Ram V and Rafael Albuquerque started their run on by exploring a whole new part of Gotham City’s mythology with a new set of characters known as the Orgham Family who have a strong connection to Arkham. If that wasn’t enough Bruce Wayne has been dealing with the return of Barbatos in his life. All of this has teased a major change is about to happen in Gotham City as the city’s history is going to define its future. Let’s find out what happens next with Detective Comics #1064.
Writer: Ram V (Gotham Nocturne: Overture); Simon Spurrier (Jim Gordon: The Coda)
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque (Gotham Nocturne: Overture); Dani (Jim Gordon: The Coda)
Colorist: Dave Stewart (Gotham Nocturne: Overture and Jim Gordon: The Coda)
Years ago during a training session Talia Al Ghul tells her son, Damian Wayne, the story of Farhad I Parethes. Talia explains how Farhad was tethered to Azmer and the trials he faced in the desert that he only overcame too late to reunite with the love of his life.
In the present Bruce Wayne ignores his doctor’s warning about taking it easy with all of his injuries piling up.
Instead of listening to his doctor Bruce, while wearing a mask and using his Batman voice, interrogates one of the thugs that was at the pier smuggling things in. Bruce is able to get the information he needs about a tattoo to know where to go next.
Later that night Batman heads to Pennyman Theater where he finds Talia and the League of Shadows. Batman easily beats the League of Shadows and then takes on Talia one-on-one.
During the fight, Batman realizes Talia wants him at the theater to keep him from being somewhere else. After bringing up Farhad during their fight Talia sets off an explosion that causes Batman to go through the stage.
Over at the pier, a group of reporters and government officials are awaiting the arrival of Prince Arzen Orgham, the first royal to visit Gotham City in several decades. As Prince Arzen’s boat docks the League of Shadows opens fire on the boat.
Elsewhere, Batman is able to make it out of the destroyed theater Talia buried him in. End of the main story.
This was the definition of a middle chapter of a storyline. We get some interesting interactions between Batman and Talia Al Ghul but Detective Comics #1064 was largely about buying time for Prince Arzen and the Orgham Family to arrive.
The big thing that we continue to see Ram V play with is the more mystical side of Gotham City. We saw that in the first two issues with how the Orgham Family history was tied to Gotham City’s past. Now in Detective Comics #1064 learn about the story of Farhad that was relayed to us by Talia Al Ghul. Talia telling this story to Damian back before she introduced their son to Bruce was an unexpected choice. I get that Talia is more likely to know about these mystical elements that Ram V is working with but the presentation felt forced.
This is where I wish Talia’s story about Farhad was the backup to these last three issues rather than the Jim Gordon story that did not hit the way it intended. By giving it the three issues as a backup Ram V could’ve had more time to tell the story about Farhad. Without that time Ram V had to sort of rush Farhad’s story so when Talia mentions him later to Bruce you get the reference rather than being invested in how Farhad’s story relates to everything going on in “Gotham Nocturne.”
What Ram V does a good job with is playing further with how Bruce’s age and injuries are catching up with him. The doctor calling him out on this and Bruce ignoring all the warnings further this subplot in a way that makes the main story better. We see that even play into how Bruce is in the dark about what is really going on with Talia and the Orgham Family. This puts Bruce in a similar position to the reader as we are discovering what “Gotham Overture” will be about as it develops.
Talia and the League of Shadows targeting the Orgham Family do add to how dangerous the family is. And that is all thanks to the credibility Talia’s presence brings as she would not do something like this rashly. There is a greater reason for attacking Prince Arzen Orgham as soon as he and the Orgham Family arrive that adds interest to find out what will happen next.
That said, this wasn’t a great issue for continuing to establish the Orgham Family. They are not much of presence here until the very end. As new characters, Ram V still has work to do to build up their credibility. Diving more into the Orgham and Arkham families will be a big help in the following issues.
Rafael Albuquerque’s artwork was solid throughout Detective Comics #1064. The artwork during Talia’s retelling of Farhad’s story in particular was beautiful. It got over how we were reading a story within a story with how the framing for all the events in Farhad’s story was told. The rest of the issue had good consistency but did not blow me away as other Albuquerque-drawn comic books have.
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Detective Comics #1064 did its job to get us to the next point in the “Gotham Nocturne” storyline. Bringing Talia Al Ghul back into play as a major character was a great call as she always has strong chemistry with Bruce Wayne when they share screen time together. Hopefully, the pacing of the story can be picked up a bit to better establish the Orgham Family now that they are in Gotham City.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10