Detective Comics #934 Review

Written by: James Tynion IV

Art by: Eddy Barrows

Publisher: DC Comics

I was going to start off this review with a bit about how Detective Comics really did a good job of setting up an ongoing story. Unlike the rest of the Rebirth books, it actually felt like it was building towards something. Then I checked the cover and realized that it wasn’t a Rebirth issue and kind of felt like an idiot. Which, I might add, doesn’t detract from just how well Tynion sets up the book’s first arc. Anyways, my point is that it’s actually pretty cool to see that this is numbered as 934. It’s just a cool legacy thing, and as someone who’s first issue of Detective was the first issue of The New 52 series, it’s kind of fun to have a book on my pull list that’s almost at 1000 issues.

As for the actual issue, well, Tynion does a really good job introducing the cast and setting up the plot. It’s awesome to see Stephanie Brown, Cassie Cain, and Tim Drake back in a fairly major book, and Tynion writes them all quite well. I will say that it’s kind of difficult to determine how much is carrying over from the pre-New 52 canon, and how much of the New 52 is still around. This wasn’t a huge issue for any of the books last week, but here I felt legitimately unsure.

Regardless, the book seems to be very character focused, and the dialogue is a lot of fun to read. I actually really like using Detective Comics as a team book, because it can act as a foil to Batman. Already, this seems like it’s going to be a lot more fun than that book. Honestly, that’s a good thing, because character like Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown don’t need to be grimdark 100% of the time. The art, and especially the colors, reflect this pretty well. There’s a neat variety of costumes that makes the book feel a bit more visually dynamic.

On the topic of the art, I quit liked Eddy Barrows’ work here. A few pages have some really awesome layouts, and he does an excellent job of capturing the characters. Batman is large and intimidating, Stephanie and Tim seem smaller and more relaxed, Clayface seems a bit down. The art synergizes super well the writing, making the reading experience as cohesive as possible. It is very much in line with DC’s house style, however. It’s very good at being that, but it’s not exactly groundbreaking.

Writing wise, my biggest issue with the book is Clayface. I think he’s written fine, and there’s set up for an interesting story there, but there doesn’t see to be a real reason he’s involved. The rest of the cast is all involved in the events of the book for good reasons, but he really isn’t. I also think it’s unfortunate that we don’t really see the team interacting with one another here, and outside of Batwoman, Clayface, and Batman, the main cast doesn’t get a whole lot of dialogue.

Of course, there’s still a ton of time for that in future issues, and overall, Detective Comics #934 was an impressive issue. It’s definitely a book I’ll be sticking with, if only to see more of characters that were either forgotten or misused in The New 52. It helps that Tynion seems to have a handle on the characters, despite not giving everyone a ton of time in this issue.