A great start to what could potentially be fantastic story arc.

Detective Comics begins a new story arc with Bryan Edward Hill at the helm. If you haven’t read Hill’s work before, then hold onto your butts, because things are about to get personal, violent, and tragic (in a good way).

First Read Reactions

  • To be fair, seeing YouTube celebrities being interviewed on television makes me want to throw things, too.
  • Okay, I know I just trashed YouTube celebs, but this seems pretty harsh.
  • NOOO!!!
  • Just because someone requests a meeting with Superman doesn’t mean you can send another super powered alien in his place.
  • “And the dance begins.”
  • Not sure which is scarier: A job interview or a hostage situation.
  • Jefferson Pierce: Proving once again the English teachers are the MacGuyvers of academia.
  • Batman and I have the exact same reaction to having our picture taken.
  • “…you’re making him weaker.”

The Verdict

As someone who doesn’t read much of DC’s output these days, I was nervous about jumping back onto a Bat-title. Thankfully, Hill is crafting a story that actually takes one of my fears as a reader (so many bat people to keep up with) and turns it into a central conflict of the narrative. It also touches on the difficulty a character/idea like Batman would have existing in a world saturated by media exposure. Add in an intriguing new villain, some great action sequences, and some fantastic dialogue, and you’ve got a story that’s both highly enjoyable and accessible.

Hill also does a great job introducing Black Lightning, a character I knew next to nothing about before this issue.

On the art side of things, Miguel Mendonca’s pencils are beautiful–maybe too much so. While Hill’s script cuts into the narrative like serrated blade, the accompanying images feel somewhat incongruent in how clean they are. Similarly, Adriano Lucas’ colors are jarringly bright, which feels odd for any Batman-centric story. It also doesn’t help that the paneling is often very busy, putting what should be a few of the issue’s menacing moments on a comparatively saccharine palette.

Those minor complaints aside, however, Detective Comics #983 is a great start to what could potentially be fantastic story arc. There’s plenty here for longtime Batman fans to enjoy along with lapsed ones like myself. If a Marvel Zombie like me has this on their pull list, then most of you definitely should, too.

Detective Comics #983
Is it good?
A great start to a potentially fantastic story arc for old and new Batman fans alike.
Hill sets up a story that cuts into one of the core conflicts a character/idea like Batman would face in the modern age.
Great action sequences, great dialogue, and one heck of an intriguing villain.
Mendonca's pencils are beautiful...
...maybe a little too beautiful, actually.
The colors are jarringly bright for a Batman story.
The paneling often feels too busy.
8.5
Great