Writer: James Tynion IV
Penciler: Eddy Barrows
Inker: Eber Ferreira
Publisher: DC Comics
When Azrael is attacked and nearly put in a coma, Batman decides to make sure all of the young vigilantes of Gotham (and Clayface) are trained well enough to be able to handle the new challenge. To do this he turns to his cousin, military veteran Kathy Kane aka Batwoman to do the training. So starts the newest incarnation of Detective Comics which is off to a promising start.
One of the good things about reading these two comics together is that it easy to appreciate the arc of each issue. Detective Comics 934 is all about the recruitment of the team. In a simple paragraph about each of the vigilantes in Gotham, Tynion reveals that he understands their characters perfectly. This is incredibly necessary for the story to work, particularly as both Spoiler (Stephanie Brown) and Orphan (Cassandra Cain) didn’t exist during the New 52 for a period of years. It is entirely reasonable that the reader may not be as familiar with these characters as they might be some other members of the DC Universe.
Batman’s explanation for why he wants to recruit Clayface is perfect and works off of one of the reasons that his rogue’s gallery is the best in comics. The pathos and tragedy of who Clayface was and who he became provides a perfectly logical explanation for his joining the team. When the issue is over the reader is ready to watch the team kick ass.
That is why the frustration that the characters express in Detective Comics 935 work so well. After a brutal training session that lasts more than two hours, the team is ready for field work. Red Robin, the heart and soul of this issue, confronts Batwoman and Batman about the fact that they aren’t being allowed to do what they need to do. It doesn’t go all that well. Red Robin later reveals to the reader that he may be willing to give up Gotham (and hopefully not) the identity of Red Robin to take up a school opportunity. All this leads to the climax of the issue involving Batman that is great visually.
The art is good. There’s not much to say about it really. The characters are all crisp. They’re able to emote even under the masks without having to rely on Deadpool-esque trickery and the action is easy to follow. It’s not a style that stands out, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just a competently drawn superhero issue which is in no way a criticism.
Buy It. Batman family stories are next to impossible to screw up unless the writer has no clue how to write the characters. Thankfully James Tynion IV’s Detective Comics 934 & 935 shows a great grasp of all of the various characters in the clan that leads to a fun, quick two issue read. Anyone with any interest in the world of Gotham outside of Batman must buy this issue.