“Gotham Nocturne: Act Two – Condemned” and “Things That Must Die” – Part Two
Writers: Ram V and Dan Watters
Artists: Stefano Raffaele, Ivan Reis, and Goran Sudžuka
Color Artists: Brad Anderson and Lee Loughridge
Letterers: Ariana Maher and Steve Wands
Review by James Attias
Detective Comics #1073 delivers an explosive ending that’s really only the beginning.
Orgham Tower has exploded… I think. The Bat family’s on chaos clean up and civilian saving duties, with casualties all around. Batman’s been battling Arzen under Gotham for a good while and after defeating an army of ghouls, the Bat’s in bad shape.
As I mentioned before, this feels like a climactic ending to a story. Remember in The Dark Knight Rises, when Batman first faces off against Bane? Only to be beaten, broken, and dumped in the pit? Those are the vibes I’m getting from this issue. Our hero has fought an army underground, leading to the big bad, who’s wearing a mask that will definitely impede speech, only to lose due to some unforeseen element. I mean… is this lazy writing or a clever homage?
I’ve never been shy about saying this story can go from 0-100 depending on the issue, with some being no action, all dialogue, and some being fight after fight. This chapter seems to have finally found a good balance of action and exposition, with the Orgham’s plan looking to have finally been revealed. I won’t give anything away but it feels like this one may creep into other Batman/Gotham books going forward. Keep an EYE on this one my fellow nerds.
All Part of The Plan
How would you save Gotham? Yes, you… the reader of my review? If you had the omnipotent powers of Doctor Manhattan or access to the speed force like Barry Allen, how would you save the world’s most dysfunctional and chaotic city? A lot of the time in comics, most people’s first idea is “burn it to ashes and build anew.” Well… we’re back to another issue of Lazy or Homage!
There are a lot of threads going on in this story at the moment. From the start, it’s been written like a piece of classical music, with preludes and overtures, etc. So I can only hope that at some point during a wonderful crescendo all of these threads (notes) will come together to make a wonderful harmony that has me saying, it was all part of the plan from the start.
With a flux of artists and one constant writer, the book does pull you in a few directions. I’m hoping for a bit of a payoff and a bit of art consistency going forward. This is a title that’s been going since 1937, with Batman being the main star since 1939. It’s at least the second most important title in the history of comics, so which artist wouldn’t want to be on this every issue. Show some respect, damn it!
Things That Must Die 2: Die Harder
We’re back to the dysfunctional traumatic childhood of our main antagonist. Well, this time around the story is pretty cut, and dried. We see him snap and begin his journey to becoming the villain who is currently fighting Batman in a fiery tunnel under Gotham. This story shows us he’s older than he looks, he’s surrounded by followers who will obey him and his royal blood, and his mother’s an absolute demon. Last but not least, he’s crazy and will do anything to have his revenge.
I’m more intrigued by this character’s history in the backup story (tongue twister) than I am by his current; defeat Bat, destroy Gotham vibe, from the main tale. I’m hoping the two converge and we get to enjoy past meets present. Batman hints at that in the main story, so let’s hope they follow through.
Detective Comics #1073 was a solid issue in a quite long and drawn-out story. I’m hoping this is a turning point for this tale and we have more of the same going forward.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment