This week DC Comics kicks off the new Infinite Frontier in Gotham with Detective Comics 1034. Pre-Catastrophe, I actually gave up on the Detective Comics. The stories just weren’t holding my attention, so I focused more on the Batman title. Now post Joker War and Dark Knight – Death Metal, I thought I’d check it out again to see how things unfolded. I am glad I did, I’ve enjoyed both the artwork and the story. For perhaps the first time since its inception, we are heading into a whole new reality.
In the new reality, Bruce Wayne no longer owns anything. He still has some money, but the mansion is gone with most of his fortune. The Batcave, the Lucius Fox conveyor belt of bat-supplies, his right-hand man Alfred, Robin, all of it no longer exists. Bruce Wayne must now completely reinvent the way he does things, and this issue lays out his new life and choices perfectly.
Bruce Wayne still attends the galas he used to, but he no longer ‘owns them’. In fact, he says he can’t even really afford them anymore. He no longer lives alone in a giant mansion. He lives in the city with *gasp* neighbors! Bruce now has to deal with apartment life with the rich. I love the scene when he gets back and Lydia comes running up and hugs Bruce. He may play the Playboy, but Bruce doesn’t strike me as the huggy-huggy type. The bubbly, in everyone’s business, neighbor is hugging Batman. You know he’s loving it.
Detective Comics 1034 – The New Crime Wave
This issue does a wonderful job of setting up the new life and existence of Bruce Wayne, from the galas, to flat parties with his new neighbors, to even digging out his own caves in the sewers, but there is still a job to do for Batman. When the Party Crashers hit the Gala, Batman busts it up, but something doesn’t sit right with the world’s greatest detective. Galas are not their forte, so what’s the hidden plan?
Batman can feel it. As much as his situation has changed, Gotham is changing as well. Her criminals are evolving and adapting. The old order no longer exists, so a void emerged that must be filled, but by who?
He breaks up the Party Crashers easily enough, but then something happens he does not expect. Upon returning to his flat, he discovers Sarah Worth has been taken and her home with Sam destroyed. Why would someone kidnap the daughter of the man who built lower Gotham, earned four degrees, and runs a tech company? Does her background make her key to a new evil plan? Or is Bruce simply drawing the trouble to Gotham’s wealthy? And who’s blood coats the guy’s arms in the final panel?!
Detective Comics 1034 – The Little Things
A few things throughout caught my attention. Huntress appears on the cover and artists highlight her in a panel on the first page, yet she never shows up in the rest of the comic. Did we miss something or is her part yet to come?
Did anyone else notice the Batmobile? The black, sleek, machine of fear doesn’t look so good anymore. Either Batman just went mudding in downtown Gotham, or the old girl as a bit of rust on her. Batsy could really use some help!
Throughout the issue, we see the mayor’s reaction to everything and certain names keep getting dropped. The wheel of the Magistrate is most definitely in motion and we begin to see the cogs turn that will put Project Magistrate in power.
Detective Comics 1034 – Little Demon Boy Chooses
Then we come to young Damien Wayne. Son of the Bat, Son of the Demon. Damien has been conflicted for some time. One cannot serve both the light and the dark. He waivers between the two, unsure of where he belongs. Is he the son of the world’s greatest detective and crime fighter? Or does he belong to the demon and its many leagues?
He thinks he’s turned his back on daddy and Gotham, yet when confronted with a kill or be killed test, Damien hesitates. Of course, mommy Talia chides him for his tardy response, but how does Damien respond? He goes directly into detective mode, spelling out all the things that were out of place. In the process, he learns there is not one League, but three – League of Shadows, League of Assassins, and League of Lazarus.
Talia tells Damien he needs to choose sides once and for all. Unexpectedly, he leaps from the chopper brandishing a brand new Robin suit! Where does this story pick up again? You guessed it – Robin 1!
Detective Comics 1034 – Fatality!
The final pages take us to the secret third League. The League of Lazarus was thought to have been eliminated, yet they obviously haven’t given the nature of the assassin. In fact, they plan to hold some major tournament. Is Damien about to go all “Mortal Kombat” on some bad guys?? If he does Hawke will be waiting, and he looks positively badass!
What did you guys think of Detective Comics 1034? What stood out to you? Head over to DC Fanatics on Facebook and tell us what you thought.