Comic Review: Detective Comics #943 (DC Comics)

“This is a message to the greatest villain in a city that has known many villains. This is a message to Batman…” The new arc The Victim Syndicate kicks off […]

“This is a message to the greatest villain in a city that has known many villains. This is a message to Batman…”

The new arc The Victim Syndicate kicks off here in this issue of Detective Comics!

The comic starts off with an incident report from Lucius Fox and another person who was on the scene of a crime that happened at Wayne Enterprises. Batwoman and Renee Montoya investigate at the crime scene to discover the identity of their new foes who pose a threat to Gotham. As mentioned in the prior arc, the Bat family are still reeling from their supposed loss of Tim aka Red Robin ( read Detective Comics issue 940 to see what really happened).

This is a steady beginning for Tynion and Co’s newest arc in their current run of Detective Comics and it’s continuing to amp up with new threats that challenge the Bat Family and readers in an interesting way. The new foes known as the Victim Syndicate are very intriguing as new villains for the Bat Family. Although it’s not entirely revealed as to what their abilities are per say, it is displayed minimally in this issue. But what one can tell, they’re gonna put the Bat family through hell which is certain. Their origin remains a mystery, but it’s obvious that Batman may or may not have factored in their origin. This issue is paced well, the relationships are written convincingly well and every member of the team in this book is written with distinct personality despite their illustrated aesthetic.

I like that Tynion IV addresses the Night of the Monster Men as an event that happened last month within the current arc of this book. I also like where Harper Row has been placed within the Bat Family and Gotham City. She’s given a more boots to the ground role, and her conversation with Stephanie Brown (aka Spoiler) is written well. Also, this book really does a good job at balancing out the bar family, from Batman, Batwoman, Clayface, Harper Row, Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, even Luke Fox, Tynion continues to write a great balancing act. Although it’s no surprise since he’s done this before during his good run on Batman & Robin: Eternal, he still manages to continue the relationships that spun out from that stint. I really sympathize with Clayface and truly enjoy his character development from being a criminal to becoming a reformed person seeking redemption and acceptance. He tries so hard to fit in despite his condition, and its written magnificently in this issue. Clayface has unexpectedly become one of my personal favorite characters in this series. I only wonder how long he’ll remain as a protagonist before some powerful , traumatizing event (or god-like editor) reverts him back to his criminal ways should that ever happen that is.

The artwork by Alvaro Martinez is Cinematic in every panel and displays how grand everything is in scale. Each page and character are designed with a distinct feel. Martinez does a fantastic job at making regular conversations, discussions and arguments  look as cinematically important as the action that is displayed in little bursts. He really draws the characters in a way that characterize their gesture/personality (ie: Basil Karlo /Clayface when trying to fit in amongst a human crowd or alongside his younger companions). The inks by Fernandez go hand and hand with Martinez’s pencils which enhance the penciled art instead of derailing from it, helping the reader solidify their investment in the figures that move across each panel. Everyone on this issue did a complimentary job , which continues to stroke my interest in the next issue. If there is a bat-title /bat family title that is a definite read, it’s definitely worth mentioning and worth reading this series.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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