Review: Detective Comics #1054
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Max Raynor and Fernando Blanco
Colors: Luis Geurerro and Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Ariana Maher and Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
The Psycho Pirate loses control, thus Wear loses control and things just aren’t going anyone’s way- except maybe the patients of the Tower.
Continuity isn’t something that’s often utilized in a significant way anymore. In my view, there are too many retcons and outright disregard for stories that come before that shaped characters. However, the second feature in Detective Comics #1054 is using it in an interesting way. It creates a specific nostalgia for a specific era in Batman’s history but also functions as a way of connecting important stories of the past with the present which in turn helps flesh out the larger world. In this issue, we see Jean-Paul Valley as Batman alongside Tim Drake’s Robin. This is clearly taking place during “Knightfall.” We won’t get into how much time has passed in the universe, that may be too much of an academic assignment, but as it is it’s an extremely effective use of continuity to connect current events to something important in Batman’s past.
Written by Matthew Rosenberg, “House of Gotham” is a nice contrast to the main feature, as well. “House of Gotham” is a much more intimate look at not only the protagonist who apparently will grow up to be (redacted) but also Bruce. Even the appearances of Tim in this issue and Jason Todd in issue #1052 are more intimate and serve as a character moment as much as a plot point. Fernando Blanco’s art perfectly compliments the story communicating the subtler moments as well as the physicality of Valley’s Batman and the nostalgic appearance of Tim in his original Robin costume.
The main feature in Detective Comics #1054 is quite plot-driven. Things have come to a head as the Psycho Pirate loses control during the grand unveiling of the Tower to the public and press, though not too grand. It mostly connects the pieces of the puzzle. One new plot element is the trapping of Nakano’s wife inside the Tower. It appears now that both of the Nakano’s will have “rescued by Bat-family” on their CVs.
This is probably the most straightforward chapter of “Shadows of the Bat.” There’s nothing too wild in the structure or action to make the reader take notice. In the larger picture, it will go by quickly as it functions to move the plot along.
Detective Comics #1054 is an average chapter in “Shadows of the Bat.” It does its job to get the reader from point A to point B, but not much else. It’s necessary to do this, but there’s nothing special about this one. That doesn’t mean to say you should skip this issue, rather just take it for what it is. I found “House of Gotham” to be the stronger of the two stories in this issue with its use of continuity creating a certain feeling of connectivity with the bigger picture of Batman’s past.