REVIEW: ‘Detective Comics 2022 Annual,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Detective Comics 2022 Annual #1

Detective Comics 2022 Annual #1 from DC Comics takes readers back to Gotham’s painful origins. Ram V writes this story with Christopher Mitten,  Rafael Albuquerque, and Hayden Sherman on art chores. Lee Loughridge is on colors, with Deron Bennett on letters. For anyone keeping up with Detective Comics, the Eastern European Orgham family (once called Arkham in the US) have returned to the city, bought up the grounds of Arkham Asylum, and are planning nefarious things.

This annual kicks off with two of its members, Gael, the centuries-old lycanthrope, and Shavhod, the family’s eight-irised servant, plunging into the depths of the ruined asylum in search of a device. While they do, Gael recounts a tale of when the device was first planted in the pit of Gotham. Back in the late 18th century, the city of Gotham was the settlement of Gathome. Gael was alive back then, so we can trust his account is truthful. Maybe.

Anyway, the 18th-century Gathome is full of interesting characters who are all at each others’ throats, especially after the gruesome murders of Tim and Moira Wainwright. A son survives them, and history repeats itself retroactively. Honestly, this was my first problem with the story. I was hyped for colonial Gathome, and I was hyped for new characters in their struggles. Giving us a replay of the Wayne murders is like a repeat. This could have been another couple, and it would have been fine.

But we are moving on—the characters. Aldridge Pearce, the drifter, finds the boy and protects him. Barrowman, who claims a giant wolf made the killings. Ichabod Kraine, the priest without a church, swears to save Gathome from demons, including a witch, Aiyanna, outside its borders. Garret Jardin investigates the murders. There is an excellent cast, ready to tell new tales in old Gathome. For the most part, they do. Somewhere in the chase and witch hunt, we return to the buried artifact, a plot to keep Gathome powerfully demonic, and a host of intrigues.

Then we get Batman. And here was where what for me would have been a fantastic story that might have pulled off its limited series down the road became another means to shimmy Batman into a tale. Yes, there are ways to get him into the past. But why? Wouldn’t this have been more interesting to have the established characters in this annual end things? It would have been harder to give them a more fitting ending. I get it. Batman sells. But this started so great.

Detective Comics 2022 Annual #1 is illustrated by Mittens, who has a sketchy style that I immediately liked. There’s a prodigious amount of ink on each page with some soft, subdued colors from Loughridge and fine lettering and placements by Bennett. The entire team hooked me on this story, and I wish it held that fire for me all through. But this cast alone didn’t need Batman. While it required a tragedy to conclude later threads, it didn’t have to be an almost carbon copy of the Wayne Crime Alley killings, even down to minor name variations.

I recommend this book. For the colonial Gathome setting, the fantastic cast needs a book or backup in another Batman title. I wish they left the Bat out of it, and then it would have been stellar. But go get this one. There are people and things in this annual you might never see again.

Detective Comics 2022 Annual #1 is available now wherever comic books are sold.


Detective Comics 2022 Annual #1
3

TL;DR

I recommend this book. For the colonial Gathome setting, the fantastic cast needs a book or backup in another Batman title. I wish they left the Bat out of it, and then it would have been stellar. But go get this one. There are people and things in this annual you might never see again.

But Why Tho? A Geek Community
%d bloggers like this: