Review: Detective Comics #1056
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Amancay Nahuelpan and Fernando Blanco
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Ariana Maher and Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
As Psycho-Pirate divulges Tobias Wear’s plans to Mayor Nakano’s wife who is a patient in Arkham Tower, Nightwing, Huntress, and Stephanie Brown get moving.
While Mariko Tamaki’s run on Detective Comics has featured a more intimate approach to the Dark Knight and his allies, Detective Comics #1056 extends it to the ancillary characters as well. Mrs. Nakano draws us right in as Tamaki makes us feel for her. It almost doesn’t matter that there’s all this chaos in the Tower, it’s the fear that’s debilitating her that connects the reader. She’s clearly in pain, and you can’t help but want to help her. Furthermore, Psycho-Pirate ends up bearing his soul to her as he confesses his part of the deception while revealing Dr. Wear as the man behind the plan.
The rest of the issue catches the reader up on the status of Nightwing, Batwoman, Stephanie Brown, and the Huntress. They each get a few pages of focus as the Party Crasher makes a new move and the Scarecrow stands revealed as another major player in the Tower. Wear certainly couldn’t’ have anticipated Crane stepping up, although there continue to be suggestions that there is someone behind the scenes yet to enter the fray. The Party Crashers masks still make me think they are Joker-related. While Joker is overused, it would be fitting for him to be a part of the Tower, Arkham Asylum has always been his home away from home. Oh, and I’m sure most readers will be happy to see the return of a couple of other Bat-family members by the end of the issue!
In “House of Gotham, ” Batman and Huntress confront our unnamed protagonist in the latter days of “No Man’s Land.” Matthew Rosenberg presents a very interesting premise as Batman has to apologize to this boy whose story we’ve been following. It’s not often that Batman admits a mistake or willingly offers up an apology, and this situation will make the reader think. It’s a unique moment as it points out Batman’s fallibility as well as his ability to recognize it. It’s unclear if this is intended to show a further error on Batman’s part or rather show that sometimes doing the right thing isn’t always obvious- one can’t assume how things will go.
Well, the negative is pretty obvious this issue. Unfortunately, the middle of the main story is disrupted by Harley Quinn. It’s been suggested that the character we’ve seen throughout “Shadows of the Bat” is someone who “thinks” she’s Harley. Well, this individual claims to actually be Harley and supposedly calls Batwoman. Again, she’s the most unwelcome guest star in comics. Her appearance here slows down the pace, distracts the reader from what is actually going on, and provides absolutely nothing to the story. It really is better to just skip over her pages. Now, this is not an indictment of Tamaki, it’s simply what Harley does, in my opinion.
Except for Harley Quinn’s unwelcome appearance, Detective Comics #1056 is yet again another fantastic installment of “Shadows of the Bat.” It’s intimate at times and gets the reader involved emotionally at the outset. Certainly, by the end, it’s not hard to see that the end is nearing as… well, no spoilers!