Review: Detective Comics #950

Detective Comics #950 is a special, “Oversized” edition, which has three stories.

“League of Shadows Prologue: Shadow of Tears”
Writer: James Tynion, IV
Artist: Marcio Takara

Detective Comics #950 gives us a peek into the reserved world of Cassandra Cain aka Orphan. Most of her life, she has learned to communicate through torturing her prey. This oversized special edition allows us to see the world though Cassandra’s eyes, while also foreshadow the arrival of the League of Shadows to Gotham.

“Higher Powers”
Writer: James Tynion, IV
Artist: Alvaro Martinez

We are also treated to two backstories. The first gives us insight into the methodology of Azrael. He spars with Batwing, then explains his “higher calling.”

“The Big Picture”
Writer: James Tynion, IV
Artist: Eddy Barrows

The final story recounts Red Robin’s last conversation with Batman before the team’s encounter with The Colony.

First off, Kudos to James Tynion IV for giving us not one, not two, but three very complex stories that provoked our interests. Without spoiling too much, I was quite impressed with the way Tynion captured the sights and sounds of a principal ballet dancer. It makes me wonder if Misty Copeland was his inspiration for the opening. Then to show the parallels of dance and Cassandra’s own art of pain. While reading, I kept hearing Alfred Molina in my head. Molina played Ares in the 2009 animated film Wonder Woman. In the opening scene, Ares compares his son Deimos to a virtuoso. Tynion paints Cassandra Cain as a skilled expert in two crafts.

The two backstories were entertaining and enlightening, but only served as revelations for upcoming story lines. I’m not complaining. Both are fine reads.

While I consider myself a fan of Eddy Barrows, I did like the art from Alvero Martinez and Marcio Takara. Takara did a great job of showing Cassandra Cain’s fine line that she walks to temper her emotions. Martinez submitted a satisfactory exhibit showcasing Azrael. Barrows IS Detective Comics. From the accents he puts in Batman’s cape, to the nuances he adds in his panel work, Seeing Barrows’ art with Tynion’s words are what drew me to Detective in the first place.

This oversized special did a fine job of letting readers know what’s happening in the coming weeks, but it was also very engaging. If I were rating the lead story alone, I would give it a perfect score. This does not diminish that the overall issue is worth the $3.99.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

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