Detective Comics #958 Review

comic books:
Sergio Pereira

Reviewed by:
On June 14, 2017
Last modified:June 13, 2017


Yeah, baby! James Tynion IV's Detective Comics #958 is exactly the sort of story that Batman fans have been waiting for. It's magic, really.

Detective Comics #958 Review

Detective Comics 958

This review contains minor spoilers.

Detective Comics #958 marks the beginning of the new arc, “Intelligence,” and what a start it is. While “League of Shadows” might’ve left an overall meh feeling, this new Azrael-centric storyline looks anything but boring. Yes, you read that right. This one is all about Jean-Paul Valley. Can we get a round of applause, please?

As Jean-Paul gets used to Gotham City and enjoys a basketball game with Luke Fox and Kate Kane, an old friend from the Order of St. Dumas, Nomoz, pitches up on the court, injured and bleeding all over the place. The members of the Bat Family act quickly and take him back to the Belfry for treatment, where he reveals to them that there’s a new Azrael called Ascalon. Also, we find out more about Jean-Paul’s secret past, which surprises mostly Kate.

Simultaneously, Bruce Wayne heads out to the new Iceberg Lounge on Gotham Harbor to find a mysterious lady. In order to get to her, though, Bruce needs to buy his seat at the high-roller table from the Penguin, which he does so begrudgingly. There, he meets a host of dodgy fellas, including Killer Moth and a jittery man named Brother Kodo. As they play their high-stakes card game, an explosion erupts in the building and Ascalon appears, seeking to exterminate Kodo. The issue closes off with Zatanna making her grand entrance and saving Kodo and Bruce from the new Azrael in dramatic fashion.

Bravo, James Tynion IV. Much like Zatanna’s appearance here, this is how you make a sensational comeback. Not only does this issue strike the right balance between showing us enough of Batman and the Bat Family, but it also gets us excited about Ascalon. When Nomoz reveals what this new foe has done, there’s a genuine thrill to see him and Jean-Paul go head to head in a future battle.

Another positive aspect is how Tynion speeds up the story and gets to the point quickly. The narrative moves fast – but naturally – keeping us entertained and making good use of the allocated space. There’s nothing worse than seeing blatant filler conversation or glorious double spreads that are only present to kill a few pages. Instead, this is a well-crafted and finely tuned issue.

On the art side of the book, Alvaro Martinez takes over the pencils here. His style is far more conventional than what we saw in the previous arc and akin to what we’ve come to expect in Detective Comics. There are quite a lot of characters and three main locations in this story, but the artwork never overwhelms or distracts us from the main events. Everything feels in place.

Detective Comics has been in need of another truly magnificent storyline and “Intelligence” part one shows signs that it might just be what we’ve been waiting for. It sets the stage and throws us right into the mix of things, without wasting an iota of space. Considering the cast of characters in this arc, there’s even more potential for this tale to get better.

Detective Comics #958 Review

Yeah, baby! James Tynion IV's Detective Comics #958 is exactly the sort of story that Batman fans have been waiting for. It's magic, really.

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