Review: Detective Comics #1076

Gotham Nocturne: Intermezzo – “Batman, Outlaw”, The Question in “The Scream”, Azrael in “The Sword of Batman” and “The Summoner’s Lament”
Writers: Ram V and Dan Watters
Artists: Jason Shawn Alexander, Christopher Mitten, Ram V and Liam Sharp
Color Artists: Dave Stewart, Trionna Farrell
Letterers: Ariana Maher, Steve Wands and Aditya Bidikar
Review by James Attias

Detective Comics #1076 is an oversized issue full of stories that will have you quivering in fear and scratching your head wondering just what ‘s going on?!

The Dark Knight’s Ex Rises

I’ve been a bit hard on this title over the last few reviews. I have to admit, that it’s down to a mixture of me being a grumpy old nerd, and not vibing with the direction the book is going in. So, I’ve turned over a new leaf, I’m looking at this book with fresh perspective. If this wasn’t a main Earth canon title, and it was an Elseworlds Gargoyle of Gotham-esque book, would I be judging it as harshly?

So, here goes…

This issue was different to many of its predecessors. For starters, we have 3 back up stories, which I did not see coming. Plus, new mystery has been added to the main story, as well as a fresh direction. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by what’s going on.

The Dark Knight’s been beaten… this doesn’t happen often, so we’ll react and compare it to times it where is has happened before, in mainstream media. I’m seeing a lot of similarities between this story and the Dark Knight Rises, hence my pun above.

Batman’s down, and is being held prisoner. His mind’s being eaten away from the inside, but an unknown, unnamed ally has somehow decided to tell, of all people, Catwoman about the Orgham’s sinister plan; to hang Batman in the town square. All of this may seem a little far fetched, but in a story with demons, caped crusaders and magic, who cares? This is a comic book, just enjoy the escape.

This starts off, like many of the issues that have come before, as quite a dark, demonic tale in both art and writing, but by the end we’re in an Ocean’s Eleven style montage with Selina Kyle leading the charge. This book has regained my attention and I’m finally interested in what’s coming next, again.

The Scream

In the first of 3 back up stories we’re thrown into a case with Police Commissioner Renee Montoya, who also moonlights as the masked vigilante The Question. This tale’s super dark and made me feel a little uncomfortable. It involves a psycho, a school, a baby, and screaming. I won’t give much away, but when I was reading it, it did make my skin crawl a tad.

The art wasn’t particularly to my taste, but that may have added to the experience as we got slightly off-kilter drawings in a slightly off-kilter story. It was a decent enough read, but it felt very out of place as the rest of the stories I’ll be talking about are all more connected to the main tale. This has only one tie, and that’s Montoya herself. Either way, it’s unsettling but interesting.

The Sword of Batman

In our next Azrael led story we’re thrown into a situation we didn’t really know was happening. So, since Jean-Paul and father Valley have settled their difference, it appears now that they’re now roommates and they have also taken in Vengeance, the clone-daughter of Bane, who’s trying to kick the Venom she was born addicted to.

That’s right, you just read all of those things correctly. Like, this is mad even for me. All in all, we get a completely wild story with an ending that feels like it’s setting up something bigger. Keep your eyes peeled on this one folks, I know that there’s more to come.

The Summoner’s Lament

In this our final short story, it’s a bit unclear who “The Summoner” is. He was giving me classic Thomas Wayne vibes for some reason, but I don’t think it’s him. This tale was both written and drawn by Ram V, who I have on occasion not praised. So to see a double whammy of his name on this story I can’t exactly say I jumped for joy. I was pleasantly surprised. Not much was given away, but I feel it will have a larger pay off in issues to come.

Conclusion

Detective Comics #1076 felt different, which is a good thing. I was starting to be more enraged than entertained by this book, so a new direction and a few weird back up stories have brought me back in. Moving forward, I’ll be reading this book as if it were an Elseworlds saga, just to enjoy the mad directions it takes us in. I suggest you do the same.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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