Detective Comics #1049 review
We’re back with another episode of the “Shadows of the Bat” storyline, currently running in DC Detective comics. As always, for the main story, we have Mariko Tamaki writing, Ivan Reis on art, and Matthew Rosenberg writing on the side story with Fernando Blanco’s pencils. It’s a meaty question this time, so let’s go, shall we?
FRONT SPOILERS for Detective comics #1049!
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We pick up where we left off, with Batwoman further infiltrating the Arkham Tower staff to find out exactly what’s going on there. Not only do we find out that many of the staff are former henchmen of Gotham City’s Rogues, but none other than the Huntress herself, Helena Bertinelli, remains there voluntarily as a patient. Not only does she avoid Batwoman’s rescue attempt altogether, but she also prepares the stinger for the next issue, revealing that she is still suffering from the effects of Vile’s parasite earlier in the run. There are a lot more minor details that I’m skimming over, but suffice it to say it added a lot of other intrigue to make us wonder where this is all going and how it will connect. It can be a difficult balance to strike, but so far it’s been doing a good job of juggling everything without losing my attention.
The character is once again pretty solid, although I had to roll my eyes slightly at Cassandra Cain’s abnormal speech pattern, something the current Batgirls run actually excels at being consistent with. Despite that little hiccup, everyone feels very well-rounded and well-characterized — no shock, considering Tamaki’s quality throughout his run. I still enjoy having Kate as the central POV character, although we don’t get a lot of interior monologue from her, or anyone else. It’s almost like a Batman: TAS episode in this regard, with most of the exposition being done verbally between the characters. It’s a simple trick, but proven to be effective when done right.
The save felt very robust this time around, packing a lot of story and very solid character work despite being shorter overall. We continue to get a backstory for Nero Xix and his close encounters with various Gotham Rogues, this time Scarecrow. Rosenberg has done a good job of making him feel somewhat comforting in the way he defends young Xix, and also a creepy weirdo when the mask is on (or rather off, in the case of his off-balance looks when he’s on it). kidnaps while literally gassing an orphanage. Real guy standing up, that scarecrow). Xix is a very likeable character as a child, and this build to see how he became super-villain has been interesting to watch so far.
The artwork is awesome, but that’s no surprise now. Both Reis and Blanco are fantastic in their respective sections, with expressive artwork that really sells what the characters are thinking and feeling in any given panel. I wouldn’t even be able to really pick my favorite for the book if you asked me, as they both bring different strengths to the stories told here.
Overall, this issue is a solid entry into the storyline. While there’s no reveal or wildly crazy hook like the first issue, as I said in the last review, it’s totally fine. We’re already here and hooked, it’s just a matter of keeping us together, which I think this issue has done with the information it’s handing out. The Huntress cliffhanger alone is a nice little shocker to get us thinking. There was a slight hiccup with Cassandra’s writing, but given how minor she is in the overall narrative of this book so far, it’s a forgivable flaw. Plus, Kate is a fun protagonist to follow and fills in Batman’s absence very well. With a very sturdy save that looks almost the same length as the main story, consistent and solid artwork, you get what you pay for when you pick this one up.
‘Detective Comics’ Review #1049
Detective comic #1049
A solid issue with some fun reveals, giving just the right amount of information to keep the story going and keep us coming back for more.
Keeps the story pacing steady
Good twists, if minor
Robust Backup History
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