Batman: Detective Comics #1060 – Mariko Tamaki/Nadia Shammas, Sina Grace, Writers; Ivan Reis/Danny Miki, David Lapham, Artists; Brad Anderson, Trish Mulvihill, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: A new Riddler mystery has begun in the final arc of Mariko Tamaki’s run (now with a co-writer). The villain has taken over the radio waves, running a popular show with cryptic and threatening messages. At the same time, mysterious crimes start happening around Gotham—targeting prominent citizens at the hands of random criminals—who always seem to surrender, plead guilty, or even try to kill themselves when caught. One of these cases targets a powerful judge named Caroline—the daughter of Deb Donovan. Whether it’s to investigate her or just out of general interest, Bruce winds up asking Caroline out on a date to try to figure out more about her—and it becomes a pretty interesting conversation about criminal justice.
But of course, as we already know from last issue’s cliffhanger, Caroline is in league with Riddler—or is one of the people getting blackmailed. After the date, this issue takes on the tone of a tense spy thriller as Batman tries to stay one step ahead of Nygma. It’s revealed that the people Nygma is targeting—both the victims and the criminals who stage the attacks—might be people who have gotten away with horrible things in the past. Could Riddler be becoming some sort of twisted vigilante going after the ones the justice system let get away? It’s an interesting turn for him, although he only appears briefly so it’s hard to judge his motivation so far. Overall, it’s a strong use of the character as he constantly keeps us guessing.
The Gotham Girl backup is also excellent, even if it relies pretty heavily on a rather odd plot device. Claire’s closest friend—a former Arkham compatriot turned fellow student—is dead, seemingly by suicide. His death seems to be tied to the “Gotham Girl” website, a gossip site that seems obviously inspired by Gossip Girl. As Claire turns out to be suspect #1, she’s bailed out by Chase Meridian and begins an investigation of her own. The problem is, there’s a constant sense of ambiguity around Claire and her narrative. Is she an ordinary girl with powers trying to have a normal life, or is she creative a narrative that suits her delusions and endangering innocent people? I’m not sure yet, but I want more from this creative team.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.