Batman: Detective Comics #1077 – Ram V., Dan Watters, Writers; Jason Shawn Alexander, Caspar Wijngaard, Artists; Dave Stewart, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: The countdown to the execution of Batman is getting closer and closer, as the Orgham family’s rule over Gotham grows tighter. Batman is possessed and only halfway lucid as Arzen Orgham taunts him, but behind the scenes an alliance is forming to free him—led by his former lover, Catwoman. This is a getting-the-band-together issue, and we already saw the beginning of that a few weeks back as Catwoman recruited Commissioner Gordon. Some of the teammates, like Selina’s former partner Eiko Hasigawa, her former sidekick Shoes (who is taking a break from her time-traveling adventures in Green Arrow), and Cassandra Cain, are natural fits. Others… are less so.
The addition of Cheshire, the infamous assassin and Lian’s mother, is a bit of a surprise but not a huge one. The addition of Mister Freeze, who makes clear that he’s there on his own terms for his own purposes, causes much more conflict. Ram V’s Freeze continues to be one of the more chilling recent versions of the character. As Selina rounds out this ragtag team with the unstable Azrael, she pays a visit to the mostly-gone Batman to remind herself of why she’s doing this. It’s a great issue with lots of compelling character moments, bookended by the Orghams making very chilling villains who have a much larger gameplay and are playing this much smarter than any rogues we’ve seen in a long time.
The backup by Watters and Wijngaard may be the best part of this issue, and that’s saying something. This spotlight for Lian and Cheshire finds the girl seeking out her estranged mother for help in rescuing Batman, which turns into a family therapy session of the most awkward kind as the girl unloads a decade of pain on her mother and gets an unexpected response. Lian’s long been a favorite character of mine, but in terms of scene-stealers, I have to give a special note to Solomon Grundy’s hilarious reactions to everything around him.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.