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Detective Comics #963 Review

Comic Books

Detective Comics #963 Review

The future of Gotham looks grim, but can the heroes cling to the positive thoughts of the past to get through this?

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You’d think with Batman and his compatriots saving the day all the time the future of Gotham would look bright. Apparently not. This issue reveals that’s just not the case.

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So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

“LONGER CHAINS” part one! Having exiled herself from Batman’s world, Spoiler has nearly destroyed herself trying to expose the corruption of Gotham City’s vigilantes. Fortunately for her, help has arrived…but unfortunately for the city, it’s in the form of the mysterious Anarky! Is he truly on the side of the people, or is he a dangerous lunatic?

Why does this matter?

This is one of those flash to the future elseworld (I assume it’s not the real future!) stories that plays around with what-if style storytelling. That allows readers to see the characters in new and different lights while also enjoying a story that’s slightly different. Join us as we witness Spoiler navigate a Gotham that’s in turmoil!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Detective Comics #963 Review
A sandwich won’t kill you jeez.

This issue opens with a “then” scene between Spoiler and Robin and it’s a well written moment that hits a lot of entertainment hallmarks. Not only does it have strong dialogue that conveys the relationship and bond these two characters have, but it has a bit of humor and reality too (Robin doesn’t eat junk food!). There’s also a very clever hint via icons in one panel (I won’t give it away) that suggests there’s more to this scene than meets the eye. From there the script smash cuts to the “now” and Spoiler is attempting to get past some guards. The bright past of Gotham is no more as what looks like blood is splattered behind her.

The rest of the issue can be broken down as a meeting Spoiler has with a mysterious fellow and Clayface attempting to keep his shit together. James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela (who also does the lettering) draw you into each of these characters’ current predicaments well. You’ll once again feel for Clayface who is the hallmark of this series, but there are some interesting new blips to learn and understand in this strange and dark future, Gotham.

The art by Carmen Carnero keeps the action clean and understandable. A highlight is Clayface’s action scene which utilizes his strange powers in interesting visual ways. Later in a casual conversation, Carnero draws Clayface in a somewhat shocking sort of way to show off how weird and backward his powers can make him look.

Detective Comics #963 Review
Love is in the air.

It can’t be perfect can it?

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This is a case where not having all the details hurts the overall effect of what is going on and what the cliffhanger really means. I suspect it’s a matter of one side vs. another and their plans being more wholesome than one might imagine, but I was left wanting more. Clearly, more will be unveiled the series progresses, but as it stands I’m not sure there’s enough here to make readers want the next issue. A character Spoiler interacts with is a particular question mark that’ll probably turn south soon, but as of right now it’s unclear where any of this is going.

Is It Good?

A good first issue in that kills it on its first scene and shows off Clayface as one of the strongest DC characters these days, but leaves you wanting more.

Detective Comics #963 Review
Detective Comics #963
Is it good?
A good first issue though you'll be left wanting more.
Excellent opening scene
Clayface has a great sequence too
Art keeps the action moving
Leaves you wanting more and the cliffhanger is a "okay, well then..." moment

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