By James Tynion IV, Christopher Sebela, Carmen Carnero, Ulises Arreola, and Kelly Fitzpatrick
There are many reasons why DC’s Rebirth has been a success; bringing back old favorite characters, solid storytelling, and ultimately, giving fans and readers what they want. The Bat-line in particular has been a roaring success sales wise and with readers. One thing that makes them so good is that each book has its own style; Detective Comics has a different feel and direction from Tom King’s Batman, for instance. As issue #963 of Detective Comics stocks shelves this week, we get a chance to see what Spoiler has been up to and who she’s been hanging out with.
James Tynion IV has done a good job balancing the larger cast of Detective Comics and this week he teams with Chrisopher Sebela (Heartthrob, High Crimes) on writing duties. While this issue primarily focuses on Spoiler, Clayface has some nice pages as he fights becoming a monster again. Tynion IV and Sebela allow us to see what lengths Batman is willing to go through to help a former enemy; one of the many reasons Batman is a great character. The majority of the issue focuses on Spoiler as she runs around with Anarky. Since the supposed death of Tim Drake, Spoiler has taken a dark turn and Tynion has her being a Robin Hood of sorts. It’s good to see Anarky again since he’s a character that doesn’t get used enough, but is usually pretty cool when he does show up. While Anarky can be a difficult character to write, Tynion IV and Sebela do a pretty damn decent job writing him. If there is one gripe with the writing, it’s that at times it can be too wordy. Some of the earlier pages with Anarky and Spoiler are filled with tons of word bubbles and it can be a bit much.
The pencils this issue are handled by Carmen Carnero with colors by Ulises Arreola and Kelly Fitzpatrick. The pencils this issue are fine. Carmen Carnero does a good enough job, and in her panels with Clayface, her pencils of him ripping apart or changing his hands to weapons look very nice. Carnero’s best work in the book comes in an early panel where Anarky is consoling Spoiler and shadows from the window are seen on their faces. The colors by Arreola and Fitzpatrick are decent enough. The colors on some of the Clayface panels look bland at times and he looks like a giant brown log at times. The best bit of coloring comes when Spoiler is in her full outfit. Her purple uniform draws your eye to the page and almost commands for you to look at it. The art for this issue was fine, but there wasn’t any real “wow” factor to it; it’s essentially business as usual.
Detective Comics has been a pretty solid series since Rebirth. This issue mixes it up a little bit and gives us a peek at what Spoiler has been up to. James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela have turned in another issue that is on par with where the series has been since the New 52 ended. The pencils and colors weren’t anything spectacular, but certainly served their purpose and were fine enough.