Review: Detective Comics #1049
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Ivan Reis & Danny Miki and Fernando Blacno
Colors: Brad Anderson and Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Ariana Maher and Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
The mystery deepen as Batwoman uses her cover ID to get first hand information from inside Arkham Tower. The real surprise is Helena Bertinelli’s experience as a patient!
There’s nothing like a good mystery! Detective Comics #1049 continues to build and explore an interesting mystery. This issue provides a bit more about the drug smuggling angle, but also gets right into Batwoman’s undercover investigation. It’s great to see a different approach to the Bat-characters, we don’t often get the undercover angle and it continues to be an enjoyable aspect of “Shadows of the Bat.”
The most exciting bit comes when Kate finds Helena who is inside as a patient. She’s undercover as well, but she doesn’t want to leave. What happens when Kate leaves suggests to the reader that whatever the doctors in Arkham Tower are giving the patients is somehow related to Hue Vile‘s parasite from earlier in Tamaki’s run on Detective Comics. It’s really clever that Tamaki is tying this into her entire run. It’s also presented in a way that the reader can figure out on his/her own.
There’s a particular panel in the issue that has Batwoman with her cape gathered in front of her as he holds part of it that is poster worthy. Reis brings his A game. The second feature that explores events in the past reveals Scarecrow with a plot against not Batman, but Bruce Wayne. It’s an interesting development and Fernando Blanco again does a marvelous job on the art. There are a couple panels with a young boy reacting to the Scarecrow’s fear tactics and Blanco depicts a chilling expression on the boy’s face.
If there’s a negative for Detective Comics #1049, it may be the pacing. It appears that the Bat-family is putting a lot of the pieces of the puzzle together pretty quickly for a storyline that runs weekly through March. Of course, this could just mean that there are LOTS more surprises to come.
Detective Comics #1049 remains at a high level of quality as the mystery unfolds a bit with interesting developments. The art on both stories from Ivan Reis, Danny Miki and Fernando Blanco is top-notch. “Shadows of the Bat” continues to be an interesting story that doesn’t rely on “even hype” as it’s strongest element.