Detective Comics #958
Detective hadn’t been on a slump so much that it’s first few arcs set up a very high standard. The opening chapter of Intelligence looks to be a return to this run’s past glory.
It’s not just the introduction of a new threat and it’s ties to Azrael. It’s that writer James Tynion IV slowed things down a bit to give the team some much needed bonding time.
After the extended battle with the League of Shadows, letting the team unwind was a great call as it gave Tynion a chance to further explore the new Team Batman. Batwing and Azrael have surprisingly fun chemistry as mismatched new friends sharing their interests. Tynion also adds Kate Kane to the mix to make something as simple as a basketball game a lot of fun. Cassie meanwhile is sharing the stage with Clayface to help refine her vocabulary.
Those down time moments are something that’s gotten lost in modern superhero comics. It’s hard to invest in characters when there’s less of a personal connection. In just a handful of pages, Tynion makes Lucas, Jean-Paul & Kate and Cassie and Boris more than just co-workers and begins the first steps of a team of friends.
Batman doesn’t get left out of the fun either as he goes ‘undercover’ as Bruce Wayne visiting The Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge to reconnect with an old friend. Tynion does a great job of setting up a James Bond vibe and the payoff is a nice surprise.
Alvaro Martinez returns on art duties. Martinez is one of the better artists on Detective. There’s a traditional classic style to his panels with just the right amount of modern flair to create some dynamic pages.
As for the new adversary? On first glance, he seems like a solid threat. Tynion has been fantastic at creating new villains for Team Batman and this latest enemy is another fine addition to the rogue gallery.
Detective Comics hadn’t necessarily lost its mojo, but Intelligence is back at the level that’s made this one of DC Rebirth’s best titles.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10