By Alex Batts — This week’s Detective Comics #1011 is the conclusion of a three-issue arc featuring Deadshot. This issue boasts slightly more action than the previous two, as we finally get a full-force showdown between Batman and Deadshot. As with previous issues in this arc, Peter Tomasi is joined by Christian Duce on art and Luis Guerrero on colors, with Rob Leigh lettering.
*Spoilers for Detective Comics #1011 follow. For final thoughts and a rating, check out the OVERALL section at the bottom of this review*
The throughline of this arc has been Christian Duce and Luis Guerrero stealing the show with their artwork. This issue continues that trend as the pair bring to life some of the smoothest and most natural-looking pages in comics. The nighttime sequences of the lush jungle are perfectly lit, with characters and backgrounds drawn distinct and clear. Bruce is rendered as a dominant figure in the shadows of the jungle, even outside of his normal Batsuit. The nighttime setting also lends itself to striking explosions and vivid imagery of Deadshot’s bright costume.
Deadshot immediately contrasts himself from the blue night hues of the jungle, and this rendition of him continues to be one of my favorites in recent memory. Duce and Guerrero bring him to life in vibrant, fast, and calculated ways while also maintaining the smug arrogance Tomasi gives him through his writing.
The page layouts also standout. With the action organized in a fast-paced and clear way, the fights maintain a bombastic and dynamic feel. The action is exciting, and readers feel the impact of every blow delivered. It’s a genuinely fun read and a satisfying conclusion to the arc.
Tomasi’s writing continues to impress. He hasn’t had a single misstep since taking over Detective Comics. He’s great at crafting Batman in his normal, predatory and imposing situations, but he also incorporates heart, charm, and levity when needed. The beginning of the issue is a slight flashback (30 minutes) from where the last issue left off, with Bruce running away from Deadshot’s sights.
This flashback shows Bruce working with the local islanders (two men on opposing sides of World War II who crash-landed and have spent their lives on the island) to set up a trap for Deadshot. This scene shows the islanders joking back and forth with each other, and Bruce being as kind as ever to the pair, wanting to do what he can to make them happy. It also explains how the pair are able to save Bruce from Deadshot by crashing plane fuselage into the marksman just before he’s able to shoot Bruce, leading to the Caped Crusader running into the jungle with Deadshot in hot pursuit.
The final fight between the two is drawn phenomenally, as I’ve already mentioned, but it’s also written exceptionally well. Deadshot is running his mouth the whole time, at first not able to find Batman, but knowing that he’s got to be there. His lines about anyone not naturally a part of the jungle immediately sticking out are so strong. This is followed by Batman saying he’s there, appearing right behind Deadshot, evoking the scene in Batman Begins with Batman appearing right behind the thug — it’s just such a Batman thing to do.
While Deadshot can’t shut up, Batman tackles the fight in his calm, calculated, and stoic way. Deadshot’s taunts don’t bother him, not outwardly, but you can feel getting under his skin. Just when Deadshot thinks he’s got the upper hand and has won the fight, Batman turns it around and puts the marksman out of commission.
After the final showdown, Batman has to disappear in the woods so that he’s able to be “found” as Bruce by the other plane passengers who crash-landed on the island. Bruce has a transponder on him that has allowed Alfred to locate him and arrive with help, leading to the safe rescue of everyone involved. Before going, Bruce leaves a communicator with the island natives, who have decided that they want to spend their final days on the island where they spent most of their lives. In the following scene, we see Batman flying over the island dropping supply crates full of books and food, to make life better for the two men. It’s heartwarming to see Batman going so far out of his way to help like this, just another one of those moments that is so true to Batman’s character.
As with the last few issues of Detective Comics, the final pages here are devoted to the build-up of the next arc, which will feature Mr. Freeze reviving his wife, Nora, from cryo-sleep. Freeze has been given the technology he needs to do so by Lex Luthor, following his offer during Year of the Villain. Now, he’s been slowly taking the steps necessary to revive Nora. This issue featured a darker turn to the revival though, as it appears that Freeze is sending out goons to abduct women that have body features that resemble Nora. Maybe to repair parts of Nora that have decayed over time. Regardless of the specifics of Freeze’s plan, Nora will be raised from the proverbial dead soon, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Overall: Tomasi has a strong grip on the Caped Crusader, and the change of scenery in this arc was exciting. The art continues to be a highlight of the book, especially in this satisfying conclusion of an escapade caused by Deadshot. 8.0/10
Detective Comics #1011
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