Detective Comics #1062
I was excited with the announcement that Ram V was moving over as the writer for Detective Comics. Ram V had a strong run on Justice League Dark maintaining the mood and creepy atmosphere James Tynion IV established so well during his tenure. It was a rare instance, like when Jeremy Adams followed Joshua Williamson on The Flash, where the successor didn’t just maintain the excellent status quo but elevated it to another level.
While my expectations were high, Ram V had no problem shattering them. It’s been a while since I felt like I was watching a highly suspenseful TV series, where I could see the transitions and edits, hear the score softly playing in the background and envision the turns of the camera and performance of the characters. It was a mesmerizing experience and one I can’t wait to take in again next issue.
Ram V doesn’t subscribe to the invulnerable Batman theory. He’s not perfect and has the Bat Family on speed dial. Just the simple act of calling up Nightwing after a battle shows Ram V’s Batman is going to be a lot more relatable and interesting than some recent takes. Billed as a opera, there is a haunting sense to the first act of Gotham Nocturne Overture.
A new force is entering Gotham and the first wave has already begun immersing itself among the crime lords and gangs in preparation for the arrival of the big boss, Arzen.
It’s not all on Ram V. Artist Rafael Albuquerque masterfully arranges the layouts and perspectives in a way that it’s easy to go with the flow of movement. A raised hand naturally leads the eye to two characters emerging from the right of the panel. Albuquerque utilizes a variety of artistic tricks to visually tell his story. Dave Stewart incorporates some clever coloring techniques with hazes and distortions to convey the uncertainty playing out. Letterer Ariana Maher also gets to take part in the fun weaving some of the dialogue as if it’s musical notes.
And just for good measure, Simon Spurrier writes a killer backup story featuring Jim Gordon. This goes against the conclusion to The Joker, but it’s strong enough to forgive the continuity error. Dani’s artwork is somewhat rough and done more in a sketch style that’s going to work for some readers and not at all for others. Stewart provides the colors here as well.
It’s hard to imagine a more impressive debut for the new Detective Comics team. This is the way to pique new readers’ attention and create a quick and immediate buzz. If the next issue is just as strong DC might have Detective Comics back on the same trajectory it was when Tynion wrote it back at the start of Rebirth.
Rating: 10 out of 10