Review: Detective Comics #1031
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Bilquis Evely
Colors: Matt Lopes
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
The Mirror strikes again as the Bat-family remains mostly in the dark, and Damian seems to be ahead of everyone!
I don’t think there’s a single page of Detective Comics #1031 that can’t be categorized as a “positive.” Once again, the art and colors are fantastic and Peter J. Tomasi’s story is perfectly paced. And, it’s not a quick issue, either- there’s plenty to chew on. Plus, the surprise revelation in the last few pages puts everything in a new light.
Just a few days before the mayoral election, a faction of anti-vigilantes and pro-vigilantes come face to face in a protest march. Tomasi has built this up throughout the issue so that we see The Mirror not only leading the anti-vigilantes, but offering mayoral candidate Christopher Nakano some inside information to help him get elected. Nakano maintains his integrity by refusing it, but it says a lot about how Nakano wants to win and make his stand against the vigilantes of Gotham. The march is a nice reflection of the current unrest in the United States while not satirizing or diminishing the significance of real life events.
While recent issue of Teen Titans have set Damian at odds with his father, again this issue demonstrates that it’s apparent there’s a whole lot more going on. Damian puts the clues together not only figures out the truth behind the attempts on the young Bruce Wayne we saw last issue, but foreshadows the surprise reveal at the end of this issue. It’s a well written bit as both are surprises to the reader, even the second after already having read the first one.
Not wishing to spoil the reveal, I will say that it turns the whole anti-vigilante movement on its head and in doing so makes the whole argument much more complex. The true genius of it though, is that there are still everyday Gothamites that fall in line with the Mirror creating another level of complexity. All-in-all, an excellently written issue.
Batman has speech to the protesters and it’s extremely compelling. Without telling the crowd who he is, he essentially reveals the aspects of his past that made him Batman. It brings out the human side, and the voice Tomasi finds sound like a real person and not a caricature. It’s a unique moment for the character.
The art in Detective Comics #1031 is another beautiful outing from Bilquis Evely and Matt Lopes. Lopes’ colors are often subtle and nuanced, depicting the lighting in an effective way. There’s even a textural quality to it at times. Evely’s characters, lacking no dynamism or solidity, are wonderfully expressive and genuine. She doesn’t overdo musculature, but rather takes a more realistic approach to it. There’s no doubt Batman is a strong and imposing figure, but he appears more natural. Evely’s style works well in the super-hero genre, but would be equally at home in a number of others as well.
The only negative is that this story is going to end! It’s been remarkably insightful!
Tomasi’s run on Detective has been absolutely wonderful, and it doesn’t seem to matter who’s drawing! However, Bilquis Evely is a real treat to see drawing Batman. This title is nothing short of fantastic and Detective Comics #1031 is just another example of why- intelligent writing and gorgeous art. This series is about stories, not events. If you’re not reading this title, I can’t imagine why?