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.
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.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.