The Demon’s Riddles: Reviewing ‘Detective Comics’ #1061

by Scott Redmond


Detective Comics’ current run has come to a bittersweet yet perfect ending, never deviating from the fantastic character work that has been a paramount part of this series so far. Truly this is going to go down as one of those great runs that people look back on years from now and can consider it a pretty classic story that sits on their shelf to be read again and again.


All good things must come to an end are wise words used quite, because nothing lasts forever and stories are meant to have endings even if we’re not ready for them to end. That end has come for the current run of Detective Comics as the Mariko Tamaki-led era has run its course with the latest issue.

A giant staple of Tamaki’s time writing the book, still reflected here with the help of her co-writer Nadia Shammas, is character work. There have been giant strides with various characters and tons of moments that really give different characters time to breathe and grow and do so much. While Batman is mostly the core character this has been a pretty ensemble-heavy book including the newer supporting cast of characters like Deb Donovan or Mayor Nakano.

This was such an interesting way to use Riddler where he was doing wrong but actually wasn’t the one committing crimes, just guiding people to do things to the point where the police can’t even go after him in the end. Tying this into Talia and the recent Shadow War she was part of was a nice touch, as it shows how far her reach goes (we see the same in the backup with Gotham Girl too) and that events of other Bat-books are hitting this one too.

Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, and Brad Anderson do great work to bring this story arc and this run to a close. Reis has such vivid and detailed and almost realistic energy to his artwork, capturing all the characters so well and giving us great closeups and awesome panel work so we feel and see everything. There is a page early on of a therapy session with various character close-up panels running horizontally with smaller panels at the bottom but a circle of the same patients and Doctor Chase Meridian is placed right in the center of the page overlapping the panels. It’s just one great example of the work done here.

Miki’s inks bring more weight/heaviness to the whole thing, playing into the very ominous feel this entire arc has from start to finish. Anderson’s colors can be slick and shiny and bright, but there are various pages where the lighting effects change greatly in color to match the elements in play and various pages that are dark with tons of shadows. The aforementioned therapy scene is at night in a dark room and it’s so realistic with the weight of darkness and appearance with the only light coming from the moonlight/outside lights through the Arkham Tower window.

Lettering will always be a fabulous journey when Ariana Maher is involved. Dialogue dances around the page in an orderly flow with a lot of emphasis put into certain words or the font itself through colors or size changes to make volume or tone quite clear. Along with Maher’s SFX that are always fully established as part of the scene as they are right there with the subject they are coming from, colorful and bold and right in our face.

Gotham Girl’s story wraps up here too from Sina Grace, David Lapham, Trish Mulvhill, and Rob Leigh. This has been an interesting backup because it’s more detached from the rest of the book or line but has a lot to say about mental health and the system in many ways. The inclusion of Huntress and her interactions with Claire was really great.

There is such a fun energy to the work of Lapham and Mulvhill with smooth action and great movement with lots of bright whimsical colors. Truly it does remind me very much of classic-style comic stories in the best ways. Leigh is the MVP of lettering having been here on this run for quite some time tackling the backup stories, making all the dialogue flow and work, and bringing in fun colorful SFX to match the rest of the story tone.

Detective Comics #1061 is now available.

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