Detective Comics #950 Review

Written by: James Tynion IV

Art by: Marcio Takara & Dean White; Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez & Brad Anderson; Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira & Adriano Lucas

Publisher: DC Comics

I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit excited to be checking in with Detective Comics. Despite not being a fan of the direction that book was heading when I dropped it, I did, and on some level, still do, really love the cast. So the prospect of spending more time with them was actually pretty exciting.

And then I remembered Tim was gone, and apparently Stephanie ran off at some point. Batwoman is barely in this issue. The same is true of Clayface, and he seems to have lost a little bit of his charm. Cassie’s still around, and the first story in this issue does focus heavily on her. Which is cool, except for the part where 75% of the narration is useless.

It kind of illustrates a distinct lack of trust on the part of James Tynion IV. He literally describes facial expressions and body language – at that point, I was left wondering why Marcio Takara and Dean White even bother. I mean, they do great work visually. But if Tynion is just going to explain what they’re doing… what’s the point?

Maybe, if this were a novel, it would have worked. Because really, this seems like it could be a fairly poignant bit of characterization for Cassie. Instead, it spends hundreds of words explaining that Cassie has issues communicating. Maybe the contrast here is actually. Kidding, of course. The lack of brevity truly is a flaw, and a frustrating one at that.

The other two stories aren’t much better. The Azrael/Batwing pairing is one that makes total sense here. Science boy and hardcore faith man? Perfect juxtaposition. Time to have some fun! Except it turns into a bunch of bland, predictable dialogue. It’s Ok to break out of tropes a little bit. It really is! Or at least experiment with them!

And just when I thought the whole affair was over, nope, they hit me with another story. This may be the least offensive of the three, but it’s still not particularly interesting. It jumps back in the timeline, and sees Tim laying out the obvious for anyone that was paying attention. Woah, Batman was putting his allies in places where he could have more control? Why exactly is that a suspicious thing for him to be doing? That’s kind of his MO.

To be honest, there’s a fair bit about the plot structures that doesn’t make a ton of sense. Things don’t really seem to line up in a rational fashion. It ends up feeling disjointed, more than anything else.

All the art is pretty solid, even it if strictly adheres to the house style. It’s a shame that there are words being vomited all over it, because I may be able to appreciate it better if that weren’t the case.

So when it comes down to it, my excitement wasn’t really warranted. Detective Comics #950 is pretty disappointing. Sure, it’s an oversized special, so perhaps it isn’t indicative of the quality of the book. Maybe I’ll give it another issue, but this has left an awful taste in my mouth.