Where we interview the stars, write about comics, TV, movies, books, music, games and anything fandom related.
Review: Detective Comics #955
“League Of Shadows “, Part Five
Writer – James Tynion IV
Artist – Marcio Takara Review by Steve J. Ray
I really love this series. Issue after issue, it just delivers. Great writing, superb art, action, drama, characterisation, pathos… the whole nine yards.
We last saw Team ‘Tec devastated by The League Of Shadows; The army of assassins, led by Lady Shiva and stolen from R’as Al Ghul. Batman has been beaten, first by his own ally, Orphan, and then by Shiva herself. Clayface has been captured and spread too thinly to take on a firm shape. Batwoman, Batwing and Azrael are in chains. Red Robin is missing, presumed dead and Spoiler is A.W.O.L. Only Orphan is still free, but we last saw her inundated under a tidal wave of ninjas, after already being battered and bruised at the hands of Lady Shiva.
While Detective Comics is primarily a Batman book, it stands apart from the others. Primarily because the supporting cast is every bit as great as the Dark Knight himself.
The League Of Shadows storyline is truly Cassandra Cain’s moment in the sun. From the milestone issue #950, this tale has been Orphan’s baptism of fire. Her moments watching the ballet, her training as a master of combat through the language of movement… all of it has been leading to right here, to right now.
I’ve loved the character of Cassandra Cain since waaayyy back to her first appearance, in the legendary No Man’s Land story arc from 1999. It’s hard to believe, but the character has been around for almost eighteen years! She was originally brought in as a new Batgirl, at the time when Barbara Gordon was in a wheelchair and operating as hacker supreme, Oracle. Cass’ premise of being a killer who hated to kill was always fascinating to me. She was written brilliantly and shone for a couple of years, but then vanished into the background. I always found this very frustrating, as I always thought that she had so much potential.
Thankfully, it seems that James Tynion IV agreed. He’s taken everything that was great about Orphan and dialled it up to 12. We already had a Batgirl, and a Batwoman, so he made Cassandra something new – Orphan. We knew her father, but never her mother. Cassandra’s old man was an assassin, so Mr. Tynion made her mom something worse – Shiva. We already knew how intricate her reading of movement as a language could be, but James Tynion IV made her fight Batman, made her battle Shiva, and then buried her under a mountain of ninjas!
Bravo, Mr Tynion. Bravo.
I’ve already waxed lyrical about the writing, but let’s not forget the artist – comics are a visual medium after all. Marcio Takara is a star. In my review of Detective Comics #954 I said that I wasn’t familiar with his work, but that I loved it. In this issue the art is phenomenal! Huge fights, tempered with subtle character moments. Massive crowd scenes and double page spreads, coupled with tight closeups on faces full of emotion and expression. Fantastic draughtsmanship and storytelling at its finest. Absolutely stellar.
Detective Comics is having an incredible run, right now. The book has consistent character development, thrilling writing and beautiful art. Add to all that the tension inducing and nail-biting cliffhangers – and the latest one is a killer – I am left with no other choice than to give this issue the ever elusive (though richly deserved):
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment
(Article originally published on the Dark Knight Newswebsite on April 26th 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