Detective Comics #980
Detective Comics #980
- Same great writing we have come to expect
- Beautiful art
- Spotlight on Spoiler
- Lots of cuts between the different teams makes it a little hard to keep track sometimes.
- A lot of characters get a short appearance
The run of any writer or artist on a comic is finite. Turnover in creative teams is the nature of the beast. And, depending on how good a job the writer or arist did, there is a sadness that comes with end of their run, and a period of uncertainty as you read the first issue of their replacement. The best example of this for me personally was the end of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s landmark run on Batman. I did not know who Tom King was and I was very nervous about whether or not the character would be in safe hands. Of course, by now, everyone knows, myself included, that I had nothing to worry about.
So, it is that I find myself writing a review of the penultimate issue of the Detective Comics run of James Tynion IV. It has been a brilliant run, and I will go into detail about everything I loved about it in two weeks, when the final issue of the run is published.
But first, all of the characters have to make it to the next issue. And, the combined forces of Tim Drake taken over by Brother Eye and Ulysses Armstrong, now known as “The General” are making that difficult. After the events of the last issue, the newly “Omac-ified” Tim Drake has set out to stop the one person who dooms the future that the future self he encoutered a few issues ago showed him: Batwoman. To show you how dire the situation is, the result of the rise of this threat is an event that would be unthinkable given the last few issues: the team up of Batman’s team and the Colony.
While Batwoman draws the attention of Tim and the other OMAC’s, Batman, Spoiler and Orphan invade the Belfrey, with Jacob Kane monitoring from the Colony’s base. As Tim and the OMAC’s attack GCPD, aiming to create more OMAC’s, Batwoman arrives and leads the OMAC’s away. In the Belfrey, Spoiler, Orphan and Batman break in using drones that the Spoiler has programmed to render them invisible from Brother Eye.
Spoiler has recognized Tim’s unique signature in Brother Eye’s programming and believes that she can use that knowledge to separate Tim from Brother Eye. Unfortunately, to do so, she has to get deeper into the Belfrey than her drones will protect her, so the team becomes visible to Brother Eye. Also adding to the team’s woes is the fact that Azrael and Batwing, who were sent to try and reinitialize the Robo Batsuits in Luke’s lab, have been captured and enslaved by Brother Eye.
Brother Eye plays a final card as Spoiler begins her hack, using his knowledge of the alternate timeline to show her and Orphan what longtime readers already know, that, in the pre-Rebirth continuities, they both become Batgirl, with Stephanie even becoming Robin at one point. Brother Eye does this in hopes of undermining her confidence, but it has the opposite effect. Empowered by the revelations, Stephanie promises to Brother Eye that she willuse the information from the alternate timeline to “kick his @$$”, setting the stage for an epic finale in two weeks.
James Tynion IV has done such a spectacular job with this title, that I have run out of adjectives to describe it. The genius of breaking this team up, have them go their separate ways, only to reunite them against the threat that showed the seeds for the breakup is beyond brilliant. I also love that the true heroes of this issue are Spoiler and Orphan. This is really Stephanie’s show and Batman is just sort of along for the ride. The final showdown next week is probably going to be something spectacular and I can’t wait to see how this all shakes out.
But, great writing is only one half of the equation. It means nothing if the art doesn’t compliment it. Fortunately, there are no worries about that here. Scot Eaton (Pencils), Wayne Faucher (Inks), John Kalisz and Allen Passalaqua (Colors) create a good looking issue, with plenty of dynamic expressive art and a rich color palette being used to tell the very tight, well written story. A special word of thanks to Sal Cipriano (Letters) for using the same word balloons that have been used for Brother Eye since his introduction. Those of us who have followed Brother Eye since it’s debut greatly appreciate the nod to continuity.
This book is great on it’s own, but is spectacular as the set up for next issue’s arc finale. It should whet your appetite enough to make the two week wait seem almost unbearable.