Detective Comics #1062 from DC introduces new creative teams while dripping Gotham in bloodcurdling thrillers not once, but twice. Ram V scripts the first story, ‘Gotham Nocturne: Overture, Part I,’ with art by Rafael Albuquerque, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by Ariana Maher. Simon Spurrier scripts the Jim Gordon tale, ‘The Coda,’ with art by Dani, Stewart back on colors, and Steve Wands handling letters. The previous creative team slayed on this book so it’s sad to see them go.
But a new storyline means a fresh start. The issue opens in on the Gotham Opera House, with imagery from Albuquerque that comes straight out of a Hammer horror film and sets the tone in one, breathtaking shot. L’Auriga is playing, but the reserved seat for Bruce Wayne remains empty. To no one’s surprise, Wayne is out on a gargoyle as the Batman, in a double-page spread of simply gorgeous Albuquerque art with bits of dialogue penned by V. Batman is at the docks, on the prowl of illegal smuggling when things suddenly take a left turn. Something ugly happens, monstrous even, and Batman barely makes it out alive.
Add into the mix Talia who arrives to bring a dire warning, and things get heated very quickly. The fight choreography was fast and brilliant, with art, colors, and SFX to match. Oddly, this represented the brightest portion of this story. The rest of it drips red, black, white, gray…and more black.
V’s dialogue is short and blunt. But the story is masterfully done. We aren’t really informed about what the opera has to do with the plot just yet. Batman is suffering from, something. Talia drops a dark warning. A new villain, maybe two, is on the move. All of this would come off as disjointed, but in the hand of V you salivate for the next issue while glaring cult-like into Albuquerque’s visionary style curtained in the hues of Stewart while Maher’s typeface font for districts gives the story a grounded, police procedural feel.
This is a bloody, vindictive story in a beautiful package reminiscent of opera itself. I loved every single panel and devoured this tale while wondering what the heck is going on with Batman. He is slowing down. So much is going wrong, while the new team is doing everything oh-so-right.
‘The Coda’ is part one of a three-part story that returns Jim Gordon to Gotham, and right off the bat (pun intended), I loved this story even more than the first. Gordon is back but can’t return to being the commissioner. He can’t even return as a cop. What’s worse is he can’t sit around doing nothing. He needs to be active, even in the cesspool of Gotham. Now, surrounded by crooked ex-cops he once fought against, Gordon is presented with a missing person case.
This gets him back in action, but also lands him in the thick of things. This story offers a completely different tone and artistry from the first. Spurrier delivers a superb tale straight out of classic crime novels. Dani’s art is vague yet compelling, with its best feature coming in the form of Gordon. his face is indistinct in most panels, perfectly capturing the fuzziness he’s feeling upon his return home.
Speaking of Gordon, the best parts of this are the descriptive thought boxes. They read like the best of hardboiled crime fiction and I wanted this story to become a twelve-parter. heck, I want this as its own series. I’ve seen this book offer two solid tales month after month, even weekly. But this is the first time the second outshines an astonishing first. And this, dear readers, is but part one of each.
Detective Comics #1062 is a must for Batman fans. It brings all the modern gothic aesthetics, two poignant mysteries, and enigmatic characterization all with the grittiness you should expect in Gotham City. While I know DC floods the market with Bat-books, this one is a surefire hit with two hard-hitting tales you’ll want to add to your summer reading list. Get it. Hang on tight and don’t let go. This is another case of an issue I would gladly give more than five stars to.
Detective Comics #1062 is available wherever comic books are sold.
Detective Comics #1062
Detective Comics #1062 is a must for Batman fans. It brings all the modern gothic aesthetics, two poignant mysteries, and enigmatic characterization all with the grittiness you should expect in Gotham City.