Answers. We all want them, and now we get them. Or, at least, some of them. But are they satisfying answers? Is Batman: The Detective #5 the reveal we wanted?
Bat-trucks and Belgian intrigue
When I reviewed the first issue of this series, I said, among other things:
For a book entitled The Detective, this one isn’t lacking in action…[and] Taylor is wise to give Kubert these opportunities…
I still feel that way, and opening any book with an enormous Bat-truck plowing through Europe—both generally, and very, very specifically—should vindicate that feeling. But instead, I feel a bit bored. We’ve waited over two months for this issue, and at this point, Kubert’s bombast feels like more of a crutch than a strategic move. DC cites global supply chain issues as the source of the delay, but that makes little practical difference to me. Two months have gone by since I read the last issue, and it’s just more Batman chasing Equilibrium, with more Ducard proving to have been less-than-forthright.
Confusion—it’s not just for characters
We do get quite a bit more light on who Equilibrium’s leader is, but we get it straight from Ducard, which begs the question: why didn’t he tell Bruce in issue #2? Like, almost right away? He made a vague reference, but he had time to say more. I get that Ducard is Ducard, but I can’t see what he hoped to gain by his secrecy, or why he has suddenly abandoned it.
That’s not the only head-scratcher, though it is the biggest. The first major location in this issue is Brussels, and Batman tells an ally that he is heading there because it is “the site of Equilibrium’s last attack.” But when he and Squire arrive, they find Equilibrium on-site, ready to execute more of Batman’s rescued. Which is it? Are they heading to the site of the last attack, or acting on intel and heading for an attack-in-progress?
Absence makes the mind grow bored
The artwork is still good, and I’m glad I’m reviewing this book so I have a reason to stick around and find out how it ends, but the delays are a real problem. And yes, that’s delays, with an “s.” The final issue doesn’t come out until November 9. Here’s hoping the end result is worth the wait.
- You dig Kubert
- You’d like a sweater knitted from Henri Ducard’s mustache
- You pre-ordered the book and don’t really have much of a choice
Batman: The Detective had a strong start. It wasn’t the detective story many wanted, but I saw a tale in which we, the readers, were the detective. But Taylor—and his boy Henri Ducard—have been withholding information, and that doesn’t feel fair when the audience is trying to take part in the case. And as if that’s not enough, one big delay has taken the steam out of the Bat-truck, and we’re looking at one more big delay before the finale drops in the second week of November. I hope this book feels worth it by the time it’s all wrapped up, but I’m not optimistic.