Story: James Tynion IV & Christopher Sebela
Words: Christopher Sebela
Pencils and Ink: Carmen Carnero,
Colors: Ulises Arreola & Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Review by Kristopher Kuzeff
Detective Comics #963 starts with the one thing I felt cheated of by Rebirth Detective Comics: Tim/Red Robin and Steph/Spoiler. The issue starts with a flashback of the two eating together on a rooftop. It is one of those little moments between a couple where you can truly see the love blossom. The story then goes to the present, with Spoiler meeting up with Anarky in Monstertown. They fight some guys who ambush them, and then Anarky gives his elevator pitch in the tunnels of Gotham on why Spoiler should join his cause. The secondary plot is Clayface talking with Batman and Dr. Victoria October about his fears regarding his condition. Victoria is having Clayface try to maintain his Clayface identity as long as possible to track his mental degeneration.
The story is a nice down issue after the Intelligence arc. It’s great to see the characters interacting in what passes for down time for super heroes. The aforementioned three pages of Tim and Stephanie are heaven, giving me the romance I felt deprived of by the first story arc. It gives resonance to what Spoiler is doing now, but it is somewhat detracted from by Spoiler’s interactions with Anarky which border on the flirtatious.
Clayface’s pages are probably the best he has had this whole series, with both the writers and artists taking the time to show his struggle. His interactions with Batman are about what you would expect from the Dark Knight, but the budding friendship, or dare I might say romance, with Victoria is surprisingly intimate. I hope to see a lot more of that relationship, regardless if its platonic or romantic. Victoria is a wonderful character and a great debut for a trans hero in Gotham. The art is clean and well executed. The action flows, and there are no artistic gaffes to distract from the tale. The first three pages with Steph and Tim are drawn in a warm way that radiates the love between them.
Buy. Detective Comics is the best of Rebirth, and its keeping that title by staying about the team. The Batman Family Team Book has been a dark delight since it started, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. The growth of the support team has made this Batman comic one where Batman isn’t the star, but it still feels right. This book is something truly special.