When I had first read the premise for the opening story arc in ‘Detective Comics: Rebirth’, I was more than a little intrigued. Detective Comics has been the bread and butter of the DC Universe for a while now and has been around, in one form or another, since 1937 hence that, in homage to its predecessor, they are starting at #934. ‘Rebirth’ is yet another change for this staple and, thus far, I can report that it has more than lived up to its name.
Warning: There may be possible spoilers ahead.
One of the main themes in ‘Rebirth’ is the sense that our heroes are being watched. ‘Detective Comics: Rebirth’ plays on this paranoia further by introducing what seems to be another player, intent on taking down Gotham’s vigilantes. Aware that some of the younger heroes need both protecting, and to protect, he decides the best course of action is to train them up. Despite having a number of wards throughout the years and the likes of ‘Batman Incorporated’, Batman has never really been a team player and is definitely not a people person… With that he mind he turns to someone that has never truly been under his command and, perhaps because of that, seemingly respects. This is none other than the formidable ‘Batwoman’.
‘Batwoman’ is a character who has really developed since her introduction in 2006. At that time she was more of a side-line character, possibly introduced to fill a diversity quota. Since that introduction she has gone from strength to strength, as shown in the pages of her own title series ‘Batwoman’. However, when her series was cancelled (*sob*) she reverted back to her role as a support character, appearing when Gotham needed her most. Thankfully, this series has once again given her a role she deserves as she is set to take some, less experienced heroes, under her wing.
These recruits are none other than; ‘Red Robin’ (‘Tim Drake’), ‘Spoiler’ (‘Stephanie Brown’), ‘Orphan’ (‘Cassandra Cain’) and, a somewhat unexpected ‘Clayface’ (‘Basil Karlo’). A number of these characters have been all but absent from the pages of the New 52, and quite frankly I’m overjoyed to see their welcome return, especially in the case of ‘Spoiler’. ‘Stephanie Brown’ was a key character post New 52. She took on the mantle of ‘Robin’, her own guise of ‘Spoiler’ (played dead for a while) and then really showed her worth during her time as ‘Batgirl’. Given all this, I was always a little surprised that she was all but forgotten (save a cameo or two), but thankfully DC seem to think the same and have featured her in this, a flagship series.
Thus far, James Tynion IV has shown a great appreciation of these characters and has really set the scene for an intense bootcamp, as well as the peril of the chase. It is a difficult task to almost resurrect characters that have all but been forgotten, but Tynion has managed to capture the main attributes and style of each character brilliantly.
Hand in hand with this portrayal of these characters is their physical representation by artist Eddy Barrows. Barrows has really managed to bring each and every character to life and manages to convey the mystery of this comic through his precise detail and his vibrant colour palette.
In all, I am comfortable in saying that this is undoubtedly the best issue in the ‘Rebirth’ saga I have read, to date. Barrows has truly managed to encapsulate everything a ‘Detective Comic’ should be. We are given a mystery, fights aplenty and the coming together of a motley crew. So, for those, like me that are a fan of the Bat and his associates, this will tick every one of you bat-fan boxes.
Detective Comics: Rebirth #934 is available to buy from today by clicking here or by visiting your local comic book retailer.