Review: Detective Comics #1074

“Gotham Nocturne: Act Two – Out Of Hell – Part One” and “The Hole In The Skull Of The World”
Writers: Ram V and Dan Watters
Artists: Dustin Nguyen and Hayden Sherman
Color Artists: Triona Farrell
Letterers: Ariana Maher and Steve Wands
Review by James Attias

Detective Comics #1074 is the follow-up to an issue that it feels like we read a lifetime ago. Do you remember how we got here?

A Wraith

Bad timing all around. The last two Detective Comics issues that we read were Knight Terrors chapters, which means that Detective Comics #1073 came out 3 months ago. It also ended on a cliffhanger. This was truly inopportune timing for this story, particularly if you jump over to the main Batman title, where “The Gotham War” is in full effect. So, when exactly is this story now taking place? DC really does need to sort out its connected books. I read them all religiously and even I’m starting to struggle. Anywho, rant over. Let’s talk about this book.

We start with the Police interviewing some criminals who claim to be innocent of Arson, and property destruction. Who did it then? They claim it was Batman, but that can’t be right (and I’m not talking about continuity errors). Batman isn’t himself. I won’t spoil anything but it appears the events of the last issue didn’t go the way we’d hoped. This is a nightmare-like issue that takes us on a journey with a Dark Knight who’s struggling to keep his mind from fracturing.

Bat-Mess

The writing in this issue is all over the place, in my humble opinion. Ram V feels like he’s writing the story in part for an audience that should know everything that’s happened in Batman comics over the last decade, no matter how minute. Alternatively, it also feels like this book is written for the cultists who happen to be reading comics and enjoy dropping acid on the daily.

Is it too much to ask for a Detective Comics issue where our hero uses his detective skills to solve a mystery that leads to something bigger? Not Batman vs. supernatural monsters and mind possession, or villains that have seemingly been pulling the strings in Arkham for a millennium? It just feels like too much and suspension of disbelief is being tested severely. It’s worth noting here that also I review books about a guy who’s green and can shapeshift into a giant gorilla when he feels like it.

The art in this issue was fine, although I doubt that it would win any awards or be printed onto t-shirts, it still did the job. So, no complaints on that side of things from me. I’m just struggling with where this story is going, when it takes place, and most importantly, when will it be over.

The Hole In The Skull Of The World

Maybe the backup story will be normal? A quirky about Harvey Bullock, perhaps, or Renee Montoya? Nope. We’re back on the Acid with the Ten-Eyed Man talking absolute nonsense. Remember the Arkham City game? I loved it. Remember the Arkham City: Order of The World comic run from like a year ago? No? You’re the lucky one. This character and that story… *sigh* When did they become mainstays in the modern Batman universe?

I just want a superhero comic that focuses on things like bad guys, good guys, and dilemmas of morality. You know…  The good stuff. When did they stop being printed? This backup story was a struggle. I must, however, give props to the artist for making it look completely mad (in a good way).

Conclusion

Detective Comics #1074 is part of a bigger story that I’m eager to see the end of. I’m giving this issue 4 out of 10, and every single bit of those 4 stars goes to the artists. The writers should really think about what fans want to read.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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