And so we reach part 7 and the finale of James Tynion’s “Rise of the Batmen” story arc in Detective Comics #940. Things are looking grim for one character and their time may be running out. How will the Bat Family survive this situation?! Is it good?
Detective Comics #939 (DC Comics)
Major events go down in this issue. Be sure to check out our full preview. The official DC synopsis reads:
“Rise Of The Batmen” part 7! This epic concludes with a battle against the Colony that will change Batman’s world forever—and in a way you’d never expect! Whether they win or lose, they’ve already lost…
Writer James Tynion IV has crafted an impressive narrative in Detective Comics #940, with plenty of solid character moments (the decision to make a character a villain notwithstanding). Most notably, Batwoman gets some time to shine and is treated as an equal to Batman, while also fighting a villain close to home. It was great to see her back in action after she disappeared when her series ended. Tim Drake also gets a lot of respect in this issue with some strong characterization after some rather forgettable to mediocre stories as of late as well. The ending is also very powerful and effective, especially in the scene between Batman and Spoiler towards the end. It was a good story and I’m very glad to have read it, although I really wish the pacing was tightened up in the middle.
Damn it, why can’t you just call in the Justice League like before when you stopped Gotham?
The artwork is handled by Eddy Barrows with inking by Eber Ferreira and coloring by Adriano Lucas and they do some fantastic work here; very striking imagery and panels, especially towards the end when everything goes to crap in the story. The characters look great and are full of expression and striking body language. The layouts are excellent as well and I enjoy the way Tynion pulled back on the dialogue towards the end to let the visuals tell the story — which worked wonderfully and gave that second to last scene plenty of power and resonance. The only problem I noticed is that the inking seemed a bit inconsistent in some panels and pages (some spots getting more inking than others). Otherwise, it was a good looking comic from start to finish.
SPOILERS BELOW! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
Now let’s talk about the big thing that went down and the rumors circling around the comic. That is, does Tim Drake actually die? The answer to that is yes… but not really. Tim Drake has a final stand against the remaining military drones and is apparently shot to smithereens. Pretty much nothing is left of Tim but chunks of Robin-meat at the end and given Batman’s reaction, we’re left to think Tim is indeed a goner (we don’t see the aftermath). However, there is one final twist though. In final two pages it is revealed that Tim survived, but was teleported away (a substitute body was most likely left in his place if I had to guess) and locked up by the mysterious Mr. Oz character from DC Universe Rebirth. Everyone thinks Tim is dead, but he is really still alive and somewhere unknown.
We could have stopped her from punching you sir… but meh, the pay sucks here.
Now, I can see the pros and cons to this ending. The plus side is that Tim is still alive, just off the gameboard for a while. He’ll definitely be back and he does say he’ll figure a way out of his situation eventually. So for fans of the character and those annoyed by DC potentially killing a character off, you don’t have to worry. His “death” here was still very powerful and effective, while also opening the door for a lot of potentially interesting stories and character arcs further down the road with the fallout. It also continued the mystery of the Watchmen and Mr. Oz aspect that we’ve seen hinted at for a while.
As for the negatives, it depends on how much you’re feeling the overarching tie into the Mr. Oz and Watchmen angle. For those who were trying to ignore that aspect of the DC Rebirth and just focus on the stories themselves, they may not appreciate the reminder or find it rather intrusive on the story. The reveal has really nothing to do with most of the story arc up until then, so the plot point comes off as being crammed in more than a natural reveal. For instance, it may have made more sense if the mysterious League of Shadows had whisked Tim off, since we did get a hint of them last issue. Either way, this reveal will certainly be controversial and it’s hard not to see both sides on this.
Is It Good?
Detective Comics #940 is an epic and effective ending to rather long, slow arc. The storyline started and finished strong, but was stretched out a little thin in the middle. The characterization was strong, with some auxiliary characters getting a chance to shine, and the artwork was eye-pleasing in many ways. The ending of the issue will certainly leave people talking, whether that be in a good or bad way. Either way, when all is said and done, Detective Comics is definitely a series to keep your eyes on.