Batman’s Past Comes Back To Haunt Him In The Victim Syndicate

Whether it be in film, animation, comics or gaming, one recurring theme in superhero stories that never seems to die is that of those who don stylized costumes and selflessly defend everyday citizens often get the feeling that they’ve failed to protect everyone. This especially holds true for Batman, who has had to live with the guilt of Jason Todd’s death, the paralysis of Barbara Gordon and other various tragic events.

So, if weighty, contemplative stories starring the Dark Knight are your thing, well, then you should probably give the latest volume of Detective Comics a closer look. In The Victim Syndicate, Batman and his troops – Batwoman, Spoiler, Orphan, Batwing and Clayface – must not only deal with the aforementioned theme, but also those who’ve been caught in the crossfire, as any war unfortunately encounters collateral damage.

Living up to their namesake, the Victim Syndicate are a collective made up of pitiable folks who’ve been forever changed by one of several iconic villains to populate Gotham City – or possibly even Batman himself, as their leader, the First Victim, harbors white hot hatred for supposedly being the first innocent to be marred by the Caped Crusader’s, um, crusade.

Collecting Detective Comics #943-949, this tome written by James Tynion IV builds upon what was previously forged in Rise of the Batmen, while also being accessible enough for most readers who are going in fresh to enjoy. And when you have artists such as Alvaro Martinez and Eddy Barrows contributing, it certainly helps curb appeal as it were.

Speaking of which, Ben Oliver stops by to illustrate a two-part arc that caps the book, titled “Batwoman Begins.” Co-written by Tynion and Marguerite Bennett, it serves as one gorgeous launching point for the new Batwoman series in addition to tying up some loose threads left by the Night of the Monster Men crossover.

Batman – Detective Comics Vol. 2: The Victim Syndicate is now available in comic shops and bookstores.