Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artwork: Miguel Mendonca
Colours: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Release Date: 22nd August 2018
In the latest issue of Detective Comics, Karma makes his final stand and attempts to take Batman out on his own. However, Batman and his team are making some preparations and, thanks to some help from Katana, they gain some new intel on the threat they’re facing.
Bryan Edward Hill brings in a new member of the team this issue with the introduction of Katana. This isn’t the first time that Batman has allied with her and she brings some real strength to the already diverse roster. Black Lightning attempts to take the lead again but Karma has made the fight personal with Batman and Bruce knows that he has to take this one alone.
It’s good to see Jefferson accepting his role as mentor to the others which bodes well for any future adventures. Bruce’s fixation on his staff and in-depth knowledge of their personal lives is equal parts touching and creepy. His single-minded obsession with knowledge gives him an edge but it does come off as more than little disconcerting at times.
Miguel Mendonca brings some gorgeous art to this issue. The cast themselves are instantly recognisable both in and out of costume and they emote well even when involved in battles. The action sequences are kinetic and fast-paced with all needless background detail removed to emphasise impact. Batman and Katana in particular pose dramatically during combat to really hammer home the finesse and strength on display. The only part which confused me a little (and it may just be me) was the final page of the Karma/Batman fight. In one of the panels Karma seems to go from having no hair, to having hair and then back again. I’d be interested to find out if it was just me that noticed this or a genuine mistake on the page.
Adriano Lucas brings a dynamic palette to the book with bold coloured backgrounds used during battle sequences and detailed shadow and ambient colours when establishing plot. There is a real vibrancy to the book that helps to amplify the feeling of Gotham at night, but instead of the usual gothic structures we are treated to the modern colours deployed by Wayne Enterprises flagship building.
This current story started off well and ends in a strong position here. We have been given a new foil who is likely to return to battle Batman and his allies at a later date but we’re also given a glimpse into an even greater threat that can strike at any time. Batman also names his team and gives them a purpose along with a leader which, although similar to what we have seen before in the book, is perhaps not as likely to be destined to fail. Hill and his team do a good job of bringing us a well-structured story with a good level of character development but never skimp on the action. In lesser hands Karma could have been a disposable enemy for one arc but his abilities and the way he is written and drawn make him a truly interesting opponent.
Detective Comics continues to deliver an excellent read and as one story feeds into the next it’s difficult not to feel a genuine connection between the characters and the events that are unfolding. This issue is perhaps not ideal for new readers but it does chronicle the rise of a new (legacy) team that will be truly interesting to watch as they develop. An easy recommendation this month, if you are not reading Detective Comics yet then it may be about time you considered picking it up.
The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato