Review – Detective Comics #951 (DC Comics)


Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Christian Duce
Release Date: 22nd February 2017

DETECTIVE COMICS in the REBIRTH era has been a revelation. Despite featuring curiously little detective work, ‘TEC focuses more on the dynamic and growing pains of the new Bat-Family. So much so, this could almost be called Justice League Gotham.

This issue sees the launch of the latest epic, “League of Shadows”, a storyline which, if you have been following this comic since REBIRTH, has been brewing quietly in the background. It’s been obvious that something major was coming to Gotham, and the reason behind Bruce’s planning and team building efforts becomes apparent here. The previous issue’s revelation that Batman has not only been providing shelter and solace for his band of Bat-themed heroes, but training them to be his own private army is given added urgency with the appearance of The League of Shadows, lead by Lady Shiva.

If Tynion has a strength, it is managing to avoid his various plot threads from clashing with each other. There is a lot going on each issue, and if it wasn’t for the bi weekly shipping, the title may seem a little unfocused. Thankfully, the large cast each get their chance to shine, with Clayface (Who saw that coming?!?) once again being the standout and Batwoman being given a focus that should hopefully be explored in more depth in her own series.

Once again, it’s the character interactions which make the book, especially during the opening sequence involving Oswald Cobblepot. The banter between Batman and Batwoman is excellent, bringing much needed humour to a title that’s been slightly gloomy of late.

Aside from the overused trope of the hero being blamed for a crime by the police, if there is one criticism of DETECTIVE, is that the art in this issue is slightly weak. DETECTIVE 951 suffers from bland pencils, garish computer lettering and colouring which do not help the art or the overall aesthetic. DDETECTIVE COMICS, despite being the comic which gives the company it’s name, should have a top tier writing and art team. Tynion is delivering on the writing front, but much like BATMAN, he needs an artist who can compliment his style and stories. Jason Fabok would tailor made for this book.

DETECTIVE COMICS is the team book for people who don’t like team books. At times reading more like one of the satellite bat-books from the late 90s and early 00s as opposed to a core title, ‘Tec is a strong entry in the REBIRTH stable which is very much worth your time. It’s by no means a classic bat-book, but there are few more entertaining comics to sit down to with a cold beverage and enjoy.

Rating: 4/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Craig Gorman.


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