DETECTIVE COMICS #984 written by Brian Hill, with pencils by Miguel Mendoca, Diana Egea worked on inks, the fantastic colors are by Adriano Lucas, and letters by Sal Cipriano crashes into your comic shops this week as Black Lightning is introduced to his new students, Bruce Wayne, and a little taste of Karma.
Let’s join Brian Hill as he creates the new Outsiders, or Detective Squad, or Batman Inc., or whatever the hang they’ll call this team when it’s done!
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
DETECTIVE COMICS #984 SPOILERS TOO
Hill opens the comic with a flashback of our new villain Karma paying a million bucks for that fancy helmet he’s wearing, which we are led to believe later in the issue can absorb superhuman abilities. Next, Hill cuts to present day where we see Karma attacking Orphan. Good thing Black Lightning jumps in just in time to even the fight.
Black Lightning shoots Karma with some lightning that he absorbs and sends it right back at Batman who just appeared out of nowhere to attack him. Batman crashes through a window and is messed up pretty bad. Even though Karma could end Bruce right there, he leaves this weird dagger on the ground in front of him and escapes into a sewer.
Later, Jefferson Piece (Black Lightning) has a heart to heart about Bruce using kids in his line of work. We find out that Alfred agrees with Jefferson but realizes there is nothing he can do about it. However, we end the issue by finding out that Batman wants Jefferson to be Duke, Barbara, and Cassandra’s new mentor. After the wedding let down and now Karma, Batman sees his family as a weakness. Is brooding Batman back?
Orphan was able to kick some major tush earlier in this run when she took out her mother’s league. She single-handedly took them all down, AND Batman made it seem like he would lose if the two of them fought each other. So, how can some no named guy come out from nowhere and put Cass in her place?
Maybe you say it’s the helmet? Ok… It’s the helmet. Then, why hasn’t every villain in the world tried to use this dang helmet if it’s so powerful? This didn’t pass the sniff test. However, Tynion (the past Detective writer) painted himself into a corner making Orphan that “powerful” and “trained” in the first place. Now, Hill has to deal with it and hope everyone forgot that little tidbit.
Why didn’t Karma end Batman? He had him dead to rights but chose to escape into the sewer. If he wanted Batman dead that badly, he should have just ended him there. This plot point in comics is tiring. Granted, Hill could argue that Karma wants him to suffer. But, hasn’t that been done already? This smells a bit like DEATH IN THE FAMILY. Right?
Third and Fourth Thought
Can Batman finally stop getting his butt kicked? Ever since Rebirth, Batman in any book, whether it’s written by Scott Snyder, Tom King, or James Tynion, writes a Batman that can’t fight! The guy who knows assorted Martial Arts and trained by dozens of Masters gets beat almost daily. It’s as if every Batman writer sends out a memo stating, “in conclusion, Detective Chimp is the World’s Greatest Detective, AND Batman lied about all that Martial Arts training. Sincerely, Batman Writers Union.” Hill, can you please fix this? OR, at least don’t join the Union!
Also Hill, you’re going to tell readers that everybody and their granddaughter knows Batman is Bruce Wayne but not Jefferson Pierce? Granted, Hill did a great job in the issue opening with Black Lightning not knowing his identity and being forced into it by the end.
Of course, your family is a weakness, Bruce. But, here’s how you get around that:
- Don’t tell anyone your secret identity
- Don’t keep colossal Source Wall destroying secrets
- AND Don’t let kids become your partners.
If you follow those three freakin’ rules, you’d be fine.
Should you get this issue?
Yes. The art by Mendoca, Egea, and Lucas was clear, straightforward, and easy to follow from panel to panel. The action scenes showed clear movement AND, with Hill’s help, the dialogue never over saturated a page. This made the issue a fun, quick, and smooth read.
Should you add this to your pull list?
Yes. It’s exciting to see what Hill and his team are doing. Also, who is Karma, maybe the First Victim, maybe Jokers daughter, or maybe James Gordon JR.? We are also (probably) getting an OUTSIDERS book at some point, which is exciting. BUT, is it going to be made of Batman’s kids? Meh.
Find another way to kick Bats kids out of DETECTIVE COMICS and give readers an OUTSIDERS comic with some of the runoff from JLA like Killer Frost for example. And again, the hope is that readers get an answer to who Karma is unlike what Tynion did with the First Victim.
This team is doing the best they can with the cards they’re dealt. Good luck. You should all jump in now. After the Wedding, Batman’s direction is changing, and Hill is leading us off pretty well.
What did you guys think of DETECTIVE COMICS #984? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @dispatchdcu