• Baraka

Detective Comics #998 Review - The Demon and The Hellbat

Peter J Tomasi (Writer) • Doug Mahnke (Pencils)

David Baron (Colorist) • Doug Mahnke, David Baron, Jaime Mendoza (Cover Artists)

DC Comics (Publisher) • Get it Now from Comixology

I own a Facebook Nerd Group that has over 260,000 members. The group touches on DC comics from time to time and we often see "Versus" posts. One of the verses matches that comes up often is who would win Batman in the Hellbat Armor vs. Iron Man?

Batman #998 is the first time I've seen the Hellbat armor in action. After reading the issue I wasn't all that impressed and honestly think Iron Man would make light work of it. The Hellbat Armor does look cool though.

The issue picks up with the cliffhanger from #997. Batman confronts Hugo Strange who has no idea what's going on. Strange offers to help but Batman declines, slaps the shit out of him, and then leaves.

At this point, Batman calls down the Hellbat suit and checks in with Etrigan: The Demon who is currently under attack by another monster that is apparently a physical manifestation of the fear Batman has created throughout his career.

Detective #998 is another solid issue in the leadup to the #1000 milestone. The art direction and action are great but this is the first issue in this arc that felt padded. I've read stories featuring Etrigan over the years and have never been a fan. It was interesting to see his interactions with Bruce and their relationship but this entire segment of the book feels more like an extended cameo than something that was necessary to push the story forward.

The issue deepens the mystery of who is targeting Batman as well as my knowledge of Batmans circle of allies. I had no idea of Batman's relationship with Etrigan nor did I know that Dr. Stone had provided Bruce with technological support early on in his career.

All of this insight is great but I feel like its time for answers. The arc has been running for a while now and I know answers will be provided in issue #1000. I just hope Detective #999 will have more to offer than another extended Boss Fight.

Rating: 8/10