Title: Batman: Detective Comics
Story arc: A Lonely Place of Living
Universe: DC Universe Rebirth
Writer(s): James Tynion IV (main) & Christopher Sebela & Eddy Barrows
Illustrator(s): Carmen Carnero, Ulises Arredla, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas, Alvero Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Tomeu Morey, Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Publisher: DC Comics
Format: Single Issues
Paperback Release Date: April 10th 2018
Genre(s): Comics, Science Fiction
Previously on DC Universe Rebirth’s Batman: Detective Comics:
Rise of the Batmen (Volume 1)
Night of the Monster Men (Volume 1.5)
The Victim Syndicate (Volume 2)
League of Shadows (Volume 3)
Deus Ex Machina (Volume 4)
As unfortunate as it is of recent news regarding the exit of James Tynion IV as the main writer on this Batman: Detective Comics series in order to work on the new series that spun out of the Batman: Metal event, his contribution has been solid and his run, long and filled with exciting characters. With the integration of characters like Azrael and Batwing, as well as the introduction of a brand new group of villains who go by the name of the Victim Syndicate, I think it’s safe to say that James Tynion IV has done some pretty great things so far, and A Lonely Place of Living is also one of those.
In volume 5, three different story arcs can be found. The first one is a two-issue story respectively called “Utopia” and “Dystopia”. This short story essentially draws back into focus Stephanie Brown, also known as Spoiler. As she continues to linger in her grief with the loss of one of our heroes in a previous event, Spoiler teams up with Anarky—yes, we’re talking about the villain here—as he attempts to seduce her into a new opportunity that could potentially help her help the world slightly differently than how Batman and friends do it. The sudden exposition of a whole new underground city is quickly put back into perspective when Batman comes swinging by and revealing Anarky’s true intentions.
The second story arc is called “A Lonely Place of Living” and is the main storyline of this volume. In this story arc Tim Drake, also known as Red Robin, takes center-stage and finally enlightens fans on what the hell is going on with his sudden disappearance. As this four-issue story develops, we are quickly pulled into a multiple timeline story where Tim Drake’s origin is brought to light and analyzed in terms of motives and conviction. The new threat also shines in his understanding of everyone on the team and uses it to attempt the one thing that no one seems to understand: change the future. Hello, Back to the Future?
The third and final story arc, called “Clay”, is actually an annual issue that focuses on Clayface’s origin. In this story, we find ourselves in front of Basil Carlo, also known as Clayface, as a child as he learns an important lesson from his dad about faking it till you make it—actually, it was more oriented around the idea of hiding the monster that hides within everyone because absolutely no one out there can like a monster. As his origin story unfolds, Basil’s character evolve into the monster that he was told to hide. This character development proved to be quite brilliantly done, and even integrates an underlying sub-plot regarding one of the members of the infamous villain gang, The Victim Syndicate.
Besides the shortly-lived first storyarc, this volume continues to prove why James Tynion IV is a great writer. His stories are always dialogue-heavy but also centered around character development. The second storyarc is where the real fun begins with a lot of fantastic plot twists that continues to make you wonder about the big picture and what is actually going on in the DC universe. While Mr. Oz, the person who kidnapped Red Robin and imprisoned in a mystical temporal prison, was a mystery that seemed to never have a solution, James Tynion IV quickly drops a nuke on fans as his identity is revealed and sparked even more questions. As if things couldn’t get any more weird, Spoiler, highlight to read: « future Tim Drake » makes an appearance.
His arrival also opens up a whole new narrative that is focused on the future as we slowly understand how Red Robin saved Batman from his demise by taking on the role of Robin. Understanding the motives behind this character also offers a nice Tim-Drake-focused character development, which isn’t something that you often see. The action that accompanies all this wasn’t mind-blowing, but it did what it had to do in pushing the story forward. Hints of what is to come is also well-planted as it grows into what might turn out to be a pretty devastating future. The artwork continues to be cohesive and consistent throughout this volume, and even through this series, but I wasn’t particularly stunned by anything that was done in that department.
Now the wait is on as fans of this series wait for James Tynion IV’s final volume before someone else takes on the challenge in maintaining the quality of this series, or even outshining Scott Snyder’s apprentice!
MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
Have you read it yet?
Do you plan to?
What do you think about Batman: Detective Comics: A Lonely Place of Living?
Share your thoughts with me!
Till next time,