DC Comics has been around for over 80 years now, and with that many titles have been started and ended. There are some that have been around since the very beginning though. One of these is the namesake of DC, Detective Comics. The main story of Detective Comics #1041 was written by Mariko Tamaki and drawn by Dan Mora, while the backup story was written by Matthew Rosenburg and drawn by Derick Robertson. The cover is a beautiful illustration by Dan Mora, depicting Batman being held up by the statue typically associated with the phrase “justice is blind.”
As always, the review will be judging the comic based solely on the contents within the issue itself, disregarding any previous issues, and instead judging it on its own merit. To the disappointment of all, this issue is almost meaningless without the needed context of other issues, which in itself is not the fault of the writing team, but is instead an issue faced by the comic industry as a whole. The main story, at least. The backup story was one of the most refreshing stories I have read in a long time.
The writing in this issue is competent, but it is by far not the most enjoyable thing I have read. It certainly gave me something to wrap my brain around for a few minutes, but between decompression becoming the mainstream norm and the fact that this being the first part of the new storyline means the entire feature story was dedicated to setting up story beats that they will charge you $4.99 to continue reading next month. By no means was the writing bad, as the main story sets up an interesting dilemma, but reading the issue alone loses out on a lot of context.
The backup story, however, is exceptional for what it is, following a reporter uncovering a mystery within Gotham. Yes, it is somewhat of a tired trope, but not often do you follow a story in a world filled with superheroes through the eyes of a simple reporter. Rosenberg has done some of my favorite stories as of recently, so it was no surprise that it was enjoyable.
All in all though, I would not recommend this to a reader, especially not for 5 dollars. I am confident that when read as a full story (through a trade paperback), it will be an interesting conflict for Batman not seen since the seminal Scott Snyder run, but for now, it is a somewhat dissatisfying read.
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