The weekly “Shadows Of The Bat” event is nearing its end. The last issue of Detective Comics saw Batman finally return to Gotham City to save Nightwing and join the rest of the Batman Family to deal with the Arkham Tower crisis. But with how much has gone on can even Batman’s presence make a difference after Gotham City has gone from one crisis to another? Let’s find out with Detective Comics #1057.
Before getting to this review I also wanted to give our readers a heads up that I have changed our review format. We will now begin with the Synopsis. We’ve eliminated “The Good” and “The Bad” review format for a more straight forward Review section. Ratings for the issue have been also been moved to the end of the review. This is all done to streamline our reviews. This is a work in progress and may adjust in the future. Thank you ahead of time for reading. Now onto the review for Detective Comics #1057.
Writers: Mariko Tamaki (The Tower main story); Matthew Rosenberg (House of Gotham back-up)
Artists: Amancay Nahuelpan (The Tower main story); Fernando Blanco (House of Gotham back-up)
Colorists: Jordie Bellaire
After dropping Nightwing off to get medical attention Batman takes out some members of the Party Crashers on his way to Arkham Tower while Oracle gives him information on what’s been happening.
In Arkham Tower, Helena Bertinelli contacts Oracle and Batman to let them know that somehow she is able to see that Koyuki Nakano (Gotham City Mayor Christopher Nakano’s wife) is with Psycho Pirate, Scarecrow, and Ana Vulsion.
In another part of Arkham Tower Robin (Tim Drake), Batwoman, and Stephanie Brown fight Penguin’s gang while protecting Arkham Tower patients.
At the same time Harley Quinn is saved by Lady Clayface from being taken out by some Party Crasher members using Fear Gas.
Helena is finally able to find where Koyuki is being held and stops Ana from killing Koyuki and Psycho Pirate. As Helena and Ana fight Kayuki is able to use the knife Ana dropped to free herself and Psycho Pirate. Ana takes Psycho Pirate to find Scarecrow, as Scarecrow has Psycho Pirate’s Medusa Mask.
Batman, Batwoman, Robin, and Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) corner Scarecrow. Scarecrow puts on the Medusa Mask immediately fills the room they are in with Fear Toxin.
Psycho Pirate shows up and distracts Scarecrow long enough for Batgirl to kick the Medusa Mask off Scarecrow’s face. Helena tries to grab the Medusa Mask but is stopped by Penguin’s gang gunfire.
The mask ends up sliding near Koyuki’s feet. Remembering her psychology sessions Koyuki puts on the Medusa Mask as a way to signal she’s let go of all her fears
There is no wasted time to get Batman right into the action going on in Arkham Tower as things continue to escalate even as we near the finale of the “Shadows Of The Bat” event. But while Batman finally shows up to help out the Batman Family deal with the Arkham Tower crisis it does not make things easier. The tension of not knowing how things will turn out with “Shadows Of The Bat” is still there with the developments in Detective Comics #1057 even with Batman around.
Kicking things off with Batman getting all the info about what is going on at Arkham Tower while taking out members of the Party Crashers gang on his way to Arkham Tower was a strong tone setter. Tamaki got the message across that the story isn’t slowing down to get Batman at the forefront of everything that is going on. He is more positioned on the same level as the rest of the Batman Family as they all work to put a stop to the chaos together.
That is where Mariko Tamaki’s writing and Amancay Nahuelpan’s artwork shine as one cohesive package. They constantly are showing Batman, Batwoman, Robin, the Batgirls, Huntress, and Harley Quinn in action working as a unit even when they are separated. There is a sense that they are all playing a part in helping resolve everything that is going on. Which shows you how when they are working together the Batman Family can take on any challenge.
At the same time, things are so chaotic within Arkham Tower that even the Batman Family working together can’t overcome everything. This is shown how they are on a race against time as they don’t know where Scarecrow and Ana Vulsion are keeping Koyuki Nakano. Which in turned made how Huntress went on her own to use the mysterious visions she was having to her advantage such a great character move. After she has been in such an unknown spot it was great to see Huntress take agency again to save the day.
This helped to make Scarecrow and Ana Vulsion’s spots as the villains of the story work even better. They aren’t necessarily believable as being able to take on the entire Batman Family. But what makes them so intimidating is the fact that they are working ahead of our heroes. Even when Scarecrow is cornered by the Batman Family it doesn’t look like he is fully defeated. You felt that Scarecrow had some ace up his sleeve to deal with the Batman Family and that is exactly what he did. Of which Nahuelpan deserves a lot of credit for continuing the wicked character design for Scarecrow from the Fear State story.
All that said, the part of the “Shadows Of The Bat” story that still does not work is how Koyuki Nakano and Psycho Pirate have been brought on to play key roles in the story. Both these characters continue to come across as last minute additions to surprise the reader rather than a natural progression of the story. Especially when you consider that “Shadow Of The Bat” is a weekly event taking place in a three month span having elements that don’t feel organic to the story is just not good. Both these characters should’ve been built up from the beginning of the story similar to Ana Vulsion. But because they have not been the entire plot around the Medusa Mask just doesn’t hit the way it should.
The ”House of Gotham” back-up story by Matthew Rosenberg and Fernando Blanco continued to be solid. It was a nice change of pace from the main story as we saw Batman working a case and bringing in Nightwing, Red Hood, and Robin to help. Though the story does come across as something that would’ve been more fitting in Batman: Urban Legends rather than Detective Comics. I would’ve preferred this back-up to instead be dedicated to developing Koyuki Nakano since she is still a relatively new character and has become a key part of the “Shadows Of The Bat” event.
Leading into the final chapter of the “Shadows Of The Bat” weekly event Mariko Tamaki and Amancay Nahuelpan deliver strong developments in Detective Comics #1057. Batman being part of the story and working alongside the Batman Family was all great to see. Hopefully all the work to create such a tense event will payoff with the conclusion in the next issue of Detective Comics.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10