“Rise of the Batmen” continues, as Batman is finally reunited with his bat squad. Will Batman and company be able to withstand the combined might of Colonel Kane and his army of bat soldiers?
This run of Detective Comics has been one of those satisfying stories where all of your favorite characters are treated as total badasses. Each individual character’s badassery never seems to outweigh any of the others. It’s as if all the characters are equally badass in their own unique ways. This is great for fans of Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Cassandra Cain. All three of these beloved characters have had tumultuous times during the New 52. With the latter two not even existing until the last couple of years, and the former being essentially demoted from his previous grandeur. Throw in the ever-intriguing Batwoman and surprise breakout star Clayface, and well, you end up with probably the most interesting team currently at DC Comics. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about Titans, I’d buy an argument for either team being the best right now.
Fans that have been following this series will know what to expect, Detective Comics #938 is another escalating step in the nepotistic conflict between Batman and his cousin Batwoman versus her father (and Bruce’s uncle), Colonel Jake Kane. Fans that haven’t been following, why haven’t you? There is a perfectly entertaining Batman story going on here that offers a lot of fan service to the extended Bat-Family. I would firmly place this in the “upper middle class” of DC’s current lineup. Solid and exciting, without straining too hard to break the mold.
James Tynion IV has been a sort of enigma for me over the last several years. He always seemed to be lingering around books or spin-offs attached to Scott Snyder. In several cases he was credited for scripting something and Snyder was credited for plotting it. It led me to always question if we were hearing Tynion’s voice, or a sort of Tynion filtered through Scott Snyder’s voice. I think it’s quite safe to say that we weren’t getting an unfiltered Tynion book until now. The best thing about his writing here, is how apparent his love for all these characters is. There is a level of care and stewardship present that is highly endearing. Also, to bring up Clayface again, Tynion’s version of the character is easily one of the best.
Alvaro Martinez and Brad Anderson’s artwork does not detract from this issue at all. Martinez’s pencil work more than adequately conveys the action, while Anderson’s colors are varied and vibrant. The artists deserve kudos for not only pulling off all the unique costume designs, but making them look damn good. The only complaint I had with costume design when this series started was the absolutely ridiculous double R on Tim’s costume. Thankfully in this issue, Martinez and Anderson seem to be doing everything they can to keep that second R obscured by something at all times. Sometimes it’s a shadow, a hand, or even the shoulder of a character in the foreground that does the covering. I say, if we have to keep the double R, let’s keep covering it up.
Detective Comics #938 is another entertaining entry into a series whose only detractor is a slightly long in the tooth first arc. If you are expecting the sensationalized and catastrophic type of stories that Scott Snyder gave us, this book is not that. Instead it is solid storytelling within a fan familiar structure. Fans of Batman or any of the other characters on the team will not be disappointed.
- Impressive characterization
- Great characters to make a team
- Story arc is getting a little long in the tooth