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Review – Detective Comics #956 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: James Tynion IV
Art: Marcio Takara
Colours: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Release Date: 10th May 2017


Issue 955 was a nice personal piece about Cassandra and finding her place in a world that she frequently struggled with, and the conclusion in the final panels answered that question in a dramatic fashion.  The scene is now set for Cassie and her adoptive family to face off against her birth mother in a battle for Gotham City.

From the very first page we are thrust directly into the action whilst Tynion weaves the narrative featuring Colony into the mix, with two sets of parents on opposite sides of the law battling their own children.  Cassie continues to battle her mother even after defeating what seems like the entire League of Shadows on her own, and both her strength and reliance are once again on show.  The team has gone through a lot and has developed bonds that are likely to be important going forward, and I look forward to seeing how Tynion expands on this later in the series.

Marcio Takara once again delivers on some of the most visceral and kinetic action panels you will see this month.  Each scene during the battle sequence has a visual impact that helps to highlight important moments in the narrative in the most dramatic of ways.  We are in no doubt that both the words and the punches are causing pain in a way that even the reader is likely to wince whilst reading.  When the battle comes to a climax there is something almost otherworldly about the sequence, unsettling and promising a return at a later time.

Marcelo Maiolo paints the interior of Gotham’s underground caves like a hellscape; everything is bathed in red and the shadows themselves seem afraid to cover it.  The flashback sequence in the middle of the book adopts a washed-out palette which gives it the look of a distant memory, setting it apart clearly from the surrounding panels.

This latest chapter of Detective Comics is coming to a close, but we do have several loose ends left that have yet to be tied up.  Ra’s and the League of Shadows are clearly up to something and Colony now has its leader back, even though they have held back up until now.  It is very easy to remain excited about the direction of the book with all these pieces still unaccounted for, as well as the quite frankly amazing development of each of the characters we have spent time with so far.

This issue really isn’t for new readers but if they have been keeping up with the events of the other books they definitely still could pick it up.  The next issue will be an ideal starting point, however, given that it will be the first part of a new arc.

The creative team continue to deliver a high-quality series with fantastic art and deep character development, so it’s a very easy recommendation to add this one to your pull list.  The series isn’t content with just telling you an interesting story, it wants you to invest emotionally in both the characters and their motivations, and excels at both.

Rating: 5/5.


PREVIEW ARTWORK
[Click to Enlarge]


The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
John Tweets from @ShinKagato


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