When Grant Morrison’s mini-series The Return of Bruce Wayne was announced, many so closely following Dick Grayson behind the cowl felt crushed, perhaps even stabbed in the back. It’s always nice to know there are comic fans out there who embrace change. And it’s even nicer to see writers such as Tony Daniel and, especially in this case, Detective Comics’ Scott Snyder convey change to a whole new level.
As confusion set in during the latter part of 2010, many Bat-writers merely altered the symbol on the chest and threw a name–Bruce or Dick–onto the mantle. It killed the purpose of the boy “filling in the role” or “finding himself through darkness,” or whatever the case may be. Thankfully fans are more fickle than that, and have accepted the challenge of a new Batman–and sometimes two. After all, this is the convincingly swift Nightwing we’re talking about here. How can he carry the classically-told jolly-boy charm of Robin but still persevere as the brooding and vengeful new Bruce?
Thankfully, Scott Snyder answers those questions. His version of Detective Comics meshes the on beat gravitas of Gotham Central with the sophisticated attributes of Batman Incorporated. No, it isn’t Robocop, yet it’s an enthralling traverse of machine and machinations. All the high tech jargon and brooding stratagem is stroked with a masterful conversational pen, as quips between Grayson and Barbara, Tim, and Lt. Bullock verifiably present. Deep in the claustrophobic “Mirror House” is an auctioneer horrifyingly reminiscent of Hannibal. This is, after all, the writer who co-scripted along with Stephen King.
Also deep in the creaking banquet halls and dark skylights are Jock’s typically granular visuals. Improving ever the issue, Jock detains the seedy days of Gotham Central, with enough sporadic window placement to keep up the curving energy. Although Detective’s always going to be a whodunit series, Snyder’s version is a fast one, and one to keep an eye on throughout the new year.