Detective Comics: Shadows Of The Bat review

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Image for article titled The Batman has the box office, but a new thriller from Detective Comics might be more compelling

Picture: DC Comics

Gotham City really needs to find a new one namesake for its mental health facilities. Whether it’s a spooky asylum on the outskirts of town or a gleaming skyscraper downtown, if it bears the name Arkham, it will become the site of something horrible. Arkham’s new tower lasts 24 days before catching fire, and writer Mariko Tamaki wastes no time getting to the blaze “Shadows of the Bat” (DC Comics)the weekly 12-episode story set in Detective comics. The skepticism is understandable, given that it seems like there are already a thousand Batman comics coming out every month, but Tamaki and his artistic collaborators tell their story with a blistering pace that makes you want to get to the next chapter as quickly as possible.

Tamaki’s Race Detective comics began by focusing on Bruce Wayne, newly acclimated to single life in a Gotham City brownstone, surrounded by wealthy neighbors. It had a strong horror influence on the villainous Dr Hue Vile and the neon green parasite inside his body, but the core art team of artist Dan Mora and colorist Jordie Bellaire handled the genre with brio, offering spectacle and suspense in equal measure. . And now, after the conclusion of the “Fear State” story, Bruce Wayne has completely left Gotham and gone. Detective comics with an expanded cast, which includes most members of the Bat Family and Dr. Chase Meridian, who debuted in 1995 batman forever.

Image for article titled The Batman has the box office, but a new thriller from Detective Comics might be more compelling

Picture: DC Comics

The plot of ‘Shadows Of The Bat’ retreads a lot of material we’ve seen fairly recently: Arkham’s final building descends into chaos, Psycho Pirate taking over a large group of people, even the Scarecrow showing up for revenge. just months after being shot for his latest citywide project. And yet, the story captivates because it has some key twists, particularly around its main antagonist: Tobias Wear, a con man who sees the opportunity to make big bucks exploiting Gotham’s need mental health treatment. The detective aspect of the series runs through members of the Bat-family undercover in Arkham Tower, and Tamaki finds the time to give everyone their own spotlight while highlighting how engaging these characters are when operating like a machine. finely tuned crime control.

This weekly story features a different art team for each act in four issues: Ivan Reis, inker Danny Miki and colorist Brad Anderson set the stage with highly detailed line art and blockbuster action staging. The second act artwork by Max Raynor and colorist Luis Guerrero is very sharp, but remains a little too polished as the story turns into the mess of Dr. Wear’s doomed con and the rise of that he is way above his head. The third act brings a renewed sense of chaos as Bellaire and Amancay Nahuelpan take control of the art, showcasing the rapid collapse of Arkham Tower with adrenaline-filled visuals.

Image for article titled The Batman has the box office, but a new thriller from Detective Comics might be more compelling

Picture: DC Comics

Nahuelpan previously worked with Tamaki on the highly entertaining Crush & Lobo miniseries, a goofy sci-fi comedy that saw Nahuelpan push his design and acting skills as he took the dysfunctional father-daughter pair through the cosmos. His work here is set in a completely different genre space, but still has the same kinetic energy and attention to environmental detail, which is enriched by Bellaire’s bold colors. Irvin Rodriguez’s painted covers are the only cohesive visual element across all chapters, and they do a phenomenal job of portraying characters with startling realism while channeling very specific feelings, whether it’s the playfulness of Harley Quinn or the severity of Huntress.

The backup story, “House of Gotham,” takes readers on a journey through Gotham City history by delving into the past of Nero XIX, one of Arkham Tower’s patients. Writer Matthew Rosenberg, artist Fernando Blanco and colorist Bellaire put his own spin on the various Batman eras by presenting them from the perspective of a tortured young boy. When they stray too far from the tone and subject of the main story, the backups can feel alien, which directly defeats their purpose as added value for the book’s $4.99 price. . Backups in Detective comics, however, consistently inform the main story while bringing stylistic variety to the book, which is exactly what these backups should do. It’s an ideal example of how to use those backups: exploring the psychological horror of “Shadows Of The Bat” – already a story well worth your time – through a very different lens.

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