Review: Detective Comics #1081

Gotham Nocturne: Act Three – “An Elegy of Sand” – Part One, and “Gotham Forget Me Not” – Part One, and “His Name Was Dr. Hurt” – Part One
Writers: Ram V and Dan Watters
Artists: Riccardo Federici, Stefano Raffaele and Hayden Sherman
Color Artists: Lee Loughridge and Triona Farrell
Letterers: Evan Cagle and Steve Wands
Review by James Attias

Detective Comics #1081 takes us on a journey to bring the Dark Knight back from the abyss. With all the chaos in his soul, is it too late, or will he be able to rise from the ashes?

Let’s find out…

Sand and Deliver

As we saw at the end of the last issue, Bruce Wayne’s unconscious body has now been entrusted to Talia Al Ghul. The reason being, that he almost (maybe just a little) died. His mind had been possessed by an Azmer, which had been eating his memories. Lastly, his city is being ruled by a brainwashing, murderous ancient family. So, all in all not Batman’s idea of a weekend at the beach. This issue takes us through the desert where Talia says she can and will save him.

This story delivers a few shocking reveals, but I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll keep this brief. The creative team’s perfectly suited to the style of the story. It’s a trippy nightmarish dreamscape, where we can’t exactly tell what’s real and what’s symbolic or a hallucination. All we do know is that Bruce’s mind is in a mixture of pain, trippy tea, and monsters.

Throughout this story, there are brief interludes about the ongoing quest of Renee Montoya’s search for who murdered one of her loyal cops. This was a strange chapter, as I felt like the way it interrupted the main story just gave this issue a very unsettling feel. However, I think this is what I think they were going for…. so they nailed it!

His Name Was Dr. Hurt

Dr. Simon Hurt is a notorious villain who was made famous by the Grant Morrison “Batman RIP” run. Now, it seems that he’s returned. This backup story was fantastic, a perfect summary of just how despicable this villainous rogue is. The main story of this book gave us a messed up journey, but this backup story was like having a limb cut off with no anesthetic. I cannot wait to see how this character’s going to fit into the narrative going forward. It really is Grant Morrison season for Batman!


Detective Comics #1081 was a painful start to the year for Batman as he’s clawing his way back to life. Will one of his greatest foes help him, or is he just a part of the poison?

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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