Bruce Wayne takes a bigger part in this ongoing Riddler mystery, as ‘Detective Comics’ lives up to its name with some good old-fashioned character developing detective stories. Such a fantastic series that has captured some of the best street-level energy with the Bat family that we’ve seen in quite a few years.
Big death-defying city or world-saving Batman-related stories are cool, but where it truly is at for the caped crusader are often the very down-to-earth actual detective stories with plenty of character moments. That’s exactly how Mariko Tamaki is ending her really great run of Detective Comics.
Together with Nadia Shammas, who is co-writing this arc, we’re getting a really interesting Riddler-centric mystery story that gives us plenty of time with Bruce Wayne and Batman. Bruce using a date as a way to gain insight about a mystery is such a Bruce thing to do, but at the same time, it’s really nice to see more of him out of costume interacting with others. In the modern era, it feels like we don’t get enough stories with time spent as Bruce, and Batman getting the spotlight always.
We get enough new crumbs dropped this issue for the mystery, to the point where I’m not even sure where it will go for the upcoming final issue. That’s a good thing, as an easily solvable mystery isn’t quite as fun as one that gets you thinking.
Once more we get Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, and Brad Anderson handling the artistic side of things.
Reis’ vivid and energetic style that skirts the line between realistic but still superhero comic books is perfect for this type of story arc. It feels grounded in how it breathes life into Gotham and its inhabitants, but also has a bit of fun and fantasy. This is taken further with the inking of Miki, which brings even more weight and helps with the more ominous aspects that are needed for a Batman story.
Some of that more fantastical element comes from the slick and shiny but smooth colors that Anderson provides, bright pops of colors supported by heavy always present shadows. Gotham feels very much a living entity so much more lately with some of the really great visions of the city artists are bringing us, and this is a good one.
Ariana Maher brings her usual magic to the pages with the flairs and energy given to the dialogue and SFX that make them bring so much personality. We can hear each character’s voice, even those we barely know, in their dialogue because personality shines through the words. At the same time, the tone or volume is just as clear because of the work she does to make sure they are felt with shrinking or growing of font.
We get another chapter of Sina Grace, David Lapham, Trish Mulvihill, and Rob Leigh’s Gotham Girl backup story. We get a bit more of Claire Roe/Gotham Girl’s struggles as well as more pieces to the mystery of why someone was creating a blog in her name. The interaction between her and the armed gunmen that came for her after one of the blog posts did make me laugh a bit as they helped her break into a laptop and spoke about why they do the job they do. A bit of commentary on our capitalistic world.
Lapham and Mulvihill continue to give a very classic Batman story sort of feeling through their artwork from the framing that Lapham uses to the colors of Mulvihill that shift from brighter to lighter with a toned down sort of filter to them. Leigh has been doing the lettering across all these backups for quite a while and keeps bringing great work. There is a lot of dialogue to be found in a story like this alongside the small bit of action, and he makes it flow and work. Just like Maher, he makes sure that volume/tone is apparent with the way that font size is changed to mirror this.
Detective Comics #1060 is now available.