Ricky Church reviews Detective Comics #934…
“Rise Of The Batmen” Chapter One
An unknown predator begins outdoing Batman, taking down dangerous threats with military precision. It’s up to the Dark Knight and series costar Batwoman to rally and train the young heroes of Gotham City to end this mysterious threat!
What Now: Batman and Batwoman begin training Spoiler, Red Robin and Cassandra Cain, but is the villainous Clayface ready for redemption?
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One of the most notable things about DC Rebirth is the fact that Action Comics and Detective Comics, two of the longest titles DC has published, are reverting back to their original numbering. It’s a significant sign that DC is harkening back to its momentous publishing history and Detective Comics #934 sets up the future of the title in a bold and interesting way.
The New 52 was controversial for getting rid of several fan-favourite characters across the board. Names such as Stephanie Brown
and Cassandra Cain were wiped away and only recently brought back into continuity. Detective Comics #934 completely brings them back into the fold as Batman recruits some of the newer and younger heroes in his fight against crime and a shadowy enemy. The way Spoiler and Cain are written should make any fan of theirs happy.
Front and center among Batman in this story is Batwoman, a character who has cultivated a large following of her own. Throughout her time in comics, her and Batman have never had much time together, but that is changed in a big way early on in the issue and she’s made essentially his right-hand woman in this new team. James Tynion IV
shows he’s got a great handle on her character, combining her zeal for justice with her militaristic sense of crime fighting. This partnership between Batman and Batwoman should be very entertaining to watch.
What is most surprising about this issue, however, is the inclusion of Clayface and how he is brought into this team. There is a scene with him that is incredibly poignant as he remembers the life he used to have before his accident, making him feel very sympathetic. Its not often Clayface is made to be a tragic figure, but compliments should go to Tynion for actually evoking these feelings for one of Batman’s most dangerous foes. While his exact role in the series is still relatively unknown, it will be interesting to see how his arc unfolds and whether or not he earns a shot at redemption or reverts back to his criminal ways.
Eddy Barrows’ artwork remains consistent throughout the issue and is very detailed. His facial work in particular is quite good, though there are one or two panels that look a little spotty when it’s a super close-up of someone’s face. Despite that, the artwork is great to look at and Adriano Lucas does well with the colours, utilizing a lot of shadows to create a moody and grim atmosphere. Barrows and Lucas’ combined work make the aforementioned Clayface scene the standout visual in the issue for its work on colour and bringing emotion to Clayface’s, well, face.
This team-up certainly revitalizes the Detective Comics title and promises some new, intriguing dynamics while honouring what has come before. Fans new and old alike should find plenty to enjoy and look forward to in the newly minted Detective Comics.