Detective Comics #987
Sometimes you just have to give readers want. That’s been the theme of Bryan Hill’s immensely satisfying On the Outside arc. This run has been like your birthday when you spot that present you desperately wanted wrapped in a manner that there’s not a lot of suspense, but you don’t care.
So yes, Virginia, the payoff of this arc is exactly what you were hoping. But first, Batman has to deal with Karma. Bryan Edward Hill did a lot of smart things in this run, but the biggest was allowing Batman to tackle this adversity directly. With On the Outside, Hill challenged Batman to not rely on his support system of sidekicks. To defeat the monster he created, Batman would have to face Karma one on one. The naming of said villain isn’t coincidence and played in to the overall theme of the story. Has Batman lost a step thanks to having too much help around or does he still have his not quite killer instinct?
Meanwhile, Black Lightning guides Signal, Katana and Orphan on a side mission. It’s a tease, but Hill all but promises the future is bright for this unit. Hopefully with a few more additions as well.
Miguel Mendonca returns as artist and his clean, crisp style is an ideal fit for Hill’s writing and pacing. Mendoca handles the action and quiet moments with a nice eye for dramatic and dynamic angles. I’d be perfectly fine if he would continue working with Hill on the presumed Outsiders title. Adriano Lucas’ colors
Hill’s run on Detective Comics was brief, but hopefully this isn’t the end of his work with Batman. Detective Comics was one of the best team books in the Rebirth era. Hill and Mendoca lay the groundwork for the next great team stemming from this run. I can’t wait to get caught up on the outside long-term.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10