The “Gotham Nocturne” arc continues this month in Detective Comics, bringing some more great art and stronger plot movement than last issue. Before digging into the issue itself, let’s take a moment to bask in this dope cover art. The detailed statue of the Caped Crusader draped in crimson with a dark presence lurking beyond creates a striking image. Both previous covers have been similarly haunting but this issue takes it to a new level. Such an enthralling cover beckons us back into the mystery unfolding withing the issue itself.
Readers of V’s Swamp Thing series will feel right at home in the opening, as he weaves in a “myth of old” to parallel the current narrative developments. What helps this opening work so well is the stunning artwork. Albuquerque and Stewart really go all out here across two spreads of artwork. The art evokes the feeling of interpreting a legend from a stained glass window. This alone makes the issue worth picking up, and we’re only five pages into the issue.
The story continues with Batman chasing down leads and running more tests to see what malady irks him. This leads to a sequence where he brazenly conducts a brutal interrogation that reads as very out of character. Immediately after, with the information gained he returns to his senses and realizes Talia al Ghul and her League have a larger part to play in this act. The story feels like it has more momentum this issue and left me wanting more by the time I got to the final page.
The artwork doesn’t back down after the visually arresting opening. The rest of the issue looks great. The colors and style keep a consistent moody tone, and the fight between Batman and Talia at the end of the issue takes on an almost ballet-esque quality.
This issue also includes the conclusion of the “Coda” backup. Here, it brings all the threads together and spins Gordon and his unlikely new friend in a new direction. The action is still difficult to discern at times, particularly when there’s black clothes on dark backgrounds. At the end of this short looking back, it remains a worthy pairing with the main issue and provides a Gordon tale with a unique stylistic approach. While the color choices could be better, it still made for an engaging tale and it left me intrigued how it will play into the rest of the main issue’s story.
The artwork alone puts Detective Comics #1064 in its own class and makes it well worth picking up this week.
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