Review: Detective Comics #978

“Batmen Eternal” – Part Three
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Javier Fernández & John Kalisz
Review by Steve J. Ray
The Colony have attacked Batman and Red Robin, leaving a devastating body count in their wake. While Jacob and Kate (Batwoman) Kane have never shied away from taking lives – “When necessary” – this level of violence has left the Dark Knight and Teen Wonder suspecting that a third party may well be pulling the strings. In “Batmen Eternal” Part Three, the puppet master is finally revealed.
From cover to cover, the latest instalment of Detective Comics had me on edge. Batman may have recruited his own Bat-Army, but seeing Batwing, Azrael and Batwoman on the cover in colony colors, and saluting… that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
Once again. James Tynion IV has crafted an intriguing tale. This issue shows both Bruce and Tim as detectives, which is a move that I approve of enthusiastically. Following the breadcrumbs left by their true nemesis leads them both to a shocking realisation. Once again, I applaud the writer for slowly lifting the curtain on a scene that he’s been setting for months. Brilliant.

Three Is The Magic Number

The trio of Kate, Luke and Jean-Paul is formidable. Lest we forget though, Batman, Red Robin and Alfred have way more experience than their protegees. Add to the mix the potential trio of Spoiler, Orphan, and Anarky and good things may most definitely come in threes.
Speaking of which, the Detective Comics creative trio of James Tynion, Javier Fernández, and John Kalisz are also proving to be a force to be reckoned with. This title has always spoiled us with its great writing combined with beautiful artwork. This issue continues the trend in a spectacular manner.
Javier’s incredible double page spreads that take up pages two, three then four and five of this issue are comics gold. The first sequence is guns blazing, fists flying, chair breaking, knee to face action. It’s followed by human emotion, tight close-ups, detective work and deep thoughts. Once again, Mr. Fernández shows versatility, artistic style and true skill.
To those who wonder what a great colorist really brings to a comic, I urge you to look at these four pages again. The action spread on pages two and three is all heat. Reds, oranges, yellows… the colors of passion, fire, and violence. Pages four and five, the aftermath, is all cool blues, greens, and purples. This is truly great comic book storytelling.
Page nine is one of my favorite comics pages of the last couple of years.

Conclusion

I’ve made no secret of my absolute love for this title, right back from its Rebirth reboot… to right now. I sing its praises all over social media and on my own blog too. It’s hard to find a title that so consistently couples great writing with incredible art. The cliffhanger to “Batmen Eternal” Part Three is yet another jaw-dropping piece of Tynion/Fernández/Kalisz magic, which left me as on edge as that Eddy Barrows with Adriano Lucas’ cover did.
More, please.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment
(This review was originally published on the Dark Knight News website on April 13th 2018)

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