Batman: Detective Comics #1036 – Mariko Tamaki, Writer; Dan Mora, Clayton Henry, Artists; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Mariko Tamaki seems interested in answering one of the great unanswered questions of Gotham—how many people die there without anyone noticing? The murder of Sarah Worth has gripped the city, due to a combination of media attention and the demands of her father. Mr. Worth, the hulking criminal businessman, has no problem bursting into the Mayor’s office and openly threatening him, which means all police focus is on this case. But at the same time, her killer is out there hunting random women to virtually no attention. And then there’s the question of why exactly Sarah Worth—or someone who looks like her—just showed up on Bruce Wayne’s street begging for his help.
It turns out to be Clayface—or someone with similar powers—and that leads to some tense situations when the police burst into Bruce’s home to investigate reports of him holding someone against their will just as he’s trying to get answers out of the clay being. The identity of this character shows Tamaki is definitely getting into some deep Bat-lore for this run, and the ensuing team-up with Huntress is strong—although Bruce is oddly more tolerant of her taste for lethal weapons than he usually is with his own kids. The ending has some interesting twists about the mystery as well.
The backup, with art by Clayton Henry, is pretty strong as well and keeps with the main themes. Huntress is on the trail of her friend’s murderer, and has zeroed in on her abusive boyfriend as the main suspect. What I like about this story is that it gives us a very up-close-and-personal look at how dangerous a single fight with a non-professional can be for a trained vigilante—especially in close quarters. This is a story about a small-scale tragedy that didn’t get the media’s attention, but it does a great job of paying tribute to the life lost.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.