Review – Batman: Detective Comics #1026 – Croc’s Kingdom

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Detective Comics #1026 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: Detective Comics #1026 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Kenneth Rocafort, Artist; Daniel Brown, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: Pete Tomasi seems to be using Joker War to tell done-in-one stories of Batman and other key players in Gotham. Last issue was Batwoman, and this week’s issue is Killer Croc. Croc seemed to have turned over a new leaf at the conclusion of Gotham City Monsters, concluding his face-turn, but we all know few Gotham villains stay reformed. And at the start of this issue, it seems like he’s gone full-on back to the dark side—kidnapping random people and dragging them into the sewers. As Batman descends, it becomes clear that the usually-toxic Gotham sewers are worse than ever, poisoned with a highly caustic and deadly Joker venom. And as he tracks down Killer Croc, he discovers that the sometimes-villain isn’t alone anymore—he’s backed up by an army of soldiers who are mutants just like him, each patterned after a common creature you can find in the Gotham sewers.

The Batman watches. via DC Comics.

A flashback reveals these are unfortunate people who decided to find a refuge in the sewers as the war started heating up, only for Joker to flush out the sewers with his poison and mutate them by accident. One of them being a turtle is kind of funny (mutant turtles living in the sewer, heh), but I love the detail that they’re all creatures either naturally occurring there—or pets that are likely to get flushed. Croc starts out seeming like a straight-up villain, but his backstory adds some nuance to this and this issue is actually a nice follow-up to Croc’s characterization in the recent miniseries. A fight between Croc and Batman is intense and the kind of action segment Kenneth Rocafort was born to draw, but I was much more intrigued by the segment between them later in Batman’s lab. Croc is one of the Batman villains most primed to become an ally, and I hope we see more of him and his odd mutant family in the future based on this debut issue.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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