Batman: Detective Comics #1056 – Mariko Tamaki, Matthew Rosenberg, Writers; Amancay Nahuelpan, Fernando Blanco, Artists; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: We’re ten chapters into the twelve-chapter Shadows of the Bat, and this is where things really all come together into a chaotic final battle. With Arkham Tower fallen and the Scarecrow revealed as the mastermind, the Bat-family battles to survive inside and outside. Nightwing, Huntress, and Spoiler are all trapped inside the tower along with allies like Chase Meridian, but they’re not alone. This issue finally reveals what’s going on with the fake Harley who has been on the periphery of the story, and it’s a twist that’s perfectly fitting Harley’s usual insanity. But the secret star of this issue might be Nanako’s wife Koyuki, who was on board as a patient and may be the only person Psycho-Pirate trusts.
With Wear dead and the inmates in control, the urgency is higher than ever, and this issue delivers in a-level action. A particularly tense segment of several pages as one Bat is falling to his death and one surprising guest-star after another enters the story is a master class in building momentum, and the return of Batman at the end may have been teased in solicits but still delivers. Sometimes this main story has seemed like it was treading water a bit, parceling out reveals very deliberately, but these last few chapters have delivered in every way. With only two chapters to go, it seems likely that this will go down as the crowning achievement of Tamaki’s surprisingly long tenure on this title.
The Rosenberg/Blanco backup, House of Wayne, also goes down as maybe Rosenberg’s best work at DC. The story of an unfortunate young man who found himself in the middle of one Bat-related misfortune after another now takes him to No Man’s Land, where he’s coup’d his former gang boss and put a new order into place. His status as a Robin Hood-like gang leader brings him into conflict with Batman and Huntress, which leads to a brilliant confrontation in the sewers as he—at least partially correctly—calls Batman out on hypocrisy and dares him to stop him. Very curious to see what the final chapters are like and how they dovetail with the main story.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.