Review: Detective Comics #968

“A Lonely Place Of Living,” Part Four – Conclusion

Writer: James Tynion IV

Artists: Álvaro Martínez, Raúl Fernández, Tomeu Morey, and Sal Cipriano

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I LOVE this title. James Tynion IV and his army of amazing artists produce magic every two weeks. The final chapter of “A Lonely Place Of Living” in Detective Comics #968 is no exception.

Minor spoilers follow.

In this story we see Tim Drake battling Bruce Wayne, Kate Kane, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and… Tim Drake. If you haven’t been reading this book (or my regular fanboy reviews) this sentence may confuse you. Long story short: The good news is that Red Robin is alive, and has returned to Gotham. The bad news is that he’s brought a possible future version of himself with him, who is now Batman.

Get it? Got it? Good.

I’ve always loved possible futures, alternate timelines. parallel universes and Elseworld tales. Over in Batman Beyond the great team of Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang gave us two terrific years where Tim Drake took over the mantle of The Bat from Terry McGinnis. This Batman was vulnerable, human, but ultimately a true hero. James Tynion’s future Tim is an altogether different animal.

He is tortured, he is angry, and he is supremely capable. The fact that he’s able to stop Bruce’s Batman in his tracks with just words show this. This version of Tim Drake’s Batman Of The Future scares me. What is Damian going to do to poor Jon?!?

Dark Days Are Coming

The way this book is written we feel the love that the writer has for every single character. The pure emotion we feel from both versions of Tim Drake is real and raw. The bulk of the story is pure high-octane action; rogue vehicles, fisticuffs and a barrage of Batplanes abound. In the end, though, the battle is won through brain-power. This is Batman – and Red Robin’s – greatest weapon. This is why I’ve always loved Tim Drake.

Detective Comics #968 also has a couple of incredible weapons in its arsenal, the Dynamic Duo of Álvaro Martínez and Raül Fernandez. I think the best word I can use to describe their work this issue is “WOW!” Kung-Fu, explosions, boots to faces – that’s gonna leave a mark, Kate – demonic super computers and more spandex than three seasons of “Fame”. Álvaro’s intricate details combined with Raül’s moody textured inks is my idea of heaven.

Add to this the phenomenal color art provided by Tomeu Morey. The way he lights a scene, or works with the darkness provided by Mr. Martínez and Mr. Fernandez on Ulysses Armstrong’s pages is lovely. His depiction of Bat-Tim’s time phasing is another great example, amongst many.

The chocolate sauce on this delightful dish is provided by the crisp, clear letters of scribbleographer supreme, legend amongst letterers, Mr. Sal Cipriano. From a tiny “Buh-Beep” to huge “VROOOOMs” and “THOOM THOOMs” his great work helps to expand the action immensely. Thanks, Sal.

Cover To Cover

Special mention must also be made to Eddy Barrows’ cover for Detective Comics #968. His tributes to Tim Drake’s origin story, “A Lonely Place Of Dying” have all been beautiful. This issue’s homage to George Perez’ Batman #442 is totally today, and a great homage piece too. Fantastic work.

James Tynion IV has received a lot of respect for this arc from the fans, and rightly so. As a thank you he posted the cover for the next issue of Detective Comics on his Twitter feed, and had this to say too.

Detective Comics #968 is the emotional conclusion to A Lonely Place Of Living… Which may be my favorite arc on the title yet. Álvaro Martínez, Raül Fernandez Tomeu Morey and Sal Cipriano delivered each moment in the issue masterfully.

It’s no secret that Tim Drake is my favorite character in the DC Universe, and in this, I wanted to tell a story that cut RIGHT to his heart and soul, and laid it bare to the world. Everything in Detective Comics over the next six months starts HERE in this issue.

I still can’t believe they’re paying me real money to write all of this Tim Drake fan fiction… And the ending of this story, it’s going to open the door directly to the ominously titled “Fall Of The Batmen. So get ready. There will be feelings. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Conclusion

Man, am I excited or what?!? The title alone is deep, and a clever reversal of the name of the arc that began James Tynion’s DC Rebirth era of Detective Comics, “The Rise Of The Batmen.” The new story begins in two (frustrating) weeks time. While I’m waiting, I think I’ll read issue #968 again, because as comics go, this one’s another:

Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment



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Steve J Ray

A family man, amateur chef and Bat-Fan Extraordinaire. Animal lover and fan of all things comic-book and sci-fi related. His wife thinks that he owns too many books, he thinks that this is an oxymoron.