Review – Batman: Detective Comics #1020: Faces of Death

Comic Books DC This Week
Detective Comics #1020
Detective Comics #1020 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: Detective Comics #1020 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Brad Walker, Penciller; Andrew Hennessey, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 7/10

Ray: This title has now shifted to the post-City of Bane era, and with it comes a broken Gotham and many broken minds, especially in Detective Comics #1020. Two-Face has always been one of the more unstable of Batman’s enemies, but as this issue shows he’s gone completely off the deep end.

More of his body is scarred than ever, leaving him in constant pain and even more reliant on his coin, He flips repeatedly, even in the middle of a situation. The issue opens with him interrogating and then massacring a pair of notorious criminal brothers, leaving a messy crime scene and a trail of his own blood behind him. He kidnaps a doctor and forces him to treat him, then shoots the doctor in a fit of rage when he’s in pain. He then has an attack of conscience and takes the doctor to the hospital as he dies, only for that scene to become a shootout as well. If this all sounds frantic and confusing, it is – and I think that’s the point.

Coining a threat. Via DC Comics.

There are only two real characters in this issue, Two-Face and Batman – no supporting cast in sight. Batman trails the case, only springing into action when he gets tipped off to another attack. Brad Walker’s art is strong in the action segments, but rather grotesque – more so than usual, in the close-ups of Two-Face’s scarring. It’s not a comic for the weak of stomach, and the twist at the ending just muddies the water more. It seems Two-Face has built his own cult, through a combination of ritual scarring and worshipping of his coins, and they’re causing chaos around Gotham.

It begs the question – how many cults does Gotham need? Arkham Knight had her own cult, and obviously the Court of Owls are the big guns. It’s a plot device that’s becoming a bit tiring, and Two-Face’s motivations here aren’t clear yet. There’s some real tension in this issue, but the plot doesn’t quite come together yet.

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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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