Review: DETECTIVE COMICS #1009
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Christian Duce
Colors: Luis Guerrero
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Bruce Wayne, Lucius Fox and some other captains of industry are headed to Singapore for a summit on the environment. They are interrupted mid-air by Deadshot and things go down from there….
There’s a lot to like in Detective Comics #1009. The first thing that stands out is the classic feel of Bruce’s portrayal. Tomasi’s been doing this throughout his run, and it is a nice contrast to the more pathological characterization that Tom King is writing in Batman. This is most obvious in the rapport Bruce has with Alfred. Alfred keeps Bruce on time for his daytime activities and Bruce can only grin and bear it. It demonstrates how much he relies on Alfred. The humor that ensues lightens the Dark Knight up just enough. It works to build a bigger picture of Bruce Wayne/ Batman when compared with the opening sequence of Batman’s “night on the town.” Even that is a shown in a very straightforward manner as Batman collects would be criminals and has them waiting for the police.
The humor doesn’t end with Alfred, as Bruce has some moments with Lucius. Expressly for the reader, the in-joke of Bruce’s “work clothes” or his offer to buy up all the prototypes of another company’s experimental vehicles plays well in a cinematic way. It’s easy to imagine Bruce buying them and converting them to a Bat-vehicle. The best moment to elicit a smile is Bruce’s offer of getting Lucius some acting lessons from George Clooney, claiming Clooney owes him big. This is a reference to Clooney’s critically panned portrayal of Batman in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin film from 1997. Clooney has even remarked on his role saying he ruined Batman. Clearly, in a metatextual way, Clooney does owe Batman- big time!
Despite the cover banner claiming this is a “Year of the Villain” tie-in, Mr. Freeze’s subplot first introduced last issue only gets a few pages at the end, leaving the bulk of the issue to focus on Deadshot surprising Bruce in the airplane. It’s a different twist on the locked room idea, how does Bruce save anyone without revealing himself. While the idea isn’t fully explored, the next issue promises more hurdles for Batman as he’ll be trapped on a deserted (?) island while he tries to keep his identity concealed from his business colleagues.
There are no real negatives in Detective Comics #1009, but Mr. Freeze’s subplot is really taking up space that could be used for the main story. The few pages build up the subplot a bit, but in the larger picture it is unnecessary.
Detective Comics #1009 is a fun and exciting issue that presents a classic Batman without the over-the-top pathology that his character often gets. He’s grounded, and there’s a bit of humor that lightens the mood just enough, but not so much that it doesn’t feel like a Batman story. It’s a great iteration of the Dark Knight.