t tell me this didn’t bring you back to Batman Forever at NygmaTech Island, just wonderful.

Walker is really at the top of his game and Tomasi knows he’s got a good artist alongside of him.  On more than one instance Tomasi gives Walkers the keys and lets him take control.  Allowing the artist to tell a visual story. Minimizing word bubbles that would normally get in the way of the art.  It is truly a blessing to have that kind of cohesion on a book.

Tomasi delivers a fun, fast paced tale with a new villain and some old mainstays.  Tomasi provides the reader with some great moments as we have come to expect.  Batman matching wits with the Arkham Knight is great then we have scene-stealers, Gordon, Alfred and Damien all making their appearances count. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Tomasi is inside the head of each one of them and it shows.  Tomasi shows that this Arkham Knight isn’t interested in hurting the people of Gotham.  He is seeking revenge and he has score to settle with Batman.  This Arkham Knight won’t directly attack the police and even will save an officer.  While his motives are not entirely clear he is making statements though out the book, confrontation, kidnapping and manipulation.

While the main story involving the Arkham Knight keeps the reader guessing it’s how Tomasi writes the relationships with Batman and his confidantes.  Those are the interactions we all love. Gordon has a heart-warming back and forth with a beat down Batman and his “car”.   Alfred has really made the most of his appearances lately.  I cannot get enough of his dry wit.

Kudos to Tomasi for bringing Damien back to his punk kid roots.  Damien has almost “lightened up” over the past few years.  While not over the top jerk, this Damien is a bit more in line with his original appearances circa 2006.  Tomasi does a great job using Damien to move the story along and set up the next issue it was so fluid and natural.

Detective #1K2 is the best issue in the Tomasi run.  Brad Walker is making a hell of a name for himself on this book.

Great action, suspense, and thrills with beautiful artwork.

This issue has it all and is a must for your pull list this week.  Both covers are great in their own right.  Those who are fans of Batfleck will love the variant.

I am really enjoying seeing Batman or Robin in peril at the end of these last two stories.  It just makes me that much more anxious for the next issue. The set up worked and I’m feeling the hype for the reveal of Arkham Knight in Detective #1K3. – 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!