Detective Comics #983
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artist: Miguel Mendonca
The Batfamily book returns with a new writer, as Bryan Edward Hill takes the reigns right on the heels of James Tynion IV. The concept remains unscathed – Batman has a team of crimefighters with a senior hero leading them, but this time it’s Black Lightning instead of Batwoman. Black Lightning is an interesting choice as it promises a whole new team dynamic, with him being an English teacher. This alone is a huge change since it’s the polar opposite of Batwoman’s boot camp approach. I’m looking forward to seeing him give valuable life lessons to a choked-up Duke.
The bulk of this introductory issue consisted of two plot-lines – one sees two of Batman’s proteges attacked by an unknown masked assailant, while the other serves as an introduction to Black Lightning. Having no previous knowledge of Black Lightning, I must admit that I was intrigued by him. There is something about a character that tries to do something for the youth both by day and night that resonates with me. His introduction goes back and forth between him interviewing a potential teacher and fighting a bad guy that is holding a young girl hostage. It works really well and sets up his character quite nicely.
There is not much to go on about the new villain, but he sure makes his presence known as he manages to incapacitate not one, but TWO members of the Batfamily. It is also implied that he might be a character we are already familiar with (or, at least, someone Batman’s familiar with) since he calls Batman by his real name. I found this actually kinda funny since the villain knew Batman by name, but Black Lightning is oblivious to the fact that Batman and Bruce Wayne are one and the same.
The art is handled by Miguel Mendonca and it’s really, really good. Everything is clean and easy to distinguish, the colours are deep and vibrant, and the paneling is simple and easy to follow. I particularly loved the conversation between Batman and Black Lightning – the red lightning makes it really atmospheric and gloomy and I would love to see more of it.
Going into the book, I didn’t know what to expect – Tynion IV did such a wonderful job (with some questionable choices) on the book and a change in the creative team is always a risk. Fortunately, Hill seems to have been a good pick for the book and I’m looking forward to his future input.
Detective Comics #983
Hill was a good choice for this book, and I’m looking forward to his future input.