I was not left very impressed with the start of Ram V and Rafael Albuquerque’s start to their run on Detective Comics. There was just something about Detective Comics #1062 that did not click for me that my initial thought once I finished that issue was to drop the series. While that was my initial thought after some time away from that first issue I decided to give Ram V and Albuquerque another shot. That is simply because I believe in this creative team given the history they have of delivering quality comic books for DC Comics. With that in mind let’s check out Detective Comics #1063.
Writers: Ram V (Gotham Nocturne: Overture); Simon Spurrier (Jim Gordon: The Coda)
Artists: Rafael Albuquerque (Gotham Nocturne: Overture); Dani (Jim Gordon: The Coda)
Colorists: Dave Stewart (Gotham Nocturne: Overture); Steve Wands (Jim Gordon: The Coda)
At a local club, Bruce Wayne joins Harvey Dent for a drink about Harvey possibly being involved in how the criminal underworld is going through a change in Gotham City. Harvey says he is not involved in any of that and asks Bruce why he came to him.
Bruce reveals that as Batman he came across a guy who appeared poisoned screaming about the Wolf of Bezadhahne before killing himself. Bruce believes that the person leading things from the shadows is someone completely new.
Harvey calls out Bruce for only finding him because he wanted to make sure Two-Face wasn’t the one responsible for recent things going on in the city. Harvey and Bruce then have a back-and-forth about Gotham City changing and their place of owning things not being a thing anymore.
Off the shores of Gotham City, Arzen speaks with Shavhod on the Orgham Royal Sunskipper about his family truly owning the Arkham Asylum at one point while looking at a deed by Eduardo Arkham. Shavhod reveals that Anatol Orgham purchased the deed in 1692 and has remained in their family even when in 1853 Loricius Orgham changed their last name to Arkham.
When Shavhod talks about how they need to show others the Orghams are not weak it triggers Arzen to activate a mysterious power that forces him to get some rest.
At Blackgate Prison Batman breaks in to talk to Payne Cardine (The Maestro) to help him figure out the truth behind the mysterious music box he found being smuggled in from outside of Gotham City. Hearing to the music Cardine reveals that the sound could be used to change people and whole societies.
Later, while swinging through the city Batman collapses and suddenly Barbatos once again appears over Batman. Barbatos mocks Batman for not changing anything as Gotham City is a place that is eternally the home of the Demon King.
Elsewhere Gael Tenclaw attacks Harvey Dent with a green mist while claiming that he will make Harvey the King of the Underworld again.
Harvey is then left alone as the Two-Face part of his persona begins to take over. End of the main story.
Detective Comics #1063 is a major upgrade to the previous issue. The entire story involving the Orgham family and the mystery Batman finds himself involved in is given much more rich detail here. And it all simply comes down to the connection to the history with Gotham City that makes the story so compelling.
Whenever we see creative teams dig into the history of Gotham City the story is so much better. It is what made Snyder’s construction of the Court of Owls so fascinating during the New 52 era. There is so much room to play with the history of Gotham City which adds to why it is such an important place in the lore of the DC Universe. That is exactly what Ram V and Rafael Albuquerque did a much better job within Detective Comics #1062.
Revealing that the Orgham are directly connected to the founding fathers of Gotham City is a simple and quick way to immediately add importance to them as characters. Having Arzen holding a deed that reveals the Orgham Family are the true owners of the land Arkham Asylum was built adds so many intriguing mysteries to the story. Ram V gives us enough details about the Orgham Family and their direct connection to the Arkham Family that when we see that they are characters with mystical backgrounds we are even more invested.
The history that the Orgham Family is tied into works well to complement how Ram V is bringing in Barbatos to play a role in this story. Barbatos mocking Batman for failing in his fight against the eternal hellish state of Gotham City made the villain so much more haunting. Adding in how Barbatos speaks about Solomon’s Key that his name was written on plays deeper into the mystical elements Ram V is playing with. This isn’t surprising given Ram V’s experience in the magical corner of the DC Universe with his work on Justice League Dark.
That all makes the talk about Gotham City changing by Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent have different layers to it. Specifically for Bruce, he could be feeling the change because Gotham City is being pushed to the state it was before he or any of the Batman Family members work to make the city better. The pendulum is now shifting to the other side with how a new force is taking over the criminal underworld that Batman’s Rogues Gallery was heavily involved in.
Which all makes the inclusion of Harvey Dent in the narrative a strong choice. The whole Phantom Of The Opera look that Harvey was going with as he has suppressed the Two-Face side of his personality worked incredibly well. Albuquerque hit it out of the park with the character design to make the back-and-forth that Bruce and Harvey had to be much more powerful. It made Harvey’s eventual forced change back to Two-Face being the dominant persona a heartbreaking moment.
The tease that Gael Tenclaw is going to have his crew help Two-Face become the King of the Underworld was an unexpected twist. This creates many possibilities for how Ram V and Albuquerque can take this story of Gotham City going through a change. It could not only elevate Two-Face but the Orgham Family as they challenge Batman like never before.
The backup Jim Gordon story by Simon Spurrier and Dani was the only letdown of this issue. I just do not find this story interesting at all. It is completely overshadowed by the main story of Detective Comics #1063. More than anything it just comes across as a story to remind fans that Jim Gordon is still around after everything he was up to in the recent Joker series. It is just doing nothing other than making me wish this backup was given to a different member of the Batman Family.
Detective Comics #1063 has hooked me into continuing to read Ram V and Rafael Albuquerque’s run moving forward. Diving into how this story Batman finds himself in the middle of involves how the history of Gotham City is worked into its future is fascinating. There is so much potential that is just beginning to be tapped into that I’m excited to find out what Ram V and Albuquerque have planned next for Detective Comics.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10