Review: Detective Comics # 1059 – The Batman Universe

Overview: Detective Comics # 1059 starts Mariko Tamaki’s last arc on the title, while the backup story brings Gotham Girl back to Gotham City after spending time in Arkham Tower.

Editor’s Note: Due to the anthological nature of this collection, we will include a synopsis and analysis for each story instead of dividing the synopsis and analysis. Spoilers will definitely be revealed.

Story # 1: “The Tower” Part 1 by authors Mariko Tamaki and Nadia Shammas and artist Ivan Reis

Synopsis: Detective Comics # 1059 starts with Riddler’s “Pirate Radio” in the air all over Gotham City. While the Gothamites look and tune into the Gotham City Courthouse, Judge Caroline Donovan, Deb Donovan’s daughter, has sentenced Martin Ashen to hard time behind bars. As the judge leaves the bench, the judge gives the convicted felon one last look. As she enters her chambers, she finds something wrong – a bomb. She runs out and asks to have the rest of the courthouse cleared.

As the GCPD arrives at the scene, Batman rushes through the window into the judge’s chambers. He deactivates the bomb only to find out there is another explosive. There is no time to disarm it. He wraps it in his cloak and walks towards the window, throwing it out while it detonates. Outside the courthouse, officials pleaded with the judge to go to the hospital. As they prepare to leave, Caroline sees a man walking away. He looks familiar despite wearing a bandana over his face.

In the Gotham Gazette, Deb Donovan receives word of the bomb in his daughter’s chambers. She hurries to the hospital to check on her daughter, but after an exchange of words, Caroline sends her away. As Deb leaves, she bumps into Bruce Wayne. He brings Caroline flowers. Bruce and Caroline connect as he secretly examines her for information about what happened at the courthouse. Before Bruce leaves, he thanks Caroline for saving lives with his early warning.

Later, in the new, new Batcave, Batman finds security footage involving Sarah Pet, an Internet influencer, in planting the bombs in the judge’s chamber. He finds and confronts Pet, but she quickly confesses to the crime.

There’s a murder scene at Gotham City Opera House. As Batman investigates the scene, a deadly gas attack hits the Bank of Gotham. Batman arrives to help. While Batman is trying to save as many people as he can, he sees someone running from the scene. He hunts and catches the man at the end of an alley. The man calls himself John Harper. After apologizing for his transgressions, Harper takes a gun and kills himself in front of Batman.

While Batman studies the events of the day, another Riddler episode appears on the screen. He too has been aware of the events of the past 24 hours. Batman knows that his longtime enemy has something to do with it.

Back at the hospital, Caroline gets a call from “Chase”. She tells “Chase” never to call her again. She did what they asked. But no one was to be harmed.

Analysis: Despite a great story from Mariko Tamaki to kick off the aftermath of the Shadows of the Bat event here in Detective Comics # 1059, I have a big problem with this story – it’s coming to an end. And I do not mean the end of Tamaki’s race on Detective, even though it’s an important thing for me. But knowing that Tamaki’s last edition is in June means that this last bow must be performed in two more editions. In this first issue of The Arch, we already see now that Tamaki is in a hurry to push things into history. Three events are connected in the story. Only one, however, had a certain depth. Granted, this is the story involving Deb Donovan’s daughter. While understandable given that Deb Donovan has been an integral character in Tamaki’s run on Detective Comics, this is supposed to be a Riddler story. However, we get very little from him beyond the beginning and end of the first part. Given that we only have two more problems in the arc, while I hope we will not see more of this, there is something that tells me it will. And that’s a shame, considering how amazing Tamaki’s run in the series has been.

It’s also good to see Ivan Reis back on the pages of Detective comics. His pencils continue to be impeccable. IN Detective Comics # 1059, Brad Anderson delivers colors. I had to check to be sure because the colors in this issue gave me Jodie Bellaire vibes. It is an honor for the work style they both perform.

Story # 2: “Gotham Girl, Interrupted” by author Sina Grace and artist David Lapham

Synopsis: Gotham girl confronts a shady businessman named Brian Kimura as his bodyguards pointlessly attack her since a mysterious website calling itself “Gotham Girl” pointed her at him. She walks through the roof and then tries to figure things out in various lonely places around the city. The website appeared not long after they released Claire from Arkham Tower. Claire does not feel comfortable going to Bat-Family. At Gotham High, where Claire tries to connect with people and use the theater department’s resources to make costumes, she meets up with her friend and former Arkham Tower member Andre, who encourages her to go to the required meetings (though Claire has fierce fantasies about using her powers to strike out). Later, after breaking a lot of things with her powers, she decides to go to a meeting anyway, but finds Andre dead alone.

Analysis: So I had to read this story a few times before I really had a sense of how I really felt. After the first reading, there was no doubt that it was not something for me. After talking to some of the folks at TBU, I decided to give this story an honest reread (actually two reruns). I now have a better feeling for my thoughts, so carry on with me as I play this out.

The Gotham Girls return to Gotham is just ok. Part of the reason I have a hard time grasping the story Sina Grace is trying to tell tends to be that the only voice we’ve received to Claire Clover since her introduction to the Batman universe until now has been voice written by Tom King. That is, after years of absence from Batman (and the first in Detective comics), this dialogue, which primarily consists of Claire talking to herself, just seems a little off and something I have to get used to.

Let’s be ready. I’m still not a fan of David Lapham’s art. It was a breath of fresh air with the art we received in the weeks with Shadows of the Bat. His linework looks sloppy and the colors of Trish Mulvihill do not help.

Editor’s Note: DC Comics provided TBU with a copy of this comic for review purposes. You can find this comic and help support TBU in the process by purchasing this issue digitally at Comixology through Amazon or a physical copy of the title throughout Things from another world.

Detective Comics # 1059

Overall score

3/5

Once again, a backup history negatively affects the final assessment of the overall problem. I’m not sure the meaning of them anymore, especially considering that these stories have nothing to do with the main story. I continue to look forward to reading what Mariko Tamaki wrote in Detective Comics. But unfortunately, the backup stories lately continue to disappoint.

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