Detective Comics #954
The third chapter of the big League of Shadows arc is an unusual time to install a new artist. Detective Comics #954 suffers from the dramatic shift to artist Marcio Takara.
Takara utilizes a thicker line style than we’ve seen on the title and subsequently loses some of the precision detailing that’s been the norm. There’s several panels that lack backgrounds and the character expressions seem a little exaggerated. Not that Takara is a bad fit, but it’s a jarring switch from the more classical style of Christian Duce, who penciled the previous installments.
Writer James Tynion IV raises the stakes with Ra’s al Ghul entering the fray. Initially he seems an unlikely ally, but nothing is ever what it seems with The Demon’s Head.
Although the rest of Team Batman is incapacitated, Tynion does bring back another faction that looks to be major players in this battle against the League of Shadows. Tynion has shown such a knack for incorporating Batman in a team environment that this issue is a bit of a letdown. It’s been a revelation seeing Batman work so well within the confines of a team structure where he treats them like co-workers instead of lackeys.
Tynion sets up the stage for a big character showcase next issue, but hopefully one of DC’s best team books gets back on track showcasing the team rather than becoming just another Batman book.
Rating: 7 out of 10