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Detective Comics #973 Review

Comic Books

Detective Comics #973 Review

About as big of a climactic issue you can get.

In what has been an incredible ride, James Tynion IV writes the finale to his big Clayface shakeup today. If you haven’t been reading Detective Comics you probably don’t know Clayface has been one of the best cases of a rehabilitated villain turned hero ever. This latest arc aims to change that forever.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

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“FALL OF THE BATMEN” finale! With the team in disarray and facing their most powerful adversary yet, Batwoman must make a critical battlefield choice–one with the power to shatter everything Batman has built! You’ll be talking about this issue for years to come!

Why does this matter?

As a finale expect a big time ending that will leave you shocked along with some setup for the next chapter. Plus, witness Clayface in gigantic mode!

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

Detective Comics #973 Review
I never thought I’d see Batman say that.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this issue since James Tynion IV basically left us off with a giant Godzilla sized Clayface attacking Gotham. How can you add any depth to a rampaging monster? Well, first off, how about going back to when Robin created the Mud Room. This room has been a delight to watch due to its ability to focus on the team aspect of the Bat-family through Clayface’s extra “mud”; in this issue we get to see Robin explain how he created it. It’s a nice scene to open the book because it shows Batman in good spirits and excited for his team. Then it smash cuts to Clayface in full tragedy mode destroying Gotham and you quickly get a sense of how far things have fallen.

This is one of those issues where everything comes crashing down. Tynion IV ends the issue with a lot of questions for readers that are both exciting and compelling for the characters. One could argue he’s blowing it all up, but part of the fun is seeing how he does it here. The fact is though that a major character is changed forever on the last page and that should–however cliched it is to say–have folks talking.

Jesus Merino draws this issue with colors by Jason Wright and together they depict a monstrous and giant Clayface well. It gets quite unnerving later on when he forms back into his human casing as his face and body drip away. Much of the success of the visuals rely on the scope of Clayface looking right and they both nail that. Batman and Robin look quite sharp too and Cassandra’s pain in seeing her friend Clayface go through so much turmoil is tragic.

Detective Comics #973 Review
It’s fun to read about the early days of The Belfry.

It can’t be perfect can it?

As far as finales I’m not 100% certain what we see on that last page. Knowing comics it could be a ruse though it’d be a cheap way to end the book only to have everything be okay next issue.

It goes without saying but if you haven’t read previous issues stay away from this. It not only relies on knowledge from prior issues in this arc but in the series as a whole too. This is a big climactic issue with lots of story threads ending but very little setup or explanations.

Is It Good?

This is a good ending that’ll have Clayface fans talking. The most exciting thing is how Tynion IV ends this with not a hint at where we go from here.

Detective Comics #973 Review
Detective Comics #973
Is it good?
A strong finish to a great story arc.
The size of Clayface is rendered well
Fun to see flashbacks to The Belfry's creation
What an ending!
Not a good place to jump on
There's so many questions as to where this goes from here you'll be scratching your head even if you can't wait for the next issue

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