Batwoman's ragtag team of Gotham vigilantes has become rather close in a short time, but in many ways, Tim Drake served as the glue that kept the team running. In the newest issue of Detective Comics, the void he left is given its most effective spotlight thus far.
The reverberations left by Tim Drake's "death" are being felt all over, but there's a different vibe to this group that allows that storyline to a bit harder here. It's the idea of how one deals with grief rather than just a surface reaction that we've seen in so many comics over the years. Each character handles it differently, and Bruce's handling, in particular, comes under closer scrutiny from Kate Kane.
The two have an enlightening conversation about midway through the book, and it's a genuine one that many have had when someone passes. Kane is one of the few people save for Alfred himself who can confront him Bruce about it effectively, and that fact isn't lost on Alfred.
While Drake's death does serve as the basis for much of the issue, Tynion effectively introduces a new threat to the book that quickly makes an impact. The most intriguing part about them is their mysterious ties to Batman's former exploits and could make for an interesting addition to his already stacked rogue's gallery. On the art side of things, Alvaro Martinez brings some impressive visuals to the mix when he's able to expand out of the talking heads area, but even in those rather boring panels, his Batwoman is pitch perfect.
On of Tynion's biggest accomplishments thus far is his handling of Clayface. The "bad guy gone good" formula is a rather traditional one, but Tynion has managed to make Basil Karlo's journey an intriguing one and has successfully given the character more than a few humanizing elements that all his years of villainy failed to do.
So far this has been the most consistently great of the Batman books since Rebirth launched, and with the start of a new arc and an introduction of new villains, things don't seem to be changing anytime soon. If you can pick up only one Bat-book, Detective Comics should be it.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Written By: James Tynion IV
Drawn By: Alvaro Martinez0comments
Inked By: Raul Fernandez
Colored By: Brad Anderson