REVIEW: ‘Detective Comics,’ Issue #1054

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Detective Comics #1054

Detective Comics #1054 spins out of control in all the right ways for DC’s venerable title. Both stories, “Shadows of the Bat” and “House of Gotham,” go into a tailspin, and it is glorious. This issue is brought to you by writers Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg. Max Raynor and Fernando Blanco provide the artwork. Luis Guerrero and Jordie Bellaire deliver the fine colors while Adriana Maher and Rob Leigh lay down the words and keep things in line. So many days have crept by for Arkham Tower, and as we know, Day 24 is when the you-know-what hits the fan. We’ve been building up to this point, and last time, Nightwing made it to the top floor and uncovered an unhinged Psycho Pirate.

But it doesn’t look like he’s leaving soon. The rest of the Bat-Family is under siege as the Party Crashers fill their underground lair with hot ammunition, forcing a retreat. But as the story ticks over into Day 24, the staff at Arkham Tower, now remembering that they have missing time and strange feelings, are thinking about getting out of there. But this is opening day. The press is coming and the Mayor’s wife. Patients will be there to “prove” they’re cured. Dr. Wear has it all under control.

The bricks have been coming out of the proverbial wall for a while now, and this issue, the wall tumbles on everyone’s shoulders. Tamaki built up the Jenga tower way back and now has pulled out the right piece to bring down the house. Everybody gets it. Just about no one skims around it. Again, this is expert juggling. There are many moving pieces, subplots, characters, and issue 1054 gives all of them a panel or so to make a presence. Little is skipped, and Raynor captures the fighting, raw emotion, and flustered faces as if he snapped them with a camera. You can’t go wrong as Guerrero goes in strong with the colors, no different from the previous issues. The stately, clean lettering with balloons that just creep over the last are excellently handled by Maher. The execution on all fronts is tops. And, whereas before, issues snuck in a touch of action between the dialogue, this time both hold equal footing. 

Detective Comics #1054 slides down from this madness into “House of Gotham.” The Boy, rescued from Arkham Asylum thanks to Bane’s weird timing and creepy advice, is back on the streets. Freedom is nice, except the chaos on those streets is courtesy of Bane, so tack on another disturbed, costumed male, further degrading the Boy’s psyche. But maybe there’s hope. Years ago, a meeting with Jason Todd/Robin didn’t go so well. But now, Bruce Wayne, in a wheelchair post-backbreaking, asks his latest Robin, Tim Drake, to go out and find the Boy, to correct the mistake of neglect long ago. This should work out—someone roughly the Boy’s age giving him a pep talk. Yeah. Not so much.

Rosenberg has cataloged how Gotham has spoiled this child with an abundance of darkness, and this issue will really stamp it in harder. Gotham’s blight will get injected straight into his veins, and by the end, his life will be as chaotic as those in “Shadows of the Bat’.” This was a nice trip down memory lane, with Blanco excelling at making Gotham look like Escape From New York, Bellaire keeping the hues sullen blue around apocalyptic fires (which look amazing) and Leigh curving word balloons around in a serpentine logic that brings this chapter to a very dark close. 

This issue electrified me. So much happened. The breathtaking part is that there are still three more issues before the conclusion. Great job by everyone involved, and once again, next Tuesday can’t get here fast enough.

Detective Comics #1054 is available wherever comic books are sold.


Detective Comics #1054
5

TL;DR

This issue electrified me. So much happened. The breathtaking part is that there are still three more issues before the conclusion. Great job by everyone involved, and once again, next Tuesday can’t get here fast enough.