Batman: Detective Comics #977 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Javier Fernandez, Artist; Eddy Barrows, Penciller; Eber Ferreira,Inker; John Kalisz, Adriano Lucas, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: More “Change The Future”
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: James Tynion’s final storyline on Detective Comics continues to unfold in Detective Comics #977, a Tim Drake-centric issue that takes him from the future to the present and leaves him torn between his current mentor and a potential ally who has shades of a deranged stalker. Kicking off with a future segment by Eddy Barrows, we see Tim at college (with a guest appearance from his best friend from the Dixon run, Ives) as he gets word that the Colony has descended on Gotham with orders from the government to take Batman out once and for all. He jumps out of retirement to try to save Bruce but arrives there too late as Kate executes her cousin. This would be a horrific turn by Batwoman – except that this is the future as presented by Brother Eye and Ulysses Armstrong, who is desperate to become Tim’s new partner and work with him to take down the Colony. Tim is smart, though, and he’s not willing to commit before he thinks it through. Armstrong doesn’t take it well.
Many characters, including Cass Cain and Batwoman (at least in the present segment), are missing this issue, but Batwing and Azrael get a decent spotlight, as he prepares to leave FoxTech behind for the time being to join the Colony. This segment was mainly worth noting for me because of the presence of Tam Fox, who’s taking over the company in his absence. Tam was one of my favorite characters in Chris Yost’s Red Robin run, and her fridging (where she was left brain dead by drug poisoning) in Batwing was a major issue with the New 52 for me. Here, she’s fully recovered (her condition was apparently upgraded to “soap opera coma”) and her relationship with Luke reminds me a lot of Shuri and T’Challa. More of these two, please. I also really, really liked Tim going to Batman for advice, and the two of them reminding me a lot of the classic Batman and Robin dynamic again. However, Armstrong is willing to go further than Tim thought to get him on his side, and we’re headed for a tense finale with a lot of unanswered questions.
Corrina: I’m of two minds about this story. On the one hand, Tynion is terrific at the relationship dynamics between all his characters, especially between Tim and Bruce and Luke and Tam.
On the other hand, the whole “the future must be changed from what’s foreseen” is one of my least favorite tropes and Tynion’s spent far too much of his run dealing with it for my taste. (And my tolerance ebbed even lower with evil!Tim guest-starring in a horrible crossover of which we shall not speak about again.) I like that Tim’s still recovering from his imprisonment and that he finally communicates with Batman. I do wish Tynion had spent more time with Luke in his run, as Luke’s the cast member who seems to have received the least amount of attention, and so his decision to join the Colony has little impact on me.
I’m also frustrated that no one is calling the Colony out for sending drones that would have caused numerous civilian casualties especially since they were wrong and Batman and company did handle the horrible event that they thought innocent people needed to die to stop. Indeed, Tim doesn’t even protest this to Armstrong, who was largely responsible for it.
So…good writing but increasingly not my taste, perhaps.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.