Review: Detective Comics #1071

“Gotham Nocturne: Act Two – Lost Sands” and “Absolute” – Part Three
Writers: Ram V and Simon Spurrier
Artists: Stefano Raffaele, Ivan Reis, Eduardo Pansica and Caspar Wijngaard
Color Artists: Brad Anderson and Adriano Lucas 
Letterers: Ariana Maher and Steve Wands
Review by James Attias

Detective Comics #1071 had me worried when I first started reading it. Was this going to be another flashback, when will we actually see what is happening in Gotham?

Then I kept reading…. and then read some more. I couldn’t put it down!

Absolute Savage!

Dear readers of this review, please read the next paragraph as if it were a speedy rant from an excited child, with no pauses for breath, no coherent storytelling, just excitement. With NO punctuation.

*Clears throat*

The issue started cool with Nightwing and Batman and Batgirl and they divided up and then Oracle asked Batman what did Talia say to him and he started to have a flashback and I was really annoyed because we have so many flashbacks in this current story and we see Batman talking to Talia and then she tells him a story so it’s a flashback in a flashback so I was getting really annoyed but then the story she tells him starts and it was really confusing and then all of a sudden it gets really cool and they start mentioning loads of cool things from DC comics lore and if you’re a real nerd you’ll pick up on them and they two really cool characters come into it and they have really cool things with them and then and then and then… it was really awesome!

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, I felt the only way I could explain how the issue made me feel was to tell it the way I felt it. Now for a more sophisticated review, with lots of punctuation.

Our story this week, as my childish self mentions above, was a story; in a flashback; in a story. That’s Christopher Nolan-level storytelling. Speaking of Saint Christopher, this story has a few familiar elements from The Dark Knight Rises. Criminals and an army gather underground, Batman’s forced to track through sewer tunnels, and then a larger impending threat comes for Gotham that we can’t quite understand. I’m really looking forward to the payoff here and truly hope that it lives up to the build-up.

Beautifully Told

As well as getting a story very well told in this issue, it was wonderfully drawn as well. The art from several heavy-hitting artists really helped the tale flow. From present-day heroes to ancient villains, having more than one artist really did help differentiate the stories that were taking place.

This issue did have me worried when I started it, as it has felt like most of this ongoing story has been a thousand years in the past. I understand that it’s important to establish these characters but I believe that we have to have a bit more in the present. I hope after this fantastic flashback issue we’ll now be able to return to the now on a high and keep on riding it!

Absolute-ly Mad

The backup story really grated on me. I love Mr. Freeze as a character, as I think he is both interesting, terrifying, and tragic. This story didn’t tick my boxes for those elements. We’re still following the exploits of Harvey Dent’s former psychiatrist for some reason and she seems to be plagued by the same thing that we are; the continuously bad backup stories by Simon Spurrier.

I’ve tried to be polite. I’ve tried to always talk about the good bits., but I’m finally speaking my truth. I haven’t really been enjoying them and would love something that added to the story in an understandable and interesting way. There I said it… now let me face the consequences. (Although I know that other DKN writers have enjoyed them, it’s all just down to personal tastes, after all).

Conclusion

This issue had it all, a great main story, with twists and turns that would make any nerd feel like a kid again. Followed by a backup story that would make any nerd feel confused and annoyed. Detective Comics #1071 is a polarizing mistress, read it and judge for yourselves!

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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