By Alex Batts — Detective Comics #1010 marks the second issue of the Deadshot story arc. Peter Tomasi is joined here again by Christian Duce on art duties, with Luis Guerrero on colors (According to the cover, though the interior page says David Baron is on colors), and Rob Leigh on letters. This issue sees Bruce, Deadshot, and the occupants of the crashed Wayne Jet stranded on an island in the Pacific.
*SPOILERS FOLLOW...skip to the overall section for a number score and general thoughts*
The issue opens with an injured and unconscious Bruce being discovered by some island natives, as they drag him to safety. The story then proceeds to cut between scenes of Bruce with his rescuers and Deadshot corralling the stranded billionaires. We learn that Bruce's rescuers are two pilots from opposing sides of World War II who crash-landed on the island. Instead of killing one another on impact, the two eventually decided to work together to better their chances of survival. The tale is sad, but it also highlights the capacity of people to work together for the betterment of each other.
The two men asking Bruce about what the world is like now is not only entertaining but serves to put into perspective how disconnected they’ve been from the outside for the last 70 years. From something as gigantic as who won the war, to the more trivial information of what teams won the World Series during their absence, each nugget further exemplifies how surreal it would be to be so out of touch with the rest of civilization for so long.
The other narrative of the issue puts the spotlight on Deadshot, and we gain more information on what his mission objective is. He mentions that he gets paid by the head of each billionaire and that he was hired to kidnap, not kill, each of them. These answers just serve to bring more questions, though. Why does someone want them kidnapped instead of killed? Who is this mysterious employer? Only time will tell, but the banter we get from Deadshot in the meantime is fantastic.
Deadshot sounds exactly how you would expect him to sound, which I think is the highest compliment you can give to a writer when they're tackling an established character. If you find yourself going, "That's so Deadshot," in your head, the writer has won. And I found myself doing exactly that throughout this issue. The way he engages with his targets is so fitting of his personality, adding an air of comedic relief to the issue as well as creating some tense moments when needed based on his quick flip-flop from friendly to hostile.
The art again steals the show in this issue. Duce’s lines and inks are stellar, with incredible and detailed character work, fantastic backgrounds, and dynamic page layouts. The way Duce renders Deadshot is still my favorite in recent memory, and we get to see Bruce dress up in a ragtag Batsuit by the end of the issue, like an aviator pilot’s outfit infused with Bat, and it’s exactly as awesome as it sounds. Duce’s base pencils and inks are complimented wonderfully by Guerrero’s colors, which set the mood and ambiance for each scene, and bring out the highlights when needed. The campfire glow in the dark jungle is perfect, the blue moonlight is striking, and the red of Deadshot’s suit pops.
During the issue Deadshot fends off a jaguar, wounding it severely in the process. It turns out that the jaguar is a friend of the men who rescued Bruce, and when the jungle cat returns to their camp, the friends are distressed and unsure of what could have caused such damage. Bruce immediately knows what happened, which spurs him into assembling the ragtag aviator Batsuit. This leads to a confrontation between Batman and Deadshot at the end of the issue that is sure to spill into the pages of Detective Comics #1011.
As with the previous few issues of Detective Comics, the final scene of the issue is dedicated to Mr. Freeze healing his wife. These scenes continue to give me chills, and the implications of a resurrected Nora are massive for Freeze and for the Batman mythos. Freeze is my favorite Batman villain, and so naturally I can’t help but be excited at such a big spotlight on his character with this massive development.
Overall: Detective Comics #1010 is a good continuation of the Deadshot story arc. The change in scenery is welcome, the art is incredible, and Tomasi continues to nail small character moments throughout. 8.0/10
Detective Comics #1010
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Christian Duce
Colorist: Luis Guerrero...or David Baron (cover and interior credits page conflict)
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