Batman: Detective Comics #1019 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Scott Godlewski, Artist; David Baron, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Tomasi and Godlewski wrap up a two-part winter mystery centering around a Norse-themed serial killer carving his way through Gotham in Detective Comics #1019, another strong issue. When we last left off, Bruce and Lucius were targeted by the killer at the Gotham tree-lighting ceremony, forcing Bruce to covertly pull some Bat-moves out of costume before playing the helpless playboy to get out of there without being noticed.
One strength of Tomasi’s writing is that he seems to get all the aspects of Bruce’s character and how they intersect with each other to make him an effective crimefighter. He also delivers some strong scenes at the manor as Alfred’s loss is keenly felt. Showing a character like Batman grieving is tricky, because he so rarely shows emotion in the typical way, but Tomasi finds a good balance as Bruce tries to make his way through an unfamiliar house and life.
The second half of Detective Comics #1019 is an odd one, as Batman uncovers the identity of the masked Viking killer and tracks him down to a ritual being performed by the true mastermind. What ensues is a full-on supernatural bloodbath that feels more like it belongs in Justice League Dark or another magic/horror-based title. Batman is used to fighting supernatural villains on occasions, but it stretches belief that he uncovers a demonic invasion in Gotham and dispatches it this easily. Tomasi’s compelling narration sells it well, as Batman seems mostly shellshocked and processing the bizarre events as they come. This run has been stronger when it focuses on stand-alone mysteries and cases rather than big plots involving iconic rogues. I don’t think this was one of the strongest stories (unlike the recent Spectre tale), but it delivers spooky action that feels a lot more like a Halloween tale than a Winter Solstice special.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.