Detective Comics #994 Review

Written by, Peter J. Tomasi
Art by, Doug Manke
Inks by, Jaime Mendoza
Colors by, David Baron
Letters by, Rob Leigh

This is the start of a new arc and a new creative team for Detective Comics. Tomasi previously wrote a Batman & Robin book in The New 52; however, his most recent creative efforts have been as the previous writer for Superman. He is currently writing The Adventures of the Super-Sons 12-issue maxi-series.

This issue reviews Batman’s origin story through a present-day murder scene, which is a mimic of that awful day for Bruce Wayne. Batman and Commissioner Gordon review the evidence left at the scene of a double homicide, with victims in a large tank of water changed to have the exact appearance of Martha and Thomas Wayne and takes place on the anniversary of their deaths. Batman is meticulous as he investigates every aspect of the victims and the crime scene locating several important clues: the program for the show the Waynes saw on the night of their murder, the same brand of clothes, nail polish, and shoes. The story makes a transition to a new female scientist, Dr. Leslie Giordano, who is attacked by a creature; consequently, she may have been infected with its disease, as a result.

This story was incredibly interesting because it brought back the Batman fans know and love: The greatest detective in the DC universe. He, along with Gordon, uncover some of the most minute facts as they scour the crime scene. The devil, and in this case the interesting facts, are in the details of Batman’s discoveries. Compared to the grumpy old man Batman in the previous Detective Comics run, this is compelling, exciting, and interesting in a familiar way.

Doug Manke’s art is incredible in parts, especially the opening wide-spread panel that shows a full portrait of Batman stretched out. The colors of the Batman’s frame and the look of determination on his chin and in his eyes reminded me why I love this character: He’s determined to prevail. Manke’s depiction of the Martha and Thomas Wayne look-alikes was also a supreme example of his ability to capture a real-life depiction of a character. However, in other parts of the issue, the depiction of Batman’s face was not as sharp. I’m not sure if this was intentional, a way to add to the shadows surrounding the story and help it feel mysterious?

Overall 9/10

Final Impressions

This issue felt like a return to form for Detective Comics and Batman. The story drilled down into some of the qualities that make Batman loved by many. The art showed in great detail the evidence as Batman and Gordon pursued a mysterious new threat to Gotham City. This is a wonderful time for Batman and a great time to jump on board Detective Comics because of the new art team that will lead this property toward issue #1000!  

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall
9
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Tom Zimm
I am a licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist that works with children. I've been interested in comic book heroes since I was a young child. However, it's been in the last 3-4 years that I've been making the weekly trip to the local comic book store to redeem my pull list. DC's Rebirth really won me over, especially Geoff Johns' 80-page book. My favorite properties include The Flash and The Incredible Hulk. My criteria for a good comic book include taking stupid and fun seriously while remaining self-aware.