Detective Comics #966 Review

The Story So Far

The last issue (#965) brought us the return of Tim Drake. If you need a refresher on exactly what happened you can read my review for it here. Tim is in the prison of Mr. Oz, somewhere outside hypertime. He manages to hack the computer system in the prison and opens all of the cells. In doing so he finds Batman, but not the Batman he expects. It’s a future version of himself as Batman, and he’s using a gun. This is odd because the Batman we are used to doesn’t use such weapons. In addition to opening the cells and letting out his future self, Tim also lets out Doomsday who is imprisoned there too. What is going to happen? Find out this week in Detective Comics #966. Spoilers ahead.

What’s Happening

The issue picks up in Gotham City, “many tomorrows from now.” So we are obviously having a flashback, or should I say a flash forward, into the future. Batman is chasing Lonnie. I was disappointed that Lonnie was back in the story until Batman speaks of his misguided goals and shoots him in the head; thus killing that miserable excuse for a character. If you’ve been reading my reviews you know that I can’t stand Lonnie. Anyways, awesome! So right here we know this “future Batman” is Tim Drake because he’s using the gun I mentioned. I remind you that this was the gun that was used to kill Thomas and Martha Wayne. I feel like that tidbit of information will be important in the future so I am throwing that aide memoire out there. After killing Lonnie the GCPD show up, and who is the Commissioner? None other than Renee Maria Montoya. In our current timeline of the DC Universe, she has been partnered with Harvey Bullock encountering various villains and even played a vital role in Mr. Zsasz’s capture… But I digress. She tells this future Batman that he’s not welcome in this city and he makes like a tree and… well you get the idea.

Back in his Batcave, he watches a message from Superman pleading for him to come back and that the Titans needs their Batman. He deletes it before the message finishes. By now we can gather that future Tim has gone somewhat rogue. He also watches another recording of Stephanie Brown talking to Lonnie. They are talking about him and how he is not what he used to be, he is no longer the Tim Drake we admire ever so much.

From there we cut to now. The prison of Mr. Oz with Tim Drake, Bat-Tim (as I have been calling him), and Doomsday. Bat-Tim temporarily cripples Doomsday with a shot of synthetic kryptonite from his gun. This gives them time to run away and regroup. Bat-Tim tells Tim how he knows he’s never been the best fighter but he’s always been the more intelligent fighter. He spent time developing ways to defeat all of the “leaguers rogues’ gallery.” Meaning he has a plan to defeat most of DC’s major villains. He keeps what he needs in his belt at all times so he’s prepared. Tim more or less doesn’t believe any of this and Bat-Tim tells him that he remembers this conversation, and what was going through HIS mind at the time HE experienced this. It’s a little confusing to think about, but let me shed some light. Bat-Tim’s past self is the Tim we know and love that was imprisoned by Mr. Oz. He escaped with his future self like we’re seeing right now, then grew up and took up the mantle of Batman. He then wound up imprisoned again in Mr. Oz’s prison along with his past self, again this is what we are seeing now. Recall we are outside of hypertime so this is how it is possible for Tim to be trapped in the same place as the future Tim. It feels almost as if this event could be an infinite loop happening over and over forever, and I think that’s exactly what we’re dealing with here. Confusing? Read this paragraph again.

Bat-Tim tells of what happens to everyone in his timeline. Bruce Wayne died forcing Tim to take up the mantle of Batman. Dick Grayson moves on to build a life and family, Jason Todd ends up in the Himalayas where he fought a hundred assassins only to lose an eye, a leg, and the will to live. Damian nearly burns Gotham to the ground so Bat-Tim apparently kills him. Kate Kane is not trustworthy and says Tim will soon find that out for himself.

But let’s not forget that Doomsday is hot on their tail. Tim diverts his attention elsewhere with a hologram of Superman that flies away. Doomsday is fooled and violently chases after the hologram without a thought. At this moment Bat-Tim says he didn’t expect Tim to do that, and Tim says, “That’s because we’re not the same person.”

As Bat-Tim is somehow able to teleport them out, back to our Tim’s timeline, he tells Tim to tell Connor he’s sorry. When Tim asks who Conner is, Bat-Tim realizes something. What he realizes I am not sure yet. But he takes out a blade, slashes Tim’s arm, and then takes his own glove off to reveal a scar. Do you get what happened here? He sliced open his past self’s arm, then immediately checked his own arm to find a scar where he slashed himself. Confused again? Read the last few sentences again, lol. He realizes that the future is mutable and he can finally be free. He can finally prevent “our current Tim Drake” from becoming this particular version of himself as Batman. Which I think means he can finally break this infinite loop I mentioned. He stuns Tim with an electric shock and then sets out to kill the one who is responsible for the fall of the Batmen and who sent him down this path; which is Kate Kane, Batwoman.

The Review

This week’s Detective Comics was great. Once you can wrap your head around what is happening as both the past and future Tim Drake interact with each other, it’s quite brilliant and extremely well put together. The dialogue between them is spot on and believable. Tim Drake as I have mentioned in previous reviews, is my favorite DC character. I am a little worried that he is being ruined, because I am not a fan of this future version of him. His future self seems to have a weak state of mind and he is a killer. I feel as if there is a bit of an evil undertone to him, and he doesn’t possess the qualities that Tim Drake originally possessed that made him my favorite character in the first place. Like honor, loyalty, the ability to overcome difficult situations without losing his mind, etc… What I want may be a little cheesy, but I want Tim back, with Stephanie Brown, together, and fighting crime.

Mr. Oz encouraged Tim in the last issue not to return to the life that he so desperately wants to return to. This tells us that Mr. Oz knew Tim would find the future Tim and return to his world. This also shows us that this ‘infinite loop’ thing that I mentioned is true. Mr. Oz has seen this play out many times before. Perhaps infinitely many times. Tim gets imprisoned, escapes with his future self, grows up to become Batman, gets imprisoned again, escapes with his past self, his past self grows up to be Batman, he gets imprisoned, then escapes with his past self again, and so on for infinity…. But this time there is something different when future-Tim cuts past-Tim in the arm. The discovery of this is something we’ll have to read more about next time in issue #967.

All-in-all this book was great. The story flowed well, the colors were dark and set an appropriate tone for the events at hand. I really wanted to see more action with Doomsday but perhaps that’ll come later. The artwork was once again phenomenal and super detailed. I especially loved the pages with Doomsday. This depiction of him is really quite enormous and scary. I totally dig it. This issue is going to set the stage for not only future Detective Comics issues but it will add to the mold of other stories as well. So it’s important. Pick it up in your pull for the week. I highly recommend it.

8.5 / 10

More Info

Reviewed by: Justin Swenson Detective Comics #966 Written by: James Tynion IV Art by: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira Published by: DC Comics Release Date: October 11, 2017