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Review: Detective Comics #952
“League Of Shadows “, Part Two
Writer – James Tynion IV
Artists – Christian Duce, Fernando Blanco, Alex Sinclair, John Rauch, Allen Passalaqua and Sal Cipriano Review by Steve J. Ray
In the second chapter of “League of Shadows”, we witness the first wave of their attack on Gotham City and finally learn who is controlling them.
The latest story arc continues with the action coming thick and fast. The world’s deadliest assassin, Lady Shiva, is back! This femme fatale is one of a very small group that has bested Batman in hand-to-hand combat. She is completely ruthless and has no compunction against taking a human life.
Another little bonus in this issue is a cameo appearance from Ra’s Al Ghul, one of my all-time favourite Batman baddies. While his methods are definitely questionable, it’s hard to call Ra’s truly evil. His aims are ultimately based on saving the world from the worst of humanity. Shiva’s goals are nowhere near as noble.
I always found it odd that in the comics Ra’s Al Ghul’s organisation was always called The League Of Assassins, where in all other media it was referred to as The League Of Shadows. Here, writer James Tynion IV has admirably given us an explanation: The two are separate entities.
The League of Assassins is exactly what it says on the tin. An order of killers designed to eliminate enemies and physically remove any opposition. The League Of Shadows, however, is something far more sinister. They are everywhere; pulling the strings, making the deals, greasing the palms and lighting the fuses.
In this chapter we see Shiva taking power of The League Of Shadows from Ra’s Al Ghul and making it her own, with potentially disastrous consequences for Batman and his team. After losing Red Robin (who everyone assumes is dead, but is actually being held captive by the mysterious Mr. Oz) Spoiler has rebelled against Batman and Batwoman and left the Batcave to go it alone.
Batwoman’s father, Jacob Kane, upon learning that The League Of Shadows have launched their preliminary strike on Gotham City, warns his daughter that this is a fight she and Batman might not win.
From Out Of The Shadows
Even with the strange mix of the main artist drawing the bulk of the story, with different artists drawing the intro and epilogue, the issue flows very smoothly. The prelude and coda that book-end the comic are a flashback at the start and a segue for what is yet to come at the finish, so the different art styles actually work quite well.
James Tynion continues to prove that his grasp of all these characters is strong. Batman, Batwoman and Shiva truly shine in this issue, but the true star of the piece is undoubtedly Orphan. Cassandra Cain really is one of my favourite additions to the Bat-Family. She is capable, yet vulnerable; intimidating, yet sympathetic. Her story of being raised from birth as a killer, with fighting and violence as the only languages she was ever taught is horrific, yet compelling.
We’ve always known that Cassandra’s father was the notorious Cain, but up until now we have never known the identity of Orphan’s mother. Alongside the revelations of both deadly leagues and the the return of Shiva, the secret behind the maternal half of Cass’ parentage is finally revealed in this issue and, while shocking, makes perfect sense.
James Tynion and his collaborators have delivered another hit with Detective Comics 952. The milestone 950th issue was truly just a taster of what is yet to come. My appetite is whetted and I really can’t wait to sink my teeth into the next chapter.
I give this tale a solid:
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment
(Article originally published on the Dark Knight Newswebsite on March 10th 2017)
FINALLY! Well readers, Spoiler season has begun. Wizards teased us so heavily on the 19th with Vona's Hunger, but now we've finally seen the first of what Rivals of Ixalan has to offer. River Darter is, I think, intended for Draft, along the same lineage as Audacious Infiltrator. Thrashing Brontodon is also very good in Limited, being able to pop Pious Interdictions or Ixalan's Bindings, but may even see sideboard play in Dinosaur decks in Constructed to remove Cast Out, God Pharaoh's Gift or Gearhulks.
Article by Scott Hamilton I was recommended the good Professor whilst trawling around Spotify looking for new artists to listen to. I spend a lot of time travelling to and from work each day, so I’m always looking for something new and different to listen to. This splendid chap certainly ended up ticking all of my geek boxes. Professor Elemental is based in Brighton and trades in a very English take on Hip-Hop called Chap-Hop. The only way I can describe him is a polite Eminem, raised by the Monty Python team in a comic written by Jules Verne and illustrated by Jack Kirby. It’s certainly a niche market.
The Professor character, a geeky explorer / inventor who loves to experiment and go on adventures with his orangutan butler Geoffrey, was originally intended for just one album (“Rebel Without Applause” released in 2009) and takes what can only be described as a very English take on a style normally associated with the USA. In fact, his first breakthrough was with the single “Cup of Brow…
Rob Lane provides the bottom end in Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors. Onstage he’s a blur of hair,
throwing shapes with his trusty bass like a full on rock star. Away from the
band, he heads up his own project Straight
To Video, a mix of rock/punk music which draws influence from eighties
culture in general, as well as creating some cool merchandise to go along with
the music. Rob was cool enough to chat to us recently about
music, the eighties and being a geek.
Scott Hamilton: Would
you like to tell us a bit about yourself Rob? Rob Lane: Hey
Scott.... Thanks so much for reaching out! So, I guess I start with introducing
myself.... my name's Rob Lane... a bass player from the East Midlands /
Nottingham / Derby area. I've been actively playing with various bands for the
best part of 20 years. For over ten years I was the bassist for Nottingham
Power Pop Rockers TEENAGE CASKET COMPANY...
we had a pretty good run from 2003 through to November of last year, …