Detective Comics #948 Review

comic books:
Sergio Pereira

Reviewed by:
On January 11, 2017
Last modified:January 10, 2017


While Batwoman has been one of the standout characters of Detective Comics recently, this issue suffers due to the lack of her team's presence.

Detective Comics #948 Review


There’s something special taking place in James Tynion IV’s Detective Comics run. Not only is he writing a mean Batman, but he’s also making stars out of the supporting cast. Before his run, I couldn’t have cared less about Batwoman or Clayface; now, they’re two of my favorite characters. I’m obviously not the only one he’s impressed, either, considering his latest arc (co-written with Marguerite Bennett) is all about Kate Kane. In Detective Comics #948, Tynion and Bennett usher in the start of “Batwoman Begins.”

The issue opens with a flashback of Batwoman keeping tabs on Batman, with the guidance of her father, Colonel Jake Kane. She eventually loses the Dark Knight, bemoaning her own abilities to become a skilled vigilante like him. Consoling her, Colonel Kane says, “the future we build is going to come from our methods, not his.” It’s a heartfelt moment that shows her father cares, even if his methods are questionable at best. More importantly, knowing Tynion’s writing style, the showcase of their previous closeness will lead to something bigger down the line.

The story then jumps to current-day events, where Colonel Kane sits in a prison cell and his daughter pensively watches him. She receives a call from Batman to meet him at the Argus excavation site. Arriving at the site where “Night of the Monster Men” went down, the Bat cousins encounter a new danger: a seagull that’s merged with a human corpse. Poor Steven Seagull never stands a chance, receiving a beating from the caped heroes before finally being put down by the arriving Dr. Victoria October and her team.

In her lair, October explains the repercussion of Hugo Strange’s “Monster Venom”: a weapon that’ll lead to an arms race. She reveals that three canisters – capable of creating a dozen monsters – were stolen the previous evening. When she shows the surveillance footage, Batman immediately recognizes the thief as a member of Colonel Kane’s Colony.

Back at the Belfry, Deathstroke and Deadshot’s illegitimate lovechild, Colony Prime, attempts to free Colonel Kane. However, Batman and Batwoman arrive back just in the nick of time, telling him he’s not welcome in Gotham City. Concluding the issue, in perhaps the most Van Damme moment in DC history, Colony Prime declares, “when the Colony needs their most dangerous work done, they don’t send an army. They send me.” Edgelords everywhere better beware of this guy…

Remember how I said Tynion has done a terrific job with the supporting cast in Detective Comics? Well, that’s exactly what this issue is missing. It’s still early days, with part two still to come, but it’s the team dynamic that makes this series magic. While it’s common knowledge this arc is a set-up for Batwoman’s own series, it could’ve worked better as Batwoman Rebirth #1 rather than a Detective Comics story. Maybe this is DC’s way of doing a dry run before fully committing?

Another thing I don’t understand is why the Colony has returned so soon after its last appearance. There’s a plethora of villains waiting to be reintroduced in Rebirth, but we’re back to square one here. If this story had been held off for a couple more months, its impact could’ve been much stronger. Instead, the heroes are fighting the same threat again – and it gets tedious after a while.

On a positive note, Ben Oliver brought his best sharpened pencils with him here, illustrating a masterpiece of an issue. Every panel shines like a mini painting, making you wish more artists would take the time to craft such gorgeous characters and backgrounds. With Oliver scheduled to return for part two, it’s something to look forward to.

Despite the impressive title, Detective Comics #948 isn’t really “Batwoman Begins” as much as it’s “Batwoman Stutters.” Let’s hope the next issue remedies the problems and brings back the beloved team.

Detective Comics #948 Review

While Batwoman has been one of the standout characters of Detective Comics recently, this issue suffers due to the lack of her team's presence.