Since the start of Rebirth, Detective Comics has been on a roll, putting out two good issues in June. As we enter July and reach the middle of the first arc, can the good times keep rolling?
Detective Comics #936 (DC Comics)
In the last issue of Detective Comics, my biggest problem was that there wasn’t much going on with the story; it was more about building up the characters than anything else (which didn’t equate to a bad thing, mind you). This time around, we get a bit more story in the sense that we learn who the bad guys are and what they are up to. I’m of two minds on this reveal: on one hand, I’m happy that we aren’t dragging out the secret identity of the villain and just getting to the point — the former would get a bit tiresome and given what we learn about who the villain is, we get to deal with the fallout and how this effects a character right away. Also, I must admit, I was not expecting this twist at all. But then on the other hand, I think we could have maybe spent a bit more time with the characters training before this point. That and the reveal of the bad guy… doesn’t really work too well given the character and their history. It really feels like a stretch and it’s kind of hard to buy into.
James Tynion IV’s writing is decent, but not as good as before. Outside of Batwoman and the bad guy, no one really got much of a chance to shine here or had much development. Clayface in particular stands out as really not getting much growth and feeling underutilized. The dialogue is decent and there are some good exchanges, like the opening between Kate and Renee, but other times it sounds rather clunky or overly expositional (especially during the twist). However, the pacing and storytelling remain competent and nothing ever feels slow or moves too quickly at any point.
Eddy Barrows is off art duty for the meantime and in his place we have Alvaro Martinez of Batman Eternal and Ultimate Comics: X-Men fame. While he doesn’t bring the incredible levels of detail that Barrows does, he’s still a worthy fill-in artist. Martinez is very good at drawing the characters/getting their looks down right and having them express the right emotion in each scene. He’s also good with composition and putting together layouts that convey the story and mood well. There wasn’t much action in the comic and what little there was seemed rather static looking, though it’s hard to tell. Brad Anderson also jumps in on coloring duties and while also different from Adriano Lucas, he does a solid job at capturing the mood and energy of the comic. It’s a good fill-in team overall and I wouldn’t mind them sticking around until the original team gets back.
Is It Good?
Detective Comics #936 was not as good as the two previous issues, but still enjoyable to read regardless. While its twist is interesting, there are also some problems to it as well, especially for longtime fans. The writing is fine and while boasting a different art team than the previous two, the fill-ins still do a fantastic job at bringing the book to life. Hopefully, the next issue gets things back on track and back to the previous level of quality.