Rating: 3.5/5 – A “Bold New Direction for Batman” that Delivers.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
After a long and successful run on the Flash, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato take over the creative duties on the thirtieth issue of Detective Comics. When this team was announced, it seemed as though it may not be the best fit for Manapul in particular, moving from the the bright and clean colors of Flash’s world, to the dark and grittier world of Batman. But Manapul’s art style works, and works quite well. From the cover with it’s bright yellow background to the interiors with fast moving action, Manapul’s art is a nice stylistic change from what we’re used to. And although the story telling struggles at times, for the most part it lives up to the hype as a “bold new direction for Batman”.
A drug called Icarus has started to take a grip on Gotham City. As Batman investigates, things become a bit more complicated with the addition of rival gangs, politicians, and children. Not only that, but Buccellato and Manapul also introduce a handful of new characters, both good and bad. Unfortunately, as we’re introduced to several of them, they appear and move out very quickly. The pace of this issue moves so quickly in fact, that it’s tough to care for some of the characters introduced. Hopefully the pace slows down a bit with future issues so we can get to know these characters better in order for us to care about them more.
As mentioned above, the art works really well and is an exciting change to the character. Manapul makes Gotham dark, but not so dark as to feel depressing. The opening page welcomes you to Gotham with a view from a pier, with the sun shining and birds being fed. The next page is a beautiful two page spread with Batman swinging through the city with the caption, “It’s a new start”. It does feel like a new start throughout this issue. It doesn’t always work, but it’s a fresh take on Detective Comics and I look forward to reading more.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture