By James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez, Brad Anderson, Al Barrionuevo, Adriano Lucas and Raul Fernandez
DC Rebirth has featured a heavy diet of Batman books for their newest re-launch. This shouldn’t surprise anyone since he’s one of their cornerstone characters and one of their biggest cash cows. The difference this time around is that every book has a very different voice. Detective Comics has become a bit of a bat-family book featuring several different characters and focusing on them, instead of the caped crusader. This is something a little different from what we’ve seen in recent years, which is why it’s been so intriguing.
James Tynion IV has really put together a great series so far. One of the best things about his run is that each character gets some work every issue. Whether you like Red Robin or Spoiler, Tynion IV makes sure each major player is contributing to the issue. There is a touching moment at the beginning of the issue that really lets us see the bond between Colonel Kane and Kate. This four-page stint in the book allows us to see how dire the situation currently is between these two. There was a lot of love between these two and we actually feel bad about where they are now. Another thing that Tynion IV does well is that he allows the characters to show off who they actually are and how they should be written. Red Robin shows off his smarts, which is something that gets forgotten sometimes, as he outplays Ulysses. For an issue that featured a lot of action, Tynion IV also managed to pack some depth and character development into this issue. Detective Comics has been an excellent title since the Rebirth and Tynion IV’s ability to flesh out characters is a huge reason why.
The pencils this issue are handled by Alvaro Martinez and Al Barrionuevo, and colors by Brad Anderson and Adriano Lucas. The first four pages of the issue are done by Baaionuevo and Lucas. This is a flashback scene that has a very different style than the regular art, but it is unquestionably wonderful. It seems almost painted on the page and does a great job of making the scene feel like a simpler time; almost Norman Rockwell-esque in style. Martinez and Anderson kick in after that and keep up the impressive art for the issue. Martinez draws the action scenes beautifully. Every character is represented and they all look great. For as big as the page is, there isn’t any lack of detail. Clayface looks gigantic and scary as he takes on soldiers and threatens to do some carving. This is an issue that is drawn very well in every aspect. You would be hard pressed to find any problems. The colors by Brad Anderson are moody and effective. He makes great use of darks and shadows, whether it be on Clayface’s stomach as he leans in to fight or soldiers surprising Red Robin. Anderson is a great complement to the pencils laid down by Martinez.
It’s odd to say that of all the characters in Detective Comics, Batman is the one that gets the least amount of focus. James Tynion IV has done an awesome job on this title so far and his superb character work is what makes it a different Bat-Title. The art has been incendiary and should only get better as Martinez gets more comfortable. This has been a great run so far and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.