Batman: Detective Comics #1065 – Ram V, Simon Spurrier, Writers; Rafael Albuquerque, Hayden Sherman, Writers; Dave Stewart, Nick Filardi, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Ram V has always taken a global approach to his comics, and that’s something that’s been sorely lacking in Batman comics. While Batman does have Batman Inc. abroad, that’s usually just changing the setting. In this arc, Batman is almost a background player in a story that casts Gotham as the battleground for an ancient war between the League of Assassins and the Orghams, a powerful clan of supernatural enemies that has roots in Gotham from centuries before the Waynes. As they make their moves, the assassins step up their attacks, and warrior brute Ubu makes a play against the Orghams that involves a potential terrorist attack. Right now the Orghams are still presumed innocent—but we know better.
It’s been a long time since Ubu was portrayed as a legitimate threat, so this brutal showdown in the water is very welcome. It’s also great to see Jim Gordon play a major role here, getting to be the hero as he settles into his new role as a private investigator. But the Orghams, with the help of Harvey Dent, are making their move in another way. Slowly, they’re buying up real estate in Gotham piece by piece—starting with Arkham Asylum. And when they finally show their true power, it’s a long time coming and nicely ups the stakes in this series in a terrifying way. For the first time in a while, Gotham is facing a threat that not only feels existential, but feels totally unpredictable and foreign to Batman.
The backup by Simon Spurrier brings Hayden Sherman on art this issue, for a tale focused on Two-Face—or rather Harvey Dent, as he embarks on a twisted journey of the mind. We know that he has been cured and unified his personalities with the help of a therapist, but we never really found out the how or why. This issue takes that battle very literally, as Harvey enters a surreal landscape and faces off against his other half—a hideously scarred and burned ghoul. Sherman’s been on some of the best indie books lately, and it’s not hard to see why his career is taking off at the moment.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.