Review: Detective Comics #971


“Fall Of The Batmen” – Part Three
Writer: James Tynion IV
Art: Miguel Mendonça & Diana Egea
Review by Steve J. Ray

Things are looking bleak for Batman and the Gotham Knights. Mayor Akins has withdrawn support for our heroes, and imposed sanctions on Jim Gordon helping them. Killer Moth is gathering an army of villains to fight them, and the Victim Syndicate have Clayface under lockdown. By the end of this issue we see dissent within Batman’s own ranks, and one of the team finally turning on their own. The Fall Of The Batmen has well and truly begun!
This issue is top notch from cover to cover. We get to see the Dark Knight at his awesome fighting best, and both dialogue and action are consistently excellent. James Tynion IV weaves a hell of a tale, and keeps the tension levels high. Every nerve is on edge, and by the final shocking page we know that the Knights are in real trouble.
A particular bone of contention is the now strained relationship between Red Robin and Batwoman, after the events of the incredible “A Lonely Place Of Living”. Could Tim Drake actually be aligning himself with The Colony? This group of mercenaries, led by Kate’s own father, have been a thorn in Batman’s side since the dawn of the DC Rebirth.
This issue delivers, not only with great writing (no surprise), but the art is phenomenal too. The team of Miguel Mendonca and Diana Egea continue to provide the level of excellence that makes this series stand up against anything else on the shelves. Their storytelling is crisp, fluid, and fits in perfectly with that of all the excellent art teams that have preceded them. Their version of Batman, especially in the terrific fight scenes against the Syndicate, are absolutely first rate.

Fall Of The Gotham Knights

Jason Wright’s color art is brilliant, and the way he lights each page is great. Seeing Clayface trapped behind the reinforced glass of his cell is powerful indeed. The expression on his face, as drawn by Mendonca and Egea, coupled with the sheen and color applied to the glass by Mr. Wright is masterfully handled.
As always Sal Cipriano’s letters help the story flow, and do not detract from the sublime visuals in any way. His red on black speech for the First Victim add to the feel of the character’s evil, and enhance his threat level accordingly.

Conclusion

I really felt tense, and nervous reading this chapter. My unease at the slow spreading of the cracks that have been within the team grew page by page. Every character is so well written and drawn, that I feel like my own family is slowly crumbling around me. Detective Comics is delivering on every level, and I’m loving every minute. I eagerly await the next issue, and can’t wait to see how Batman gets out of this one!
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment.
(This review was originally published on the Dark Knight News Website on December 29th 2017)

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