Thursday, November 09, 2017

Comic Shop Comics: November 8th Actually, it's just Detective Comics #968

Detective Comics #968 (DC Comics) Well, this was a disappointing week at the comic shop. This was the only book of interest on the racks today, and while it pained me leave the shop with so little new reading material, there was really nothing to be done. Even the few trades that were released today that I might have been interested in purchasing were not there waiting for me, and so I left pretty damn close to empty-handed.

Given that I have not been terribly enthusiastic about writer James Tynion's run on 'Tec since it started, I was planning on dropping it after reading this very issue, as it was the final installment of a kinda sorta homage arc to "A Lonely Place of Dying," one of the earliest Batman story arcs I had ever read. Now I'm not so sure. The conclusion is really no better than the issues that followed, this arc was no better--and, in fact, probably a little worse--than the arcs if followed, and yet, if I do drop 'Tec, what would that mean the next time there's a Wednesday like this, when it is the only new comic waiting for me at the shop...? Would I actually leave my local comic shop on a new comics day, completely empty-handed...?

The alternative, of course, is to just keep reading it and complaining about it on the Internet immediately afterwards. Which makes me a feel like a little bit of a jerk, really.

Anyway, like the first installment of the arc, this one features a cover that is a direct homage to a cover from "Dying":
As I pointed out on Twitter back when this issue was solicited, it demonstrates the difference in tone between DC Comics in 1989 and in 2017 pretty well. In addition to how far costume design has fallen since then...although the costume Time is rocking on the George Perez cover is, of course, far, far older than the late 1980s. I'm not sure who designed Tim's current Red Robin get-up, but I hate the double-Rs, as well as the armor-plating. (It also features a hell of a lot of green and yellow for a guy calling himself Red Robin, and seeking to distance himself from the Robins he's following).

Where we last left off, Batman Tim Drake (from a 2005 Teen Titans arc) had just activated a version of Brother Eye (most like that of the one from 2005 miniseries The OMAC Project, which was of course writer Greg Rucka's reimagining of it from Jack Kirby's original in 1974's OMAC), with which he was going to override all Batman's computers and sic The Colony's drones on Batwoman. Why? Apparently Batwoman is about to do something that ruin's Future Tim's world, and he feels he needs to kill her stop it.

That's...well, problematic. I know I complain about continuity constantly and really, no one would be happier if I didn't have to, but, well, DC keeps publishing comics about their continuity. This one is a little wonky in that it refers Batwoman, Damian and even Jonathan Kent as parts of Future Tim's past, even though none of those characters were created or introduced into the DCU until after "Titans Tomorrow" near as I can guess, then, this isn't a future version of Tim from that storyline, somehow held over from a lost or broken part of continuity, but a rebooted version of the "Titans Tomorrow" Tim...? I don't know. It irritates me to think about it at all.

As to why Tim didn't just tell Batwoman and/or anyone else what she was going to do so that she could just plain not do it, well, that seems like it would be a lot easier than him fighting everyone and having to kill her, right?

The issue opens with a reminder that Tynion's New 52 version of The General is still around, and picks up with Batman Tim fighting off Nightwing, The Red Hood, Robin Damian Wayne and Batman himself. They go at him one at a time, and he beats them all in one move which, doesn't seem quite right, does it...? Even with ten years of extra practice under his utility belt, I'm not sure Tim could take any of those guys out that fast, with the possible exception of Batman (who he emotionally manipulates into leaving an opening). Hell, I'd be surprised if he could beat Nightwing or Robin in, like, 50 moves.

I suppose they at least show a fight in this issue, as, in the previous issue, Tim defeats Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin completely off-panel.

It should come as no surprise that Future Tim fails to kill Batwoman, and is sent back to the future or wherever he came from. That will leave the question of what Batwoman does to lead to a dystopian DCU unanswered for now. I expect we'll see it in the next arc, "The Fall of The Batmen," which seems like it just might be the conclusion of Tynion's arc...right before Brian Michael Bendis takes over to write four Batman-related books a month. I'm guessing! That's just a guess!

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