Review – Batman: The Detective #5: Equilibrium Reached

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Batman: The Detective #5 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: The Detective #5 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Andy Kubert, Penciller; Sandra Hope, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: This series has had one of the most intriguing mysteries in Batman’s recent history—why would someone want to kill everyone who Batman has ever saved? The new villain, Equilibrium, is a woman who dresses in a color-swapped version of Batman’s costume and hunts his past victories—but why? We finally get the answer this issue, but only after one of the best action sequences Taylor has ever written. As the issue opens, Batman and his network successfully track Equilibrium to a gala and launch a crazy chase sequence as Batman rips through EU borders. While most future Batmen seem more isolated than ever, this aged Bruce Wayne seems like he’s actually more effective than he’s ever been. Half of Europe’s law enforcement answers him and he has a network spinning out across the world. And when he finally confronts Equilibrium, it’s a brutal fight unlike anything else in this series.

The race to save Europe. Via DC Comics.

But the reveal of Equilibrium’s identity and motivation are one of the trickier things to pull off. She’s overtly one of the most monstrous villains Batman has ever faced, hunting innocent civilians. The reveal that she’s a former assassin trained by Henri Ducard makes a lot of sense, and also makes her a pretty direct parallel to other anti-Batmen. Her motivation… well, it makes sense. It’s an interesting exploration of how someone can have a genuine tragedy in their past, and still let it twist them in a way that makes them monstrous with no real chance of redemption. I feel like she’s appeared so little on screen that it’s hard to connect with her, and with only one issue to go I find it hard to sympathize after what she’s done. But watching this aged Batman and the young and dynamic Squire battle for survival makes this a compelling alternative Batman and another win in Taylor’s column.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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