Friday, December 15, 2017

Make the World Better

Detective Comics #968 (DC, January 2018, $2.99)
While I've been enjoying reading Batman (see "The Bat's New Paramour"), I've also been enjoying Detective Comics as it builds toward #1000. This issue opens with a brief vignette featuring Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong registering a formal complaint until Brother Eye comes online and he decides to "finally see what all my toys can do."

Then we return to the Batcave, where a Tim from the future (who we'll call Batman Tim) is fighting Batman, Jason, the current Tim (Red Robin), Dick, and Damian. Batman Tim makes the case that Batwoman will betray everyone and that Batman's mission—their mission—is a curse that "systematically destroys each of our lives."

The battle shifts to the Belfry, where Batwoman, Clayface, and others await Batman Tim's arrival—and as Batman Tim fights against the time stream, which "doesn't want to be changed." Red Robin suggests that "you can stand up and make the world better. ... You can bring the people in who lift you up and make you stronger. You can be a full person."

As the conclusion to the "A Lonely Place of Living" storyline, the writing by James Tynion IV was very well done, and Alvaro Martinez's artwork ably balanced the fight scene and action sequences, as well as the more dialogue-oriented progress. The issue offers a solid commentary on the cost of heroism—and the call to do the good one can rather than take an easier, less involved but more "normal" life path.

Availability: This issue will be collected in the forthcoming Detective Comics Vol. 5: A Lonely Place of Living, expected in April 2018. The most recent available collection is Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina.

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