Review: Detective Comics #1053
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Roseberg
Art: Max Raynor and Fernando Blanco
Colors: Luis Geurerro and Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Ariana Maher and Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
The pieces are moving as the Party Crasher’s crash the Bat-party in the Cave, while Nightwing starts putting the pieces together in the Tower after talking to Helena.
A weekly storylines can be difficult to manage with all the storylines that make up the big picture. With Detective Comics #1053, “Shadows of the Bat” is beginning to feel a bit like Batman Eternal and Batman and Robin Eternal, the two weekly Batman series from “The New 52.” Those series had a lot going on and “Shadows” is progressing the same way as Mariko Tamaki continues to add new aspects to the story that add to the complexity and raise the stakes.
The opening sequences focuses on the Party Crashers, the costumed thugs running the drugs that owe a bit to the Joker for their look- it’s unclear if this is an actual connection or simply misdirection. Interestingly, this issue gives a bit of complexity to them as they not only show distrust of Dr. Wear but, also get the drop on the Bat-family in the Cave. (Not Bruce’s Batcave under Wayne Manor, but the Cave that is underneath Gotham City itself.) Meanwhile, in Arkham Tower Nightwing visits Nero XIX and Helena and gets enough clues to lead him to Psycho Pirate.
“House of Gotham” does a couple of interesting things for Chapter 7 in Detective Comics #1053. This story continues to track the development of its unnamed protagonist. However, a reread of issue #1047 may point you in the right direction. It’s felt obvious that there’s been a link between the two stories running concurrently in Detective Comics, it’s just not been blatantly obvious. We know these events are taking place in the past and we saw Jason Todd as Robin last issue, and in this issue we see Bane presumably liberating the inmates of Arkham Asylum that was part of the seminal “Knightfall” storyline. It’s another interesting connection to continuity as well as being a story that adds another dimension to the young protagonist.
The only real negative is that this far in a new reader might not be able to figure out exactly what’s going on. However, it’s still an interesting issue for a new reader with so many surprising elements.
As “Shadows of the Bat” is just over the midway point, it’s clear that it’s a series that has increased in complexity while never losing sight of the importance of the relationships of the characters be it the Party Crashers or the Bat-family. It’s a series that’s playing the long game and it’s working extremely well.