When writing a Batman story, the first thing you have to do is set up a good mystery — he is the world’s greatest detective, after all. In Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora’s Detective Comics #1035, that mystery is the murder of Sarah Worth.
When Tamaki took over Detective, she was put in a unique position. Bruce’s millions were lost and she was tasked with giving him some new digs. This new “middle class” Bruce has a new cast of characters, and the Worths are proving to be quite interesting. It’s kind of neat to see Bruce in such an unfamiliar setting, still operating business as usual as Batman and Tamaki’s writing makes this transition feel seamless.
The unraveling of the Worth murder is fascinating, but the final page with that big reveal is nothing short of exciting. Seeing Helena Bertinelli back in action as the Huntress is always a nice change of pace too, as the character hasn’t really had too much time to shine recently.
Tamaki’s Batman voice feels wholly organic, but Dan Mora’s art might be the real superstar here. Each page is gorgeous and feels wholly Batman. The spread of Neil going down is visually stunning — Mora was certainly the right choice for this book.
The second part of the comic is a Huntress mini, featuring Tamaki’s writing and Clayton Henry’s pencils. Huntress is a bit more of a talkative character than Batman, so Tamaki splits the story between the dialogue we see and the narration boxes pretty evenly for her. Tamaki understands a lot about Helena to her core: she’s a good person who wants to do the right thing, but often stumbles in over her head and says the wrong thing.
Friendships have never been easy for her to form, as noted by the team struggles in her early days of the Birds of Prey. But as Birds of Prey proved, Helena always comes through for her friends and her heart is in the right place. Tamaki’s story does a lot of those beats, proving that he knows Bertinelli’s character quite well. If her run on Detective means we’re getting more Huntress content, that’s certainly a plus. Henry’s art does a lot of justice for Helena and the characters here as well, making Detective Comics #1035 a beautiful book all around.
Overall, Detective Comics #1035 features strong writing and gorgeous pencils across the board. “Middle class” Bruce isn’t as hard of an adjustment as it seems on paper under Tamaki’s pen and the story is coming along quite nicely.
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