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)
The Fantastic Universes podcast is now live, and ready to invade your ears!
Episode 1 is hosted by Steve, James and Max and can be found at the links below.
We talk about what we have been watching and reading recently including The Walking Dead, Into The Badlands, Wasted Space and more.
Our Fantastic Feature this month focuses on Batman, as we celebrate his 80th anniversary. We also talk about our highlights from TV, Film, Comics and more. Our good friends at Comic-Biz.com have sponsored this episode and are giving one lucky listener the chance to win a copy of Detective Comics #1000 with the Jock Variant cover. For full details on this head to our Twitter page and follow the instructions on our pinned Tweet.
It's very rare that the worlds of geeks and music collide in a powerful way, but Professor Elemental has made that happen.
'School of Whimsy' sees Brighton's finest export solidify his career with his strongest album to date. Over a ten year journey Paul Alborough has helped create the phenomenon of Chap-Hop, a mix of hip hop and a tongue-in-cheek take on English gentry.
The character of Professor Elemental has allowed Paul to push the boundaries of his music, as well as allowing him to show the world his love of anything nerdy. His songs are littered with references to superheroes and comics, and have a huge underlying message of positivity.
Luckily, Fantastic Universes' resident music ninja Scott Hamilton managed to chat not only with Paul, but also with the crazy genius that is Professor Elemental. Here's part one where we talk to Paul about his musical career, his love of comics and what we can expect from the Professor in the future…
I make it no secret, readers, that I love two games more than the air I breathe. Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic: the Gathering. Despite being made by the same publishing company, Wizards of the Coast, they've made almost no crossed streams.
The talk of Wizards wanting to publish a new setting for their supplemental campaigns left many wondering where we can go. This is no mere Plane Shift - like those of Zendikar or Kaladesh, leaving us with races and statistics, and prompts on where to go. This is a full, world guide. And it's RAVNICA!
Next to nothing is known about this supplement. It appeared on Brazilian Amazon then later on an American version of the site. The product description features very accurate portrait of the Acumenopolis in the heart of every Magic player. All we can do is speculate.
As an avid player of both games, I have exceedingly high expectations for this supplement. It needs to deliver new races seen on Ravnica. Goblins of…