REVIEW: ‘Detective Comics,’ Issue #1069

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Detective Comics #1069

Detective Comics #1069 from DC Comics is a disturbingly good mix of emotions. As usual, we are gifted two fantastic tales. The first one, ‘Gotham Nocturne, Act I, Grand Design: Part IV,’ is written by the masterful pen of Ram V, illustrated with Gothic care by Dexter Soy, Miguel Mendoça, and Stefano Raffaele, colored by the multispectral Adriano Lucas and lettered in ways both weird and wonderful by Ariana Maher. If you remember Batman in this story, then you recall he’s spent much of it KO’d. That’s where he ended up at the end of the last issue. The fun part was his getting a save from Two-Face and being doctored by the Ten-Eyed Man. Bonus: Two-Face knows Batman is Bruce Wayne. And that’s just the start of this issue.

Two-Face has the Ten-Eyed Man (drawn very freaky, creepy, and cool, by the way) doctor Batman. Yep. This is the level things have descended. However, what the villain finds is revealing and may even hint this guy now knows who Batman is. The artwork for this drips Gothic nightmare, and the glut of inky shadows is gorgeous. Right off the bat, this is eerie, beautiful, and haunting. And Batman plays a little role here. Heck, get this book just for the opening and the covers that slay. But stick around for this story, in which Batman is behind the eightball, the Orghams are ahead, Two-Face is brilliant, and the emotions revealed later on with Gordon and others are touching. Read it a second time just for Two-Face. Read it a third to let the cliffhanger ending sink in. Buy another copy. Rip out the pages, and tack them to your walls and your neighbor’s house. This is a deep look into the soul of a battered hero and a city with more secrets than Houdini took to his grave. V and all involved are murdering comics month after bloody month. Five stars ‘Gotham Nocturne’ forever.

But wait. We have a backup feature, a new story, ‘Absolute,’ written by the skilled hand of Si Spurrier, with art by Caspar Wijngaard and letters by Steve Wands. Suppose you think the backup tales are of lesser quality, not in Detective Comics. They’ve all been bangers for a year and more. This one stars middle-aged psychologist Annabel Mead, who lets us in on the mirage of free will. She’s smart, cool, and, right off the bat, a great new Gotham citizen to know. Too bad she’s a prisoner of my fave (quiet, Two-Face), Mister Freeze, deep underground.

Freeze is still trying to find a way to cure his recently revived and now hateful wife. This requires science. It requires Freeze’s mad science, which might not be bad, except it could get Mead offed. This is a beautiful Part One of a three-part epic with Mead trying her best to psychoanalyze her kidnapper..if only he’d hear her. Throw in the Orghams’ Azmer menace, which ranks right up there with the best psychological horrors. Freeze is colder than ever. Mead is quick, resolute, and slowly desperate. And a tiny bit of this ties into a revelation in the first story. Perfect.

Wijngaard’s artwork is not what I expected, but it is what I needed. A prime mixture of the creep from Hayden Sherman with the streamlining from Batman: The Animated Series. There are some excellent uses of lighter hues here as well to appreciate. Beautiful, cold, colorful renderings strengthened by Wands’ devout order and clean lettering. I love how this began, and I want it to remain. A Mr. Freeze book. An Annabel Mead book. Please.

Detective Comics #1069 is platinum superhero storytelling twice over. This double team has renewed my love of Gotham City and its madhouse cast—rock on. You all, stop dodging this. Yes, Batman is too hyped. But this story is about way more than just him. If you love great comics, get this one and drop extras on unsuspecting criminals where you live.

Detective Comics #1069 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Detective Comics #1069


Detective Comics #1069 is platinum superhero storytelling twice over. This double team has renewed my love of Gotham City and its madhouse cast—rock on.

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