Detective Comics #996
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Doug Mahnke
The mystery behind the figure targeting Bruce gets more convoluted with each passing moment of the latest chapter in Tomasi’s “Mythology” arc. After the mysterious assailant murdered Leslie Thompkins and attacked Alfred at the manor’s front door, Batman decided to get some answers from the Arkham inmates. Despite the brutal (and morally questionable) beating he gave them, none offered any valuable information. Of course, Batman being Batman, this proved to be enough for him – it was clear they knew SOMETHING, but everyone was too scared to say ANYTHING. After some counseling with Damian, Batman realises that his next stop should be his old mentor – Henri Ducard. So off to Paris it is. He does get some answers there, but not the ones he was looking for…
Doug Mahnke is in charge of the artwork and he does a decent job. The really dense story takes Batman across quite a few different locations, which allows Mahnke to go wild. From Arkham to the streets of Paris, the Wayne Manor, to snowy mountains – everything looks really cool and really nice.
As mentioned earlier, it’s a really dense story that takes Bruce on a globe-trotting journey across three continents. Tomasi juggles these visits neatly and manages to structure the story in a senseful way. There are some cool character moments and all of the dialogue is on-point. It keeps the story moving forward, while also providing some backstory to events from other books that, in a way, affect the current situation.
We also get to see more of the mysterious monster attacking Bruce and it’s awesome. It’s appearance, speech pattern and style make for a compelling and kinda scary villain. It remains to be seen if it’s an old adversary or a new addition like we had with Mr. Bloom a few years ago.
While the dense storyline isn’t hard to follow, it does feel a bit rushed. Bruce’s meeting with Damian leaves the reader wanting, as I feel those two don’t get enough ‘page-time’ (is that a thing?) together. I would have also loved seeing a bit more of Batman’s search for Henri Ducard on the streets of Paris. I’m a huge fan of ‘the world’s greatest detective’ type of stories so I was really fun seeing Batman in different disguises. Some more ‘page-time’ (no, really, is it?) in the mountains would have also been really cool.
Tomasi’s work on ‘Tec so far has been great and I’m really looking forward to the future stories, as well as the #1000 issue of the series. I enjoyed Tynion’s Batfamily-centric vision of the series, but this more mystery and detective-centric take is more up my alley. And it lives up to the title a bit more, for sure.
Detective Comics #996
I enjoyed Tynion’s Batfamily-centric vision of the series, but this more mystery and detective-centric take is more up my alley. And it lives up to the title a bit more, for sure.