Batman: The Detective #3 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Andy Kubert, Penciller; Sandra Hope, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: With only six issues, you wouldn’t expect this series to take a break from the main narrative, but that’s exactly what Tom Taylor has in store for us. Last issue reunited Batman with his old mentor and rival Henri Ducard—who then nearly died in a hail of bullets in the cliffhanger. Batman races him to safety and gets him in the hands of people who might be able to save his life, and then we flash back to the beginning of their odd friendship in a flashback that takes almost the entire issue. But Taylor also gives us a look at Bruce at a point when we rarely see him—still in his teens, just beginning his Batman training. As he tries to track Ducard, the world’s greatest tracker, he winds up stumbling into a conflict with a notorious assassin—a rookie mistake today’s Batman would never make. When Ducard saves his life, he’s actually impressed by the teen vigilante’s stupidity and guile.
While Taylor’s writing for DC has been pretty dark, he’s actually one of the funniest writers in the industry—just read his All-New Wolverine run and particularly the Deadpool team-up issue. So it’s not a surprise some of that banter works its way in here. Bruce may be a little too enthusiastic for Ducard, who has the world-weariness of an old assassin. But things get serious quickly when Bruce discovers that Ducard doesn’t just track his enemies—he has no problem taking them out permanently. Death has always been a deal-breaker for Bruce, and it’s been the source of conflict between them ever since. But while the two have been estranged for some time, it’s clear this is one of the formative bonds for this version of Batman—which makes the twist at the end of the issue all the more shocking. I can’t wait to see how Taylor surprises us in the final half of this miniseries.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.