Batman: Detective Comics #979 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Philippe Briones, Artist; John Kalisz, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: OMAC/Brother Eye?
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: As the OMAC project invades Gotham in Detective Comics #979, the Bat-family faces one of its toughest tests – both on the ground and within Tim Drake’s mind. As the issue kicks off, Tim has been one of the countless warriors taken over by the OMAC programming and turned into a super-soldier under the control of the General’s twisted version of the Colony. While his body holds its own against Cassandra Cain in the Batcave, Tim finds himself trapped inside his own mind, forced to watch as the dark future he saw in his counterpart unfolds, including the deaths of several members of the Belfry. The General’s evolution into the main villain of Tynion’s Detective run has been fascinating and shows how much this run is rooted in the classic Chuck Dixon Robin run, both in its villains and in its characterization of Tim and Stephanie. While Batman, Batwoman, and Jacob Kane battle against OMACs, Tim is presented with the chance to become the Batman he saw in the future – only by giving up his mind to the OMAC hivemind.
Although Batwing and Azrael are able to show up in time to bail the Bats out of the OMAC invasion, the specter is raised that Tim may actually be the mastermind of the attack, forcing Batman to confront the idea that his smartest protege may have gone rogue. We know the truth, of course, but the troubled relationship between Bruce and Tim has been a cornerstone of this run. Interestingly, this isn’t the only Bat-book this week that features a member of the Bat-family trapped in their own mind, but we’ll get to that later. For this final arc, Tynion is bringing back all the major players, including Stephanie Brown, who basically makes Batman grovel for her to come back in one of the best scenes of the issue. The issue ends with Tim no longer under the control of the OMACs – but in charge of them instead, tempted to bring his own version of order to Gotham City. With only a month of stories left, Tynion’s got a lot to resolve, but I have little doubt he’ll hit the landing.
Corrina: To get this out of the way: Tynion continues to use concepts I dislike, such as Future Evil Tim, OMAC, and Brother Eye.
It’s a measure of how good his writing is that I enjoy Detective Comics at all, never mind enjoy it as much as I did this issue. (Also note: once again an artistic team goes to town on a splash page and, once again, I wish I had this in print to oogle.)
I liked this installment most of the last few issues, primarily because it features the Bat-Family working together again (well, most of them) and because one-on-one team-ups between Kate and Bruce are rare. It’s good to see that, though I’m still not happy with Kate killing Clayface. (I might have mentioned/ranted about this before.) I also like Steph’s return and hope she’s the key to reaching Tim.
As for Tim himself, hey, it’s hard to think straight when mentally drained and an evil genius is literally yelling at you in your psyche. I’m here for Tim’s eventual redemption. (But if that doesn’t happen, I will be most upset.)
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.
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