Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Nicola Scott
Color Artist: Trish Mulvihill
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Review by Steve J. Ray
After the “Joker War” and 1000 issues of the Bat celebrations, things are finally back to normal in Gotham City… which means we see corrupt officials, good cops wanting payback, and people after the Dark Knight’s blood. Yeah, with Detective Comics #1028 we clearly see that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Batman’s in trouble with the law… again.
In this issue Peter J. Tomasi cleverly delivers what, at first, appears to be a one and done standalone tale, to help us get over the carnage we’ve witnessed over the last few months. Appearances, however, can be very deceiving. This issue delivers tropes of revenge, bad cops, good cops, Batman facing a threat from both sides of the law, and the first step towards a possible new hierarchy in Gotham City. I love the way that the writing in this series can feel totally classic – I’m talking O’Neil / Englehart here – yet can also completely set the stage for the future at the same time.
Man, it’s been way too long since I saw Nicola Scott’s art inside a comic. Don’t get me wrong, she draws some of the finest covers out there, but it’s easy to forget what a great storyteller she is, and how terrific her layouts, draftsmanship, and action scenes can be. Pages 5 and 16 are simply going to blow your mind! Nicola’s lines are clean, and her faces so distinct, and expressive. I really hope she hangs around on this book for a while, because her version of Batman is classic too. I’m talking Marshall Rogers / Jim Aparo here.
Then we get the subtle, yet gorgeous color palette of Trish Mulvihill, another artist that I’m a huge fan of. Her clever use of color on page 8 show us that this spectral killer isn’t what he at first appears to be. Then add her moonlight, cemeteries and night skies, all adding up to atmosphere you can feel, and not just see. Add to all that Rob Leigh’s masterful lettering. The whispers at the funeral, sharpening blades, and gunfire, all elevating the tension to terrifying levels. I’m talking Stephen King / John Carpenter here.
Detective Comics #1028 is the perfect calm before the storm issue. Have I read stories like this before? Yes, of course I have, and I no doubt will again. In this day and age very little is brand new, but getting those classic feelings from a comic, while it’s setting up a potentially trying future for our favorite caped crusader can’t be easy.
Yeah, this issue is the perfect mix of vintage and new: I’m talking Batman in Detective Comics here.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment