Where we interview the stars, write about comics, TV, movies, books, music, games and anything fandom related.
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)
SUBMITTED FOR YOUR APPROVAL… The Twilight Zone , a television series that shows no signs of letting up, is still going strong 60 years since it first debuted on CBS in 1959. Created by the already popular writer Rod Serling, the show became a series with an infinite lifespan. The Twilight Zone is now 60 years young and still has a massive appeal to those who love a bit of twisted, comedic, moralistic and, at times horrifying, science fiction. I have been a fan of this show for many years, from the original to the latest version by Jordan Peele. It was probably in the 1980’s that I first came across this show and I was amazed. Back then, just a teenager, I thought black and white shows were old and ‘fuddy duddy’ (as my kids would say nowadays). That was until my late mam (who was always there when I found my love for various things as a youngster) turned on the tv and an episode of the TZ was showing. I always remember the first episode I saw being "Ti
“ Off The Clock “ Writer: Katie Cook Artist: Butch Mapa Color Artist: Protobunker Letterers: Christa Miesner and Valeria Lopez Review by Steve J. Ray Some of my favorite comics are those that honor and follow the style of movies and TV shows. Comics like The Batman Adventures , for example. So, you can only Imagine my delight when a knock on my door resulted in my being handed the latest package from Penguin Random House. The box contained a copy of Marvel Action: Avengers : “Off The Clock”. This gorgeous little trade paperback collects issues #1-#3 of Marvel Action: Avengers , and is one of the most fun comics, both in terms of story and art, that I’ve read featuring these particular characters, in a long, long time. Synchronicity Strikes Again Recently I helped promote a couple of fan films which gave us a day, and a night, in the life of a superhero trying to get some time off. By some amazing quirk of fate, this book shows six Avengers (at first… ) trying to cope with some H.R.
Article by Paul 'Professor Elemental' Alborough When DC comics laid off so many of their staff the other day, I was devastated*. Another little piece of joy taken away, more fantastic creative people losing their jobs, another big conglomerate stripping creativity for parts then crushing the scrap, and a much reduced chance that my proposed ‘Ambush Bug VS Plastic Man’ crossover mini-series script would ever be approved. It goes without saying, but 2020 is as bad as the Marvel Swimsuit comics from the early 1990s. That’s bad. Social media being what it is, (that is to say a huge purple monster, hell bent on sucking the joy out of life, spreading division and destroying Metropolis,) has given DC comics a bit of a kicking over the last decade or so. Never quite seen to be as hip and cool as Marvel, DC rebooted with their "Rebirth" in 2016, which saw the original comic book line return to its roots. Many said this was just a cynical ploy to shore up its fanbase, and cla