After introducing Harvey Dent into the mystery, Ram V continues to develop his narrative here in Detective Comics #1064. This time he has new questions for Batman and the readers, and focuses deeper on characters like Talia and Bruce’s relationship.
I am enjoying Detective Comics more and more with each issue I read written by Ram V. I mentioned back in my first review of his arc that I enjoy his writing quite a bit, and so far this series has done nothing to change that. The pacing feels good, the story well plotted, and the character moments we’ve been given all add more depth both to the story and relationships at play here.
Characters and their relationships feel like a big part of this arc and issue in particular. After playing a very brief role in the opening issue of this run Talia is the focus here. The issue opens up in a flashback to a younger Talia training with Damian and the tale she tells him.
The sequence is stunning, beautifully illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque and colored by Dave Stewart. I’ve liked Albuquerque’s work on this book, but this tragic tale of an adventurer losing his one true love is a true shining point for him. I love a good fable, fairy tale, and general tale as old as time because they are often lyrical and beautiful to read, and he and Stewart do such a great job here taking this story and bringing it to life. It’s told over two double page spreads with panels that cover the pages, and flow into others, with the colors clearly blocked out in a way that highlights characters and moments.
Not only is this a great moment between mother and son, but it works well as an analogy to Bruce himself and his endless quest righting wrongs and working for justice in Gotham. Talia later goes on to reference the story again as she comes face to face with Bruce, and further ties the reflections of characters together.
She plays a bigger role in the story than to just tell a tale as well. Still in Gotham, Talia has more to do. Mainly in the form of distracting Batman. As his own investigation deepens it leads him to her and the League. It’s pretty obvious from what we see of Talia alone, and with Bruce, that she has a lot more to do with the story than we’ve learned right now, and I’m glad she’s appeared again. I was a little sad to see the focus shift so drastically after last month’s laser eye on Harvey, but stepping back you can see that each of these issues is working to gradually piece together the greater narrative going on here with the Ogrhams, Batman, and Gotham itself.
Something else V returns to this issue is a tighter lens on Bruce Wayne, and his age. He’s touched on it a few times through the arc so far, but this issue gives us another scene focused specifically on his age and even the long term impacts vigilantism has started to have on Bruce’s body and mind. As with the rest of this arc, I feel the theme of Bruce’s age and wellbeing is balanced well here. It’s not the main focus– very little going on is– but it’s brought up frequently enough we know it’s not a passing fancy for the story but a real element that is impacting things.
Batman’s own investigation into what’s going on in Gotham and Ogrhams also come up but play a lesser role this issue than previously. They are still important, but not center stage here. Still, based on the flow of how this series has been running I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take on a bigger role again come next month as they finally arrive in Gotham and set the stage for pushing the readers into the next issue.
Jim Gordon in: The Coda
This is the final installment in the short backup featuring Jim Gordon. It does a fairly good job wrapping up the story, while also leaving some elements unanswered.
It’s main focus seems twofold: tying itself into the greater Detective Comics narrative by including a character who has been turned monstrous and is spouting some kind of unknown language. And in getting Gordon himself firmly planted in his role from the The Joker as a P.I. working with Harvey Dent. The latter of these two felt pretty obvious from the first part of the backup. The other element feels almost unnecessary to me. I get that creative teams are trying to make the world of Batman feel interconnected, but I could have done with a more mundane answer to some of the aspects of this story rather than it being part of something even bigger.
Generally I don’t know where to really land on this backup. I enjoyed parts of it, but others felt a little confusing partially because of the elements tied in from other stories, and its attempt to shoehorn itself between two different comics, and partly from the mystery itself. However, I did enjoy Gordon himself and the way he was portrayed. So if you want a shorter story featuring him, this wouldn’t be a bad backup to check out.
- Fables, stories, and tales are your thing
- Talia al Ghul is the #1 DC woman in your life
- You want some good, solid pacing and plotting
This latest entry in Ram V’s Detective Comics run is a solid, well paced tale that continues layering character elements on the mystery he’s been building. Between Talia, the Ograhms, and Bruce’s own struggles with his health the story has enough going on to keep readers invested even as the story takes a turn that is a little more character focused over mystery or action. Overall, I found it to be a great addition to this operatic tale Batman is entangled in.
Overall Score: 8/10
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.