By Alex Batts — Detective Comics #1009 is the start of a new arc for writer Peter J. Tomasi’s run. Titled “Survivor,” this one will feature Deadshot facing off against the Caped Crusader for the first time in a while, and the first time in a main Bat title since “The War of Jokes and Riddles” (if I’m remembering correctly). Tomasi is joined by artist Christian Duce, colorist Luis Guerrero, and letterer Rob Leigh, who together bring Deadshot back to Gotham, which results in an interesting setup for what’s to come.
The opening sequence of this issue is easily my favorite part of the book. We Batman violently thwart a series of crimes, leaving each group of thugs tied up with notes explaining what they did and that the goons are willing to confess. Throughout this, we have narration from Alfred pestering Bruce, reminding him that he's been out every night this week and must be forgetting about an important meeting he has the following day.
Duce’s art immediately shines, depicting quick and brutal action that shows Batman thrashing criminals while draped in shadows, highlighted by a beautiful splash page of Batman covered in blood standing atop a gargoyle overlooking Gotham. The pages are rendered with great detail, excellent linework, and colors that compliment it all. The sequence follows Batman home to the Batcave where he steps into a power-shower area (it reminds me of a car wash) that blasts him with water from every side, cleaning the Batsuit. This is just another one of the small things that Tomasi has added in his run to give an extra layer of depth and “Oh that’s so cool” to Batman’s world.
After Bruce goes to sleep, he is promptly woken up by Alfred to attend his important meeting. We cut to the first scene with Deadshot. Deadshot is shooting target practice, awaiting a rendezvous with an unknown party. The man ends up leaping out of a plane and giving Deadshot his mission orders via an electronic chip. Deadshot promptly shoots the man who arrived, saying their employer wanted loose ends tied up. This sequence is great for several reasons, with Deadshot's dialogue being both funny and completely in character. We get a sense of his coldness and lack of empathy, all while also highlighting his knowledge about general tactics.
While the writing is strong, Duce and Guerrero’s art again steals the scene. This is the best I can remember Deadshot looking, and it might be my favorite rendition of him ever. His suit shines just the right way, with great contrast stunning detail. Along with Deadshot looking phenomenal, the halo jump is depicted excellently as well. The ambient lighting in the forest scene also helps set the mood, and the whole scene just works so well as a character introduction.
The issue then slows down significantly for Bruce’s board meeting. Lucius is detailing the company’s plans to help the environment when Bruce interrupts, saying that the presentation is beyond boring. Bruce insists that they’ll still absolutely be doing everything Lucius talked about because of its importance to the world, but that the presentation itself was unbearable. We then transition to Bruce, Lucius, and a handful of other top CEOs on Bruce’s jet traveling to the Singapore Summit. The board meeting and interior jet sequence work to show off Bruce’s playboy-ish tendencies and just how different he acts around those who don’t know his secret.
Bruce is brash, arrogant, and seemingly annoyed at everything going on around him. While it's sort of off-putting to see, it makes sense given the way Bruce wants people to view him. The plane ride hits some turbulence in a storm while Deadshot ends up taking over. He had made his way aboard the vessel by disguising himself as a pilot. Before his exact mission can be made clear, the plane is struck by lightning and all hell breaks loose. The plane crash sequence is riveting as passengers hold on for dear life, with Bruce doing his best to secure them before the inevitable crash.
The art team does a fantastic job at conveying the velocity and force. The plane feels like it's rocketing to the ground as its occupants are struggling for stability. Then the force of the impact sends people flying as the plane itself breaks apart. The main story ends with the CEOs and Deadshot now stranded on an island, in what is sure to be an exciting tale going forward.
The last two pages are reserved for the tease of what's shaping up to be the biggest Mr. Freeze story in recent memory. We see Freeze standing in front of Nora, promising that soon they'll be together again, as he uses Lex Luthor's technology to treat her and remove her from cryo-sleep.
Overall: Detective Comics #1009 is a solid start to a brand-new arc. Deadshot’s reintroduction is a welcome one, and the artwork is a real standout. 8.0/10
Detective Comics #1009
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Christian Duce
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
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Alex Batts is from Texas. A lifelong comic book enthusiast and movie lover, if he’s not talking about comics, he’s probably not talking. You can find him on Twitter by following @BatmanFiles