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The League of Shadows have stormed Gotham and much of Batman and his Bat-Family are toast. The stakes are raised to 11 on a scale of 10 as we review and answer the question, is it good?

Detective Comics (2016-) #954 (DC Comics)

So what’s it about? The official summary reads:

“League Of Shadows” part four! Ra’s al Ghul has the answers Batman needs to take down the League of Shadows…but will he lift a finger to help him? Or would he rather use the League to take care of the Dark Knight Detective once and for all?

Why does this book matter?

James Tynion IV has been writing a great series that has made the story feel like an all out war is taking place. With so many characters in play he’s managed to keep things clear and concise. With Batman facing off against Ra’s al Ghul given the cliffhanger of the last issue, things are about to get a lot more tricky for our hero!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?


Gotta love the dino.
Fans of Batman’s beef with Ra’s al Ghul will need to add this to their collection as a major reveal seems to suggest what we thought we knew is hogwash; I won’t spoil what is revealed in this issue, but Ra’s al Ghul seems to suggest there’s a history we don’t yet know about. Tynion sticks Ra’s al Ghul and Batman into a compelling conversation which takes up much of the issue. Considering how Batman always seems to have planned for everything it’s quite clear Tynion is showcasing a villain even Batman can’t plan for.

Outside of their interactions, Tynion progresses Batwoman’s father’s’ story and it appears he’s taking charge. The politicking of his lead seems to suggest some shock and awe is in order in future issues. Fans of Colony Prime and Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong should prick up their ears too. All in all, the issue seems to be shifting in ways that further the war-like structure of the story. The final page however, suggests a major Bat-character is ready to kick a hell of a lot of ass and should have fans greatly anticipating the next issue.

The art by Marcio Takara is quite good at fitting a lot of detail into small panels, which helps keep the pace up for the issue. It’s impressive given the ink work and darkness of Batman’s mask how much detail Takara can fit into Batman’s expressions. Layouts mix up medium and close up shots well too (Takara uses the extreme close up very well to capture the emotion of specific characters), which helps mix up a dialogue-heavy scene. In a key flashback sequence, there’s a nice change of art style to help convey the differing time as well as a scroll like panel outline to separate it from the other panels in the book.


Shocked Batman is shocked.
It can’t be perfect can it?

Once again, Tynion has me questioning how good Batman really is as he makes a few mistakes in this issue. It’s hard to believe he’s dense enough to make these mistakes and it reduces the badass nature of the character. His chips are down, the entire team he’s created are similarly screwed, but dammit Batman can’t go down so easily!

Outside of this, Batwoman’s dad’s plan seems to be misguided and not very well thought out. First off, shouldn’t he know his daughter probably isn’t dead? Second off, his plan would kill plenty of civilians! These details seemed to be ignored to serve the escalating stakes.

Is It Good?

Fans of Ra’s Al Ghul will need to read this issue as major revelations are made that shake up his relationship with Batman. On top of that, the stakes are raised even further, and the final page will leave you wanting that next issue even more.

Detective Comics #954
Is It Good?
Major revelations are made and the war continues to raise the stakes!
A major revelation Ra's fans need to read!
The war story continues to feel war-like
Solid art that does well with the tiniest of panels
Once again, Batman makes some bone headed moves and isn't as badass or well prepared as he usually is
Batwoman's father chugs forward failing to even remark on some major issues
8
Good
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