Detective Comics #953 Review

Detective Comics 953
comic books:
Sergio Pereira

Reviewed by:
On March 22, 2017
Last modified:March 21, 2017


There's enough in Detective Comics #953 to keep you excited about "League of Shadows," but it isn't a classic by any means.

Detective Comics #953 Review

This review contains minor spoilers.

It’s blatantly obvious that James Tynion IV doesn’t know how to write an average story. He’s becoming as safe a choice as cheese fries, with Detective Comics #953 once again proving his tales stay stuck to your fingertips (just don’t eat them). So, pull up a chair and get cozy because the “League of Shadows” arc is heating up even more.

In part three of this action-heavy story, the League of Shadows runs amok in Gotham City, forcing Jim Gordon to return from his vacation. Batman and Batwoman meet with the commissioner, telling him of the danger and that he needs to evacuate Gotham, not put it on lockdown. Back at the Belfry, Cassandra struggles with her emotions after the revelation that Lady Shiva is her mother. Clayface is tasked with looking after her, but he allows her to leave after having a heart to heart with her.

Inevitably, Batman tries to stop Cassandra from challenging her mother again, yet he meets the full force of the teenage assassin’s anger. While Cassandra encounters her mother again (and loses), the League attacks the Belfry. As the Bat Family’s base is taken over, Batman rushes back to the Batcave to look for Alfred, only to discover Ra’s al Ghul waiting for him.

On the whole, Tynion moves the plot along sufficiently well; however, there’s no denying that this issue lacks the emotional intensity of Detective Comics #952. While I do feel compassion for Cassandra, her lashing out is pretty annoying here. In fact, the deepest connection I found is the conversation between her and Clayface (he’s DC’s Groot, I’m telling you). I guess Tynion went for the stereotypical teenage reaction from her, but I do have to wonder if somebody with her background would react like an ordinary teenager.

Another gripe I have is how quickly Cassandra’s return match with her mother takes place. Tynion’s pacing is normally on point, but I think he misses the mark by having them clash in successive issues. If he’d left their next battle for later in the arc, it might’ve had more of an emotional impact than it did. Look at the plot of any action film (particularly one with our king, JCVD): the hero suffers an ass-whooping at the hands of his adversary and spends the rest of the movie building up to the final confrontation. Seeing Cassandra fight her mom for the third time might be overkill.

On the art front, Christian Duce and Fernando Blanco illustrate a complex issue that takes place across various settings and locations. They tackle this arduous task with aplomb, immersing us in all of Gotham’s grime and glory. Considering the sheer amount of detail present in this book, you have to take your hat off to the artists for providing us with the full experience and not cutting corners. It leaves you in awe and breathless for all the right reasons.

Overall, Detective Comics #953 delivers a good – but not great – third chapter. While it does enough to keep the momentum alive, it also feels like it’s going through the motions at times. That said, Ra’s is back and we know what a slippery snake he is, so it’ll be intriguing to see what Tynion does with him in the rest of this arc.

Detective Comics #953 Review

There's enough in Detective Comics #953 to keep you excited about "League of Shadows," but it isn't a classic by any means.