DC Rebirth’s Detective Comics is basically a Batman team book. Batwoman sort-of acts as the team leader and Cassandra Cain, Spoiler, Red Robin and Clayface tag along. They’re facing off against a secret military operation, led by Batwoman’s father, which is modeled after Batman’s fighting style, just with hundreds of soldiers willing to kill. So far, this series is every bit as awesome as it sounds.
In the last couple of entries, Batman was captured by the military operation, and Batwoman’s team heads out to rescue him. This issue is when everyone meets up, turning this into a very action heavy issue that shows off everyone’s skill in increasingly awesome ways. The dialogue between Batman and Batwoman is entertaining when they argue about whether Batwoman should have taken the younger heroes along. Clayface has some impressive showings in this issue too.
As fun as this issue is, there’s a lot of drama behind it. Writer James Tynion IV starts this comic off with a flashback to when Kate Kane and her father lost her mother. It’s a very emotional scene that also explains Colonel Kane’s motivations, and it directly affects the Colonel’s decision at the end of the comic. Other great little moments include Red Robin and Spoiler teasing each other after they both pull off brilliant moves, Red Robin’s conversation with the Colonel’s main computer expert, and the cliffhanger involving upgraded drones.
The art is handled by Alvaro Martinez in the modern scenes, and Al Barrionuevo in the flashbacks. Both do a great job with their respective scenes. The flashbacks take on a bit of a painted, simple look that makes wonderful use of facial expressions and detailed backgrounds. Adriano Luca’s colouring in the flashbacks is a good mix of faded colours and shadow work. The modern scenes are full of big action spreads, showing off each team member’s fighting style while also giving detailed looks at the underground military base. The action flows very well from panel to panel, most noticeable when Red Robin takes down the hacker by showing off Robin’s acrobatics and the use of his gadgets. Clayface looks downright scary in some panels. Brad Anderson’s colouring is brilliant. Everything is bright and colourful, and there’s great use of shadows and reflections on military armour.
I’m split between this and Darth Vader 24 being my favourite comics of the week. Either way, this series is such a joy to read so far. The story is compelling, the pace is fast, and yet there’s still more than enough room for some great character development across the board. If you like any of the characters on this team, you should give this series a chance.