Review – Batman: Detective Comics #1007: Gotham Ghost Story

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Detective Comics #1007 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: Detective Comics #1007 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Kyle Hotz, Artist; David Baron, Colorist


Ray – 8.5/10

Corrina: Classic Spectre

Ray: The biggest weakness of Tomasi’s run on this title so far was that he tried to go big and ambitious, first doing an entire arc around Batman’s twisted mental state and then trying to introduce a major new villain with mixed results. For his third short arc, though, he’s going back to basics with a small-scale Detective Comics mystery that calls back to Batman’s golden age when he had more dealings with the supernatural in his gothic adventures. The last issue set up a mysterious cult that had managed to separate the Spectre from Jim Corrigan in an attempt to steal the spirit of vengeance. Desperate to get his host back, the powerful cosmic being sought out Batman for help in tracking down the villains. Guest artist Kyle Hotz is still perfect for the story, bringing a unique dose of twisted horror to the proceedings as Batman tries to keep Spectre’s murderous instincts under control.

Batman and Spectre have worked together before, but it feels like Batman’s never quite understood his fellow vigilante. It kind of amuses me that Batman thinks he can intimidate a cosmic force of vengeance into not killing, but Tomasi and Hotz work perfectly together in Detective Comics #1007 – particularly in some two-page spreads that show Batman essentially living through Corrigan’s life and getting a better understanding of what drives the Spectre.

The villains are probably the issue’s weak link – they’re crazy cultists who want to steal the Spectre, yes, but they’re mostly plot devices. The latter part of the issue has some great double-page spreads as Batman and Spectre tear their way through the cultists, but there are no greater plot implications. I don’t know that this is a bad thing – this is a great, short Bat-story that shows Batman using his skills and getting to be the “Good cop” for a change. I’m hoping Tomasi’s run goes more in this direction.

The Spectre divided. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: This is my favorite story of Tomasi’s run, by far. I know, all those multi-issue, year-long story arcs are all the rage, especially since they can be collected in trade, but all I want from a Batman story is Batman doing some detective work (check), a well-drawn incredibly atmospheric Gotham that’s a few steps away from the real world (check, thanks artist Hotz and colorist Baron), and Batman in a little bit over his head (check).

Yes, I like when Batman is not all-knowing and powerful. I like when he’s human and has limits. That super-genius Batman can get boring, fast.  No matter what Batman insists, no matter how much he wants the Spectre to behave, the Spectre is going to what he does. He’s not the spirit of vengeance for nothing.

Jim Corrigan has been used on and off over the years, last seen in Gotham By Midnight, but for those who enjoyed his appearance in these two issues, please, please, please, go find the John Ostrander/Tom Mandrake Spectre series.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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