Comic Review: Detective Comics #950 (DC Comics)

“ Violence is louder than art, and often necessary “ Much like the prior arc Batwoman Begins, this issue centers on the supporting cast of characters, most notably Cassandra Cain […]

“ Violence is louder than art, and often necessary “

Much like the prior arc Batwoman Begins, this issue centers on the supporting cast of characters, most notably Cassandra Cain aka Orphan,

Azrael and Batman. Three stories center on a crisis of identity, a crisis of faith and the fear of what is to come. Each story is a precursor of what is to come in the upcoming  League of Shadows arc, and the Darker Days that lie ahead.

The first prolog story  “Shadow of a Tear” is illustrated by Marcio Takara , colored by Dean White and lettered by Marilyn Patrizio. The intro centers on Orphan, taking curiosity with a ballerina, she watches her practice every day, using her body as an art instead of a weapon. Seeing this Orphan ponders her life choices and desires to be more than the assassin she was birthed to be. She wishes to be more, will she find what she seeks? And who in the shadows is watching her and what do they intend for her?

“ High Powers” is illustrated by Alvaro Martinez, inked by Raul Fernandez, colored by Brad Anderson and lettered by Marilyn Patrizio. This tale centers on a training session between Azrael and Batwing. During their training session, Batwing questions Azrael’s abilities and where they stem from. It is a question of faith and science, but can they both reconcile their differences or will there difference dissolve the team?

“The Big Picture”  is illustrated by Burrows, inked by Ferreira, colored by Adriano Lucas, and lettered by Marilyn Patrizio. This story focuses on events that occurred months ago when Red Robin was still present and at Batman’s side.  As he is investigating a crime, Red Robin questions Batman and his methods, wondering what Batman is trying to prepare for. What exactly is the man with a plan really planning for? And what is it that will come back to haunt him and the bat family?

Tynion really knows how to write good character pieces (you can check out his run on Batman & Robin: Eternal, or the issues prior if ya want). Each character in these stories ranging from Orphan, Azrael, Batwing and Red Robin all have a distinct voice that really sets them apart from one another in a manner that isn’t often executed superbly by most authors. Orphans story is centered on the desire to find oneself ,and to have the ability to relate and connect, which is a touching tale about a kid trying to figure out who she is beyond being an arsenal of Batman, while also being more than the assassin that she was bred to be prior to joining Batman’s crusade. It’s a nice little story and continues to flesh out Orphans character. While it doesn’t break new ground, it’s the intimate focus on Orphan as a character that makes this story shine.

The “ Higher Powers” segment with Azrael and Batwing was another character centered tale, about the conflict of one’s belief and one’s choice. This story really fleshes out A real as a more distinct character than what he was written to be back In the 90s. There is a cool illustrated page that felt reminiscent to X-Men since the mudroom is basically a bat version of the Danger Room training facility. Seeing huge Batman mechs raining from the facility as these two protagonists learn to bond and respect their differences was neat. The story is pretty fine, nothing mindblowing, but still enjoyable to boot.  The stinger at the end makes for an interesting outcome when the following arcs develop.

The last tale foreshadows the looming threat on the horizon. It’s really short, it’s only four pages. Ed Burrows art is superb as always, and gives the story and pages a cinematic flair that dazzles with each panel that the eye is drawn to reading. While it is short, it does a good job at displaying the conversations that Red Robin and Batman had. Red Robin’s concern for Batman and questioning of why he handpicked the members of the team is sound. What kind of war is Batman trying to prepare for? And why (in his typical Batman style) is he not keeping the team in the loop? It’s great to see Red Robin being the detective (and in my opinion, the best robin of all time) catch Batman off guard with these questions.

The overall art, coloring, and lettering in this book all do an exemplary job at telling three different tales and plots that loosely narrow and tighten together by the end of this book. This title is the prime Batman book and Bat-family book. The title is more notable and more impactful than most of the other batman titles. Not that the other batman titles are bad, they’re fine, but it’s the general sense of direction that this series has that really lends this title a plethora of good story to follow.  It’s definitely worth a read, and a good title for the pull list.  

Anthony Andujar Jr.

About Anthony Andujar Jr.