[Review] Bruce’s Family is Under Attack in DETECTIVE COMICS #995

FIRST IMPRESSION

Batman loses one person very dear to him in DETECTIVE COMICS #995, while another is nearly killed. Someone knows how to hurt Bruce Wayne, and it threatens to push him over the edge. This is a tense, mournful issue, ratcheting up the tension in the story.
Writing
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
- Advertisement -

Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke don’t pull any punches with Detective Comics #995. Without giving away too much, one of the people closest to Bruce Wayne dies, while another is gravely injured in this gripping new issue.

Batman races with Dr. Thompkins back to Wayne Manor following the attack on her clinic in the previous issue. She’s been infected with the Joker’s toxin, and is just moments from death. But, as the issue’s cover illustrates, Leslie Thompkins is not the only person close to Bruce who’s being targeted. By the issue’s end, a grieving Batman makes his way to Arkham to find answers…and he may have finally been pushed over the edge.

The Writing

Tomasi is clearly not holding anything back in the run-up to issue #1000. The storytelling in Detective Comics #995 crackles with energy and anxiety as Batman rushes to save not one, but two of the individuals closest to him.

The writer understands that one of Batman’s most important strengths has always been his secret identity. Even his longest-running villains (with few exceptions) are unaware of the man behind the mask. But, whoever it is that is stalking Bruce seems to know who he is, and just who to hurt to strike the most damage. For Batman, that is the most terrifying threat of all.

- Advertisement -

Bruce coming to terms with yet another loss in Detective Comics #995 is pretty heart-wrenching. What’s worse, though, is the threat of what he might do now. As the issue closes, we’re left with a genuinely worrying picture of Bruce’s mental state.

The Artwork

The pencil and ink work by Doug Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza shine in this issue as well. The images of Dr. Thompkins’ face contorted by the Joker toxin are striking; even under the ghastly smile, you get a sense for the intense pain the character is experiencing. David Baron’s colors help accentuate the grotesque features to really sell the image.

Much of Detective Comics #995 is dominated by tight, close-up shots of the characters, accentuating the drama of the sitaution. The sketchy, hatched lines and shadows add a sense of gravity to the characters’ expressions. And, by the book’s end, we have some truly demented imagery underscoring how close Bruce is to his breaking point.

Baron’s color choices change with expert precision to match the tone of the situation. We go from naturalistic colors to a warm, washed-out palette for flashback panels. Finally, by the book’s end, we see Arkham bathed in a kind of supernatural cross of greens and dark shadows, reminiscent of the monstrous funhouse Batman promises to visit on the asylum’s inmates.

Final Thoughts

Detective Comics #995 elevates the drama and tragedy, pushing Batman to the edge in the process. Although it’s a stretch to believe that Tomasi would actually take Batman over the line, I’m hyped to see what happens next.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

AfterShock Exclusive Preview: Phil Hester And Ryan Kelly’s STRONGHOLD #4

STRONGHOLD #4 hits your local comic book store on June 5, but thanks to AfterShock Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has a four-page preview of...
video

Cartoonist Kayfabe: Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 4, Kayfabe Commentary

What more can be said? Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and special guest Tom Scioli unpack the Frank Miller classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes!
video

Looking back with the DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL | Marvel’s Pull List

Celebrate Marvel’s 80th Anniversary with the Pull List as we take you back to the 1980’s! Ryan & Tucker break down THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, THE SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK #1, SQUADRON SUPREME #1 and DAREDEVIL #181! ► Subscribe to Marvel: http://bit.ly/WeO3YJ Follow Marvel on Twitter: ‪https://twitter.com/marvel Like Marvel on Facebook: ‪https://www.facebook.com/Marvel For even more news,…
video

WAR OF THE REALMS party | Marvel’s Pull List

Dive into the War of the Realms as we talk five new Marvel comics featured on this week’s Marvel’s Pull List! In this episode, hosts Ryan Penagos, a.k.a. Agent M, and Tucker Markus break down WAR OF THE REALMS STRIKEFORCE: THE LAND OF THE GIANTS #1, WAR OF THE REALMS: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #3, WAR…

Review: Overman Fights For The Reich in FREEDOM FIGHTERS #6

Overman faces the Freedom Fighters! During World War II, the Freedom Fighters fought against the Nazis to try and stop the Reich. Just when they...

Review: The Tragedy of Astrid Arkham in DETECTIVE COMICS #1004

The plot thickens in Detective Comics #1004, as we learn Astrid Arkham’s origins, and the root of her hatred for Batman. As the daughter of...
video

DC Comics 101: Do You Really Know Jason Todd?

Curran Walters' rebellious performance as Jason Todd on Titans has brought one of DC's most provocative characters back into the spotlight. In this episode of DC Tales from the Vault, Ben LeClear dives into Jason Todd's comic book history, as he reveals the story behind Batman's second Robin. Turns out Jason's story behind the page is almost as dramatic as his story on it!

Advanced Review: KILLER GROOVE Serves Up A Tasty Crime Story

Murder, mystery and a fair share of music make up the first issue of Killer Groove from AfterShock Comics.
Avatar
David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.