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Detective Comics #34

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By Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato

“The skies are clearing.”

“That’s ‘cause we’re not in Gotham anymore.”

The ICARUS storyline takes its final bow and leaves us with a story that brings to light some of the hard choices Bruce Wayne has to make. Batman is seen as a very strong yet remorseful character, and met with guilt whenever someone dies – he tells himself over and over he could have helped them, if only he tried harder.

This story has placed Batman with Detective Bullock as they seemingly work together while Bullock keeps Batman at arm’s length, thinking of him as more of a rival. Bullock even expresses at one point how he doesn’t want Batman to steal the spotlight of the case – the case being the ICARUS epidemic that gets a big finale finish in this issue.

The visuals have been spot on with this arc, as storytellers Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato create scenes that blend well into one another with both dialogue and the artwork on the page. A certain scene in this issue brings Batman out in a way that might seem familiar in a visual manner to those who’ve read The Dark Knight Returns. It’s a showdown and he’s decked out in a suit similar in appearance to his gauntlets from that story in TDKR when he went up against Superman. The entrance of Batman in this scene explodes into the page and is met with his dark appearance cracking a punch into a bright pink skull creating a SMACK! This scene plays with the panels a lot and the fighting moves fluidly from one page to the next.

What stood out the most in the ICARUS story was the Batman/Detective Bullock working atmosphere. Batman is usually seen working beside Commissioner Gordon, but this time around we see him alongside someone a bit more on par with his own stubbornness, giving the tale a bit of a different spin.

Everything gets tied up rather quickly in this last issue to the ICARUS story, but we’re still met with a Batman willing to push himself for the sake of justice while trying to save everyone at the same time. This issue doesn’t pull any punches as it delivers action and bookends it with the emotional buildup.

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