Writer: Peter J. Tomasi / Artist: Christian Duce / DC Comics
There is a weird cadence and almost a mismatch of expectations when it comes to Detective Comics #1009. Despite the constant teasing of Mr. Freeze, he is not the primary antagonist of this issue. Instead, that honor belongs to Deadshot… and perhaps capitalism depending on how exactly you want to look Bruce Wayne’s aggressive adoption of eco-friendly policies.
This issue is essentially a very long prelude to whatever will happen in Detective Comics #1010. We get some musings of Batman working himself to the bone, Deadshot being contracted for some unspecified hired hand type gig, and Bruce making questionable business decisions. All of these eventually do come to a head, but it’s surprisingly vague why these events are taking place. It feels very much like a four-page set up stretched out to a full 20 page story. While I still appreciate Tomasi’s dialog, this particular issue doesn’t quite hook me in since there seems to be a lot going on in the background. Deadshot does not feel like a primary villain, and his stake in all of this seems to start and stop at money so he’s not particularly interesting to watch. There’s just a lack of depth story wise.
Now, stretching out the setup does give Duce an opportunity to flex. From a visual standpoint, there’s a lot to be entertained by between vigilantism, corporate meetings, and some scenic air ways. When there is action, it looks and feels dynamic and the composition of the pages works. But ultimately, it just matches the story rather than elevating it.
It’s hard to be invested when it feels like half the story isn’t on the page and another story is percolating way in the back. Detective Comics #1009 fares a little better than its immediate predecessor because some of the quips hit a little harder and the artwork feels a bit more lively. I keep hoping for a meaty arc like Medieval for Tomasi and this issue just feels like a small appetizer.
7.8 “Survivors” out of 10