Detective Comics #1004
The face behind the mask is revealed! Who’s taken up the mantle of the Arkham Knight? What’s their endgame? And what’s the shocking secret that Batman never knew about a part of his life he’d taken for granted?
They can’t all be great. Detective Comics #1004 promises a glorious Arkham Breakout on the cover, but inside, we find an overly long and sometimes unnecessary backstory for Astrid, the Arkham Knight.
One of my pet peeves in comics is the propensity to misdirect readers with the cover and tell almost a completely different story on the interior. This should have been titled “Arkham Origins” or something of the nature, because this was undoubtedly an origin for our new Arkham Knight. While that isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, it creates expectations that really shouldn’t be there thus contributing to a more confusing reading experience.
A lot of these problems can be easily forgiven if the story proves to be good enough, but unfortunately Astrid’s backstory just drags on without really encouraging any emotional investment. This is unfortunate because she has the potential to be a great villain, maybe this story will age better as it is referenced in more interesting ways in the future, but this issue just misses the mark.
Even the artwork, which has typically been nothing short of stellar, just feels off in Detective Comics #1004. Almost every page lacks any distinct panel organization, instead favoring a full page splash featuring different memories of her past. It has its moments, but it mostly just feels disjointed.
Overall, this is an unfortunate step backwards for an otherwise really enjoyable arc from Tomasi and company. The last page was probably the best part, so let’s just hope next issue delivers something amazing!
'Detective Comics #1004' is an unfortunate misstep for the otherwise really entertaining arc featuring the new Arkham Knight. Though this issue delves into the villain's origins, it ultimately feels too disjointed to pull everything together in a successful way.
Detective Comics #1004: Secrets & Lies
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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