Detective Comics #1050 ups the stakes on its two big stories, and squeezes in a preview of a new series to boot. Our two DC stories ‘Shadows of the Bat’ and ‘House of Gotham’ are written by Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg. Ivan Reis and Fernando Blanco perform art duties, with Brad Anderson and Jordie Bellaire on colors. Ariana Maher and Rob Leigh put down the word balloons. This is an extra-sized issue, so fans are gifted with more pages this time around. But we’re here for the Arkham Tower’s gleam, waiting to watch it dull into the Day Twenty-Four nightmare foreshadowed earlier. This issue we get treated to more flashbacks, but this time they’re about the Huntress.
In the last issue, Huntress was revealed to be a patient in Arkham, sedated, more or less, until the deranged Ana Vulsion killed maintenance man/Party Crasher Marc. This issue begins with a flashback to the last days of ‘No Man’s Land,’ a nice reference. In it, Dick, recounting the story, compares Helena to Bruce, stating that she is identical to him in terms of darkness and the drive for justice. Much of the first story focuses on Huntress, and we see a woman drove to the edge and the attempts by Nightwing to talk her down, but her position in Arkham is ultimately her own doing. A lot more goes on here, much of it surrounding Marc’s demise, a surprise reveal and Arkham further sliding down into chaos.
Tamaki is selling this undercover story very well, and there’s more story here on heroes finding their way into Arkham and the underhandedness going on within. I’m loving seeing the heroes outside of costume, trying to navigate this maze that has so many avenues cut off for them, while worrying about Huntress’ mental state. The stage is set for things to blow now. It’s just a question of what sets it off. But the character development is well played, and the art by Reis continues to be stunning and fully realized, with deep textured colors by Anderson and Maher’s clean letters. ‘Shadows of the Bat’ is a great psychological thriller with lots of moving pieces I hope to have a big payoff, but this issue we definitely see things begin to crumble for Dr. Wear and his illicit allies.
Detective Comics #1050 then turns back the clock for “House of Gotham’, which takes our poor, beleaguered Boy and makes him a stooge of Scarecrow, as they and a gang of fear-induced children creep into stately Wayne Manor. But Robin, the Boy Wonder, arrives to make things difficult, and it’s never a bad thing to get more Robin. Needless to say, things keep going badly for the Boy, and it is another dose of pain and confusion. Rosenberg really knows how to put him through the wringer while showcasing Gotham’s eerie underbelly, criminals, and justice system. Blanco manages to balance the dark, heavy lines with a playfulness in Robin’s mood and motions, while Bellaire keeps colors muted to enhance the darkness and Leigh offers some lovely large SFX and sound lettering. I still wonder if this will somehow link to the main story. Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, this Boy will become a problem in someone’s future.
Also, we get a preview of the upcoming Superman/Batman, World’s Finest #1 written by Mark Waid, with art by Dan Mora, colors by Tamra Bonvillain, and letters by Aditya Bidikar. With strong, colorful artwork and a tale from years back, the mood and pacing feel like a DC comic from the late 70 to early 80s. It’s a fun snippet that uses lots of classic villains and pieces of lore that looks like a good start to the new series.
Detective Comics #1050 has more room with this issue to delve into backstory, parallel stories, and continue the countdown to Arkham’s breaking point while informing us more about this Huntress. I hope after this she gets a miniseries or a full monthly, and that the ramifications from ‘Shadows of the Bat’, and ‘House of Gotham’, last for a long time. This issue is great for its character portrayal of Huntress and every aspect of the story. Jump in if you haven’t yet.
Detective Comics #1050 is available wherever comic books are sold.
Detective Comics #1050
This issue is great for its character portrayal of Huntress and every aspect of the story. Jump in if you haven’t yet.
William J. Jackson is a small town laddie who self publishes books of punk genres, Victorian Age superheroes, rocket ships, and human turmoil. He loves him some comic books, Nature, Star Trek, and the fine art of the introvert.