One Year Later: Detective Comics #817 Review

Detective Comics #817 is another one of DC Comics’ “One Year Later” issues. So far, these “One Year Later” issues have taken a savage beating here at the Revolution. Can Detective Comics #817 turn the tide and actually impress the Revolution? Let’s find out.

Creative Team
Writer: James Robinson
Penciler: Leonard Kirk
Inker: Andy Clarke

Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 5.

Synopsis: It is one year later and Commissioner Gordon can’t sleep. Not until he gets a phone call. Gordon tells the unidentified person that he is glad to hear his voice. Gordon then gets off the phone and sleeps likes a baby.

We then cut to the KGBeast (I’m not making this stuff up, people) who is about to make kill someone. A shadowy figure attacks KGBeast and drops the KGBeast off the roof of a building. The shadowy figure then says he is Gotham’s protector.

The police arrive at the scene of the crime and figure that KGBeast actually died not from the fall from the roof, but from two gunshots to his head.

We then cut to the figure that beat up KGBeast who is now beating up a bank robber. That figure is Harvey Dent with his face restored to normal. Harvey is talking to a voice with nobody. The voice says it has been a year and it is time for Harvey to stop fighting crime. His work is done.

We cut back to Commissioner Gordon who we find out was reinstated 3 months ago. It has been 6 months since Harvey Bullock made his “discoveries” and 12 months since Batman went away. Gordon gets a call from the Mayor that Poison Ivy has taken over the Vanguard Building.

Gordon then takes a long walk up to the top of his building. He uncovers the Bat-Signal and fires it up. Cue a sweet two-page splash shot of Batman and Robin landing on the Bat-Signal. Gordon tells Batman that Ivy has taken over an office building to capture some CEOs of large industrial corporations who are raping the environment.

Gordon sympathizes with Ivy’s crusade but says she is going about it the wrong way. Evidently, Ivy is also much more powerful than before. Batman and Gordon talk about the past year and how it was a horrible and terrible event. Then Batman and Robin take off to fight Ivy and Gordon stands there watching them saying that he is going to sleep well tonight.

The Good: It is about time! I thought that all of these “One Year Later” issues were going to strikeout. Not so fast, my friends. Detective Comics #817 delivered the goods. I loved the mood and the feel of the entire issue. You really felt like it had been a whole year since you had seen Batman or any of these characters. Robinson did a great job getting the reader to buy into the “One Year Later” storyline.

It is great to see Gordon back as Commissioner. It was cool to see the Bat-Signal fired up. I was totally intrigued by a “healed” Harvey Dent who has been fighting crime. And just who was he talking to? Also, who is the murderer killing these villains? We know it wasn’t Harvey. Or do we? Batman is still the same old hard-ass that we know and love despite what has happened the past year. It was great to see the mutual love and respect that Batman and Gordon have for each other.

This was a great issue. Robinson did an excellent job creating a compelling storyline on many different mysteries. What happened to Batman for the past year? What did Bullock discover 6 months ago? What is up with this new and improved Harvey Dent? Who was the person talking to Harvey? Who is the killer knocking off villains? So much to build from that I am really looking forward to this current Batman storyline.

The art was solid. Kirk and Clarke did a nice job. They don’t blow you away with their art, but it is better than average. Plus, they draw a pretty good Batman. The characters have plenty of emotion and expression. Plus, the art fits the dark mood of the story.

The Bad: Really not that much. Yeah, the art could have been a little better. Maybe nobody will really care about a killer knocking off a bunch of C-list villains. But, overall, there really wasn’t much to complain about. If the art had been just a little bit better than this issue could have gotten one of the rare and coveted 5 out of 5 Night Girls.