REVIEW: ‘Detective Comics,’ Issue #1056

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Detective Comics #1056

Detective Comics #1056 unleashes the Scarecrow onto an already horrid situation in Arkham Tower. This DC comic is written by Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg. Amancay Nahuelpan and Fernando Blanco are the artists for each of the two stories. Jordie Bellaire tackles colors, with Ariana Maher and Rob Leigh on letters. Just when you think Psycho Pirate is bad enough, he’s already whittled down to a victim of the mess he helped create, but enter the Scarecrow! Because that’s just what the Tower needed. He crept into the last issue, as Nightwing was rendered useless (again?!).

Thankfully, not breaking from the format, Tamaki gives readers the scoop on Koyuki Nakano, First Lady of Gotham. For these first few pages, we get a very good look at the depression and disassociation she regularly experiences, along with the dismissive way people treat the mentally ill. Once again, it’s good to start an issue focusing on a single character, especially when that character does not wear a mask. It gives the comic a lived-in feeling. It opens our eyes to the scope of Gotham that this is just as much about the citizens as it is about action sequences and cliffhangers. Heck, they’re more important. Saving them is why heroes exist.

I love Tamaki’s writing and her calm, well-paced narrative. This issue allows a host of characters to take small but vital roles in dealing with the Tower takeover. There are so many nice short bursts in this issue as if Tamaki unloaded the story from a machinegun, and I loved every shot. The entire story went full circle, no one was forgotten, and as usual, things ended on an adrenaline surprise. Great, multiple degrees of characterization that never forgets it’s a superhero comic book.

I stand corrected. It’s a good thing Nightwing is down. This shifts the focus to Huntress, a badass for the second straight issue, and we get to see Harley Quinn join in. This is probably the part in the story where I think it went flat because we really haven’t seen much of Harley. It was revealed she was in the Tower for…reasons. Maybe next issue it will become apparent, but she’s suddenly herself and in fighting form. But she does bring some hilarious dialogue. 

And the art by Nahuelpan comes in hot and fast. I’m still unsure about the artistic changes, but he lays down solid work and allows the panels to stand on their own. Bellaire has kept to the rainbow effect from the last issue, where every few pages are splashed in a dominant theme color (the old photo sepia look at the beginning is lovely). Maher enhances the cringe with Scarecrow’s balloons and does some nice touches where specific balloons with the Party Crashers overlap just enough to hint they impatiently cut in on each others’ speech. She really has a field day lettering Harley. This time, the team brought out a heavy dose of eerie, tense thrills and insane humor. 

You might think Batman is overrated, especially with the hype of the new film and the character’s oversaturation in the comics. But this story has been largely without him. Instead, it’s a big block of the Batman Family as a whole unit and a large Gotham cast that deserves exposure and gets it. Let’s hope it continues. I love seeing this cast.

Detective Comics #1056 then turns us back in time with this week’s installment of “House of Gotham.” Our poor lost, deluded Boy remains in the rubble of No Man’s Land, but he’s formed a cadre of youths and has become an effective leader. Rosenberg has brought this character through the wringer, and the years of survival are paying off. He’s bolder, more cunning, and of course, he runs into more villains and heroes in his quest to make it in Gotham. Again, there were some great confrontations and dialogue here. Blanco, Bellaire, and Leigh are stalwart providers of must-see, dingy artwork with subtle hues and long, bright word SFX.

This issue features two amazing tales in one comic that should have Batfans all over it. This city has an incredible double dose of characterization and forward progression and an embarrassment of riches storywise. If you haven’t already, get this.

Detective Comics #1056 is available wherever comic books are sold.


Detective Comics #1056
4

TL;DR

This issue features two amazing tales in one comic that should have Batfans all over it. This city has an incredible double dose of characterization and forward progression and an embarrassment of riches storywise. If you haven’t already, get this.