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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)
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.
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, …
The wind has not left our sails as we continue on with Rivals of Ixalan Spoilers. A cycle of tutors, a flying pirate with a shrink ray, and Jace overcoming his amnesia are on order for today, let's have a look. Well then. If I remember right, the premier Aggro deck of the format played a one mana 2/1 before rotation just because it was a one mana 2/1. Colour shift it, and give it the potential for flying (which isn't hard for the Vampire deck to do) and this thing is going to see play as the other one drop (other than Legion's Landing) for the Vampire deck. Even the flavour text is a joke towards how pushed it seems! Another key piece shown today might be all the pieces Vampires needs. Having something on the same spot on the curve and mana cost Cast Out or Ixalan's Binding but adds to the tribal synergy overall is very needed in a tribal deck. The second line, isn't strictly needed (it's safer to keep this guy out of the red zone) but giving i…