Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora’s stint on Detective Comics continues to go strong, unraveling the plot of the Worth murder while continuing to involve several characters from the Batman mythos.
Throughout her career, Mariko Tamaki has always excelled at making her characters sound human — she has a way of really making these characters feel real, having them act and speak in ways that feel like people we’d see in the world around us. This is a huge strength of Detective Comics #1041, especially when it comes to Bruce himself and Worth’s dad.
Tamaki’s been handed the keys of a very different Batman, having him operate out of a new “batcave” and without access to his famous fortune. This allows Tamaki to do worldbuilding in a very unique way — the world she’s giving us is still Gotham, but it’s certainly a new side of Gotham that we haven’t seen before. This makes her run feel fresh.
It’s always nice to see Oracle back in her role as Oracle as opposed to the Batgirl mantle or the weird hybrid of Oracle/Batgirl. Tamaki’s Barbara is strictly Oracle here, giving readers a nice reminder of what used to be. Her Huntress is also very good, and it’s nice to see a writer really invest in her character the way Tamaki has been doing. As usual, Dan Mora’s art is just incredible, making every image pop off the page. Dan Mora could frankly draw anything and make it look astounding at this point.
The B story also gets into some real worldbuilding for Gotham, as told by Matt Rosenberg and drawn by Darick Robertson. Instead of being a story about Bruce Wayne and from Bruce’s POV, this story is told from the view of reporter Deb Donovan. By giving her the spotlight, Rosenberg is able to make Gotham feel more realistic — we see how some of the people there think, how they react to certain scenarios.
Rosenberg and Robertson’s B story is interesting in its own right, but it’s mostly set up for the next issue, as the last panel reveals Jason Todd sitting in Donovan’s apartment. Jason Todd feels like the kind of character Matt Rosenberg would just excel at writing, which makes this side story fun its own right.
Detective Comics #1041 is a fun little ride that continues to build on this new side of Gotham Tamaki and Mora have shined a light on. The A story continues to take exciting turns while the B story offers an interesting new tale.
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