We are back with the next review in the ongoing battle of the Bat-Family, and the Bat..victims? Oh right, VICTIM SYNDICATE, and let’s see how this is shaking out.
Detective Comics #946 (DC Comics)
I’m going to start with a positive. The opening of this issue – Batman and Tim’s relationship, their chat, and their mutual respect is one of the best Batman and Robin interactions I’ve seen in years, outside of the Dad/Son breakthrough stuff with Damian. Tim is hopeful, and excited, and engaged, and even Batman pops a rare smile. Tim made Batman better, and the entire team more human.
BATMAN SMILES! CHECK FOR SMILEX POISONING!
With him “dead” we see the drastic shift in Batman through this issue’s art and through his almost sacrificial stance against the Syndicate. He’s upset, he’s looking out for everyone else far more than himself, and he’s willing to take the brunt of the damage if it saves another.
I think this is a step back.
My initial reaction on the Victim Syndicate was one of meh-dom. I assumed they’d be a monster of the week, and eventually shuffle back to their own corners for another writer to pick up and use in 5 years. While it seems I’m being proven right on that score, these guys are actually being used quite well to give us a great deal more insight into the Bat-Fam – as the individual fights they all have against the Syndicate give us a very touching or emotional window into our heroes.
Batman? We don’t get the same effect.
He might be trying to connect to that golden moment of Tim Drake in his past, but it just builds another wall around his deepest motivations, and comes off as trite.
I liked this issue, but I really want Tim Drake back – sooner than later. The best thing the Snyder run did was humanizing Bats; Snyder gave him the ability to smile, and to be more than just a man in a cape. Tim’s death has shoved him back in that hole – and I want a human Batman back.
Now – not stupid as hell Dark Knight Rises human, where his parents’ death makes him be a obsessed crime fighter but his ex-gf dying makes him hang it up (UGH.), and I certainly don’t want a happy go lucky Batman, quipping like Spidey. I still want a broken and destroyed psyche, and a tortured Bat weirdo, but one with a little big more Man in him, and not just Bat.
8 out of 10.