We never thought this day would come: the final issue of Detective Comics. Sorta.
It’s one in the morning and I’ve had a fair amount of Scotch. A few minutes ago, I remembered that I’m supposed to review Detective Comics for the Sunday Slugfest. The inebriated side of me said, “Hey, the others will review, don’t worry about it. But the comic book lover in me said, “You have too much to say about this issue, so get to writing.”
So here I am.
Allow me to summarize my feelings thusly: Scott Snyder will always get the benefit of the doubt from me from now on.
The opening of this issue mimics the beginning of Snyder’s run and it’s a great touch. It really gives a climatic feeling to this issue, regardless of how the storyline plays out. It also drives home the fact that Snyder’s stories have been about Dick Grayson, not Bruce Wayne, and these stories are specific to him. Given that I’m a huge fan of the Dick Grayson Batman, this was a big plus for me.
It says a lot about this issue that the aspects that I didn’t like about it were still there, yet I was able to look past them because of the strength of those aspects I did like. This was a fitting ending to Snyder’s epic run.
Kyle Garret is the author of I Pray Hardest When I’m Being Shot At,” available now from Hellgate Press. His short fiction has been published in the Ginosko Literary Journal, Literary Town Hall, Children, Churches, & Daddies and Falling Into Place. He writes comic book reviews here at Comic Bulletin and blogs for PopMatters. He can be found at KyleGarret.com and on Twitter as @kylegarret.
Considering the volumes that have already been written on its greatness, it’s hard to think of a new way to praise the work Scott Snyder and his artist cohorts have been doing on Detective Comics. The book has, for the last year and a half, consistently been one of DC’s best, at times both an unabashed superhero drama and a street-level psychological thriller. Snyder has crafted a grim story that’s up there with the darkest of the dark in Batman lore, while still managing to keep his man in the utility belt, Dick Grayson, from coming across as a poor man’s Bruce Wayne.
Yes, this is an unmistakably wonderful comic book. If it falters slightly, it is in its tendency to succumb to a sort of “finale syndrome,” wherein everything ends up tying together a little too much. Snyder already has us buying James as the story’s ultimate villain before revealing him as the mastermind behind just about every challenge Dick has faced in this book. By the end, Snyder has him taking the rap for every crime short of the murder of John and Mary Grayson.
But that’s a small qualm, because this issue does put an excellent final word on Dick’s stint as Batman. Granted, next week’s Batman #713 by Fabian Nicieza may be the official conclusion to this chapter of DC Comics history, but it is Snyder, like Grant Morrison on Batman & Robin before him, who put his definitive stamp on this era of Gotham City. Returning to themes established on the very first page o
f his run, Snyder presents Dick Grayson as an eternal optimist in the face of a bleak world that forever fails to beat him down.
But Dick’s time under the cowl is done. All good things must come to an end, and it is to the credit of Snyder, Francavilla, and Jock that this last streak of Detective Comics was the very essence of good.
Raised on a steady diet of Super Powers action figures and Adam West Batman reruns, Chris Kiser now writes for Comics Bulletin and can be found on Twitter as @Chris_Kiser. He’s currently in the midst of reading and reviewing every tie-in to a major DC Comics summer event and regretting every second of it.