Review: Detective Comics #1011
[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 finds a way to take down Deadshot and save the wily World War II veterans while none of his business companions are any the wiser.
Character stands out again in Detective Comics #1011 as the best thing about the issue. It’s a bit different from last issue, as Batman gets more of the spotlight. Although, his newest friends, the lost World War II veterans still play a critical role in his showdown with Deadshot. Without his Batsuit, Bruce come up with a makeshift costume to disguise himself from not only Deadshot, but his business associates. With the help of the two aged veterans, Bruce comes up with a plan and a DIY bat-costume cobbled together from what he can find.
It’s a fun exercise to see Bruce demonstrate his resourcefulness. Some flight goggles and a leather jacket make up part of this costume. An old flight cap is modified to give it the appearance of having pointy bat ears. There’s certainly a resemblance to Enemy Ace- Hans von Hammer.
This issue also gives Bruce the opportunity to exhibit his humanity. When Hiro, the Japanese veteran is shot, Bruce’s first thought is of him. However, it is Hiro, himself and his American comrade that urge Bruce to go after Deadshot first. It’s enough of a moment to subtly explore how Bruce thinks of the world. This is also seen at the end when Bruce agrees to honor the veterans’ request to be left alone on the island to live out their days there. However, Bruce does give them a comlink should they ever need help and delivers a “care package” to enhance their stay.
There are a number of homages in Detective Comics #1011 that should put a smile on your face. The previously mentioned Enemy Ace is the first, it’s hard not to enjoy the reference to one of DC’s greatest war comics characters. Additionally, Deadshot makes a comment about the strangeness of the island and says something alone the lines of “Next thing you know I”ll be seeing dinosaurs.” This, of course, references DC’s “The War that Time Forgot” series. Lastly, as Bruce is preparing to disguise himself he sinks down in a pool of muddy water and rises up filthy and presumably, unrecognizable. This is depicted similarly to the way Martin Sheen’s character in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now does the same sort of thing.
Artistically, Christian Duce turns in a solid job with a few exceptional close ups and does a fine job depicting expressive faces. Finally, the “Year of the Villain” bit with Mr. Freeze becomes somewhat interesting as Dr. Victor Fries takes a turn towards Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Next issue, perhaps?
It’s hard to find a negative in this issue as even the “Year of the Villain” tie-in segment takes a significant and engaging turn.
Detective Comics #1011 is another winner from this creative team. This title works so well because it is not mimicking the portrayal of the character in Tom King’s current run on Batman. This Batman is every bit in control of his emotions and senses. He is balanced and effective. It’s a portrayal of Batman that makes Batman relatable and understandable. It’s a Batman that isn’t a borderline sociopath. The references to DC’s war comics enhance the experience, as well.