REVIEW: ‘Detective Comics,’ Issue #1055

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Detective Comics #1055 - But Why Tho

Detective Comics #1055 drops the action, the tension, and literal bodies in not one, but two DC thrillers. Nightwing broke free of the Psycho Pirate’s hold last issue, and he is either just in the nick of time or too late. With the Pirate out and his emotion control inert, Arkham Tower is in the hands of the villains. Villains who know they were being toyed with, and want revenge. This issue’s double feature is written by Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg. Amancay Nahuelpan zips in for ‘Shadows of the BAt’ art with Fernando Blanco as usual on pencils for ‘House of Gotham’.  Jordie Bellaire provides colors for both stories this time around. Ariana Maher and Rob Leigh continue to impress as letterers.

We’ve seen it all coming to this. We knew Day 24 was when a body went out the window and Batwoman would appear across the street, trying to find a way in. Huntress stabbed and dropped in an elevator shaft. Mayor Nakano’s wife, trapped inside along with Stephanie Brown/Batgirl and others. Tamaki’s strategic foreshadowing revealed this terror early on. It’s here. Aware of their being manipulated by the Psycho Pirate and Dr. Tobias Wear, Ana Fulsion, Nero XIX, Mister Freeze, and the rest are on a violent tear to get to him, the Bat-Family, and Mrs. Nakano. Our heroes are racing around inside trying to make sense of things. Outside, the rest are trying to find a way to get in. Gotham and the press are aware of this tragedy now, which perhaps foreshadows Batman’s eventual return to these pages.

But first, Dr. Wear is out. For real. You’ll see. Meanwhile, Nightwing makes a lot of bold acrobatic moves to reconnoiter with his team, only to get waylaid by the chaos on every floor. This is a dramatic issue where the previous downward spiral only plummets farther and faster. There is a great use of color by Bellaire here where pages cover more of the spectrum, only to digress into sharp reds and icy blues before dropping off into pages of murky, thick ink that capture this darkness the characters have fallen into. 

Tamaki coordinates this issue with orchestral flair and doesn’t look back. There are great fights, action sequences, short bursts of tense dialogue, and the feeling of no way out is even stronger. This is complemented not only by Bellaire’s tactful coloring and Maher’s pinpoint letters and SFX, but we are graced with the bold pencils and strong facial work of Nahuelpan. There is nothing to say against his lines. Everything is as powerful as the story. If I had a complaint, it’s minor. This is the third artist for the same storyline. The opening scene alone with a tied-up Dr. Meridian and what she sees says it all about this issue. Tension. Thrills. Lighting. Artistry. Hell in Gotham.

‘House of Gotham,’ I need to just write that then take a moment. The Boy’s life, well, it doesn’t improve this issue. Not by far. However, he does find himself and a sense of purpose. Ironically, he finds it during one of Gotham’s worst times, as an earthquake jumps the Boy into the time of ‘No Man’s Land’ as he and other teens fight for survival in the wreckage. This continues to be a gripping tale by Rosenberg, who is enjoying digging through the city’s rubble to keep his protagonist engaged. Blanco has gone from one apocalypse to another and Gotham looks skeletal, leperous by his hand. Bellaire’s grim tones pair well with the orderliness of Leigh’s balloons and clear content. 

Detective Comics #1055 shines in the darkness of the stories it puts on display. The drama can still get more heated, surprisingly, as we get right near the finales. If you haven’t already, get this issue and go back to #1047 and work our way up.

Detective Comics #1055 is available wherever comic books are sold.


Detective Comics #1055
4

TL;DR

Detective Comics #1055 shines in the darkness of the stories it puts on display. The drama can still get more heated, surprisingly, as we get right near the finales. If you haven’t already, get this issue and go back to #1047 and work our way up.