Batman: Detective Comics #1033 – Peter J. Tomasi, Writer; Brad Walker, Penciller; Andrew Hennessy, Inker; Dave McCaig, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Pete Tomasi has had a long run on Bat-books, arguably being the writer who defined Damian Wayne the most—even more than his creator Grant Morrison. So it’s fitting that his final issue on the franchise (save the digital-first Super-Sons series which just started) is focused on the father-and-son dynamic of Bruce and his son. Damian may be estranged from the Bat-family, but he has no problem teaming up with Bruce to save the rest of the family from Hush. While father and son still disagree on the level of violence to use, it’s clear there’s still a strong bond there. The rest of the Bat-family barely appears in this issue, spending most of it unconscious in a chloroform haze, so the focus is firmly on Bruce and Damian as they go up against a twisted lunatic with ties to Bruce’s past. And what stands out about this issue is that this may be the sickest Hush we’ve ever seen in a Bat-book.
Tommy Elliott has always been a tricky Bat-villain, with few writers able to agree on just how far he’s willing to go to take over Bruce’s life. The reveal by Damian two issues ago that Hush had been plotting to kill Bruce before there was even a Batman adds some new layers to this conflict, and the final fight between them this issue is particularly brutal. But while Hush will never be one of my favorite Bat-foes, he makes a strong foil this issue. Hanging over the entire conflict is Alfred’s death, and the conversation between Bruce and Damian this issue is one of the best we’ve gotten in terms of fallout. The ending, which has Bruce saying goodbye to Wayne Manor and Christopher Nanako winning the Mayoral race and setting into motion a harsher climate for Batman has strong potential for the next run. But who was the Mirror? Was it another alias for Hush, or someone else lurking in the background? I hope these subplots are picked up on by Mariko Tamaki, because Tomasi has set up many interesting things here.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.