REVIEW: ‘Batman The Detective,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman The Detective #1

Batman The Detective #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Tom Taylor, with art by Andy Kubert, colors by Brad Anderson, and letters by Clem Robins. A Wayne Airlines plane is brought down over England after it is attacked by assailants wearing faux Batman masks. Bruce Wayne is soon on his way to London to learn all he can about these mysterious villains, as well as what motivates them. 

With Alfred recently deceased and Damian having vanished, Wayne Manor is emptier than it has ever been before. And that emptiness is weighing on Bruce. Having failed so many and with so little to show for his successes, Batman struggles with what his next step needs to be. So much so that the opportunity to head to Europe almost seems like a welcome change for the Caped Crusader. But as Batman investigates the pieces of this new puzzle, he may find himself at the center of it all.  

Batman The Detective #1 sees Taylor’s take on a grizzled Batman struggling to keep going. There is also a strong emphasis on Bruce’s age throughout this story. He isn’t as young as he used to be. This weariness only further builds on the sense of Batman running out of steam. But he’s Batman. Batman doesn’t quit, especially when the perpetrators of this latest crime have a survivor to go after. The fact that she happens to be an old ally of Bruce’s only makes it all the more personal.

Taylor also spends a couple of pages of Batman The Detective #1 to give Batman a fight with a random villain from the area. While I would normally feel such a moment would be a waste of space in a limited-issue storyline, this moment does a great job of further establishing Batman’s mood and mindset. And given how different this version of the iconic character is compared to the current main run, I would say it’s worth the space to make sure everyone is on the same page.

The art largely succeeds in what it attempts to bring to the story. However, there is a problem area for me. And unfortunately, it’s a big one. That being Bruce Wayne himself.  As a long-time comic reader whose first big forays into comic collecting were largely 90s X-Men stories, I have a deep fondness in my heart for Kubert’s amazing artistic talents. The intensity that he captures in his subjects is rarely rivaled. Combining this with his excellent fight sequences and his particular style of art ticks so many boxes for the version of Batman this series is delivering. 

The only place Kubert’s art stumbles is in an early sequence in the Batcave. Here we see what can only be described as a hulking Bruce Wayne hunched over the Batcomputer. I can’t help but feel like everything about the presentation of Wayne here is wrong. From the oversized arms to the choice of attire, it just doesn’t work for me.

Anderson’s colors further elevate the largely successful art of Kubert. Anderson captures each scene’s mood with a wonderfully enhancing color palette, from deary moors of England to the warmth of a reunion lit by the setting sun.

Rounding out the book’s visual presentation is Robins’ letters. The letter work is clear and well placed, and Robbins’ choice to background batman’s running internal monologue with blue helps to make it stand apart from both the regular dialogue, as well as the art it fluidly moves through. 

Batman The Detective #1 ends on a reveal that can’t fail to grab readers’ attention. With the apparent why of this airborne disaster revealed, Batman knows he is up against someone looking to hurt him in an extremely particular way. But who and why remain to be discovered. Finding out why has me more hyped than I’ve been for a Batman story in years.

Batman The Detective #1 is available now wherever comics are sold. 

Batman The Detective #1
4.5

TL;DR

Batman The Detective #1 ends on a reveal that can’t fail to grab the attention of readers. With the apparent why of this airborne disaster revealed, Batman knows he is up against someone looking to hurt him in an extremely particular way. But who, and why remain to be discovered. Finding out why has me more hyped than I’ve been for a Batman story in years.