Detective Comics #994 Review
• Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, David Baron (Cover Artists)
It's been a long time since I thoroughly enjoyed reading a Batman comic. The last one that really stood out to me was Batman Damned: Book Two and that was in 2018.
The last Detective Comics arc was dog shit. The Batman who laughs has been meh and Tom King's Batman run has been uneven to say the least. The run is somewhat consistent but King doesn't have the most exciting take on the character.
Peter Tomasi seems to be a natural fit for the Dark Knight. Unlike other depictions of the character. Bruce feels grounded and most like a normal person despite the extreme circumstances.
Most takes on Batman either focus on deconstructing him or amping his character and abilities to the point of parody. Tomasi's Batman feels like a guy. He's extremely capable, but just a guy.
In this issue Bruce is investigating a double murder. A typical night for Batman, right? Wrong, the twist is that the victims have been staged to look like Thomas and Martha Wayne. The alteration has been so extreme that the victims have even been subjected to cosmetic surgery to further the illusion.
Bruce is obviously affected by the events but keeps a cool head during the forensic examination. The scenes are much less superheroics and highlight Batman in his natural element as the world's greatest detective.
The second half of the comic pivots in a more action oriented direction. Batman attempts to save the life of longtime friends and ally Leslie Thompkins as she is attacked by a massive beast.
The issue ends on a heartrending cliffhanger that left me excited to see what happens next. That hasn't happened in awhile with this line of titles.
The art provided by Doug Mahnke and David Baron is consistent throughout the issue and work in the slow scenes as well as in the back half of the issue when the action picks up.
The pace of the issue is also great. Its quick but not to the point where I finished reading in less than 5 minutes.
Overall I can't really complain about anything here. There is really a night and day difference between #993 & #994 which is great because DC is stagnating across the line. I know this review is late and DC's focus seems to be centered around Batman as of late. Nevertheless you can't get much better than single issues like this one.