Rating: 3.5/5 – A Creative Look at the Past Before a Rebirth.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
DC’s major titles like Batman, Action and Detective Comics are now hitting their fiftieth issues since the New 52 reboot. Although DC is about to embark on a new journey with its Rebirth, they’re releasing oversized issues before this era ends and a new one begins. Detective Comics number fifty wraps up a storyline that has run over the course of its last few issues, and ends with a wonderful but curious story that pays homage to Detective Comics covers of the past, all written by Peter Tomasi.
As far as the main story goes, this concluding story is solid in it’s execution, but may not be the most exciting of Batman stories especially for a celebratory 50th issue. This may also be because of my lack of excitement for Batman since Jim Gordon took over the mantle of the Bat. Gordon and Harvey Bullock continue their chase for a serial killer that is gathering the bones of his victims to open a doorway to hell in order to slay the devil. This villain is a complex character, but doesn’t come across for me as interesting as other Batman villains introduced in the New 52. That said, the art by Fernando Pasarin and Scot Eaton is superb! I love Pasarin’s style and hope to see him on a book in DC’s Rebirth block later this year. They keep the action moving and provide some great action sequences despite Gordon being less visually exciting.
The second and shorter part of this issue is called the “11 Curious Cases of Batman” and has eleven different pin-ups that tell a story referencing eleven covers from Detective Comics’ past like issue 50, Norm Breyfogle’s cover from 602, and Michael Kaluta’s cover from 427. I loved the art and was able to pick out each of the covers it was referencing, but I also felt there could have been more information as to why these particular covers were chosen. Why, for example, was Frazer Irving drawing a recreation of Detective Comics number 70? A bit more context would have been appreciated even though I loved the story and the idea to use these covers to tell a story. I’m now curious to see if this is happening across all the other “50th issues”, because if so, I’d be more inclined to pick them up and see what other artists have come up with to pay homage to these character’s past.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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