Detective Comics 934 (August 2016)

Detective Comics #934

What a nice pilot for a new Detective Comics. Batman and Batwoman are partners–their mission is to train the vigilantes of Gotham to fight some new threat. This threat follows them around with little bat-drones, but Batman can’t figure out they’re still being followed. It’s a team book, but with familiar Bat-family members and a decidedly modern approach. Heavy on the one-liners, heavy on implied action, light on actual content.

Is the problem the art or the story? Well, Eddy Barrows’s art isn’t there but it might be with a better inker. Eber Ferreira doesn’t have a feel for the art. He rounds it, reduces it, instead of emboldening it. Would better art make a significant difference? No. Would great art make a significant difference? Sure. But it’s a monthly superhero book and Barrows delivers it.

So is it the writing? Yeah, sure? Sorry to be so noncommittal but Detective Comics feels pretty noncommittal. Writer James Tynion IV mostly gives everyone sound bites instead of dialogue. Spoiler and Robin have a conversation, Batman and Batwoman, Batman and Clayface, but these are quippy, fast conversations. It’s meant to entertain not tell a story, because Tynion doesn’t have a story to tell.

I suppose Detective Comics is better than I was expecting (though nowhere near what I was hoping for). But it’s just a mediocre superhero book (in desperate need of better editing).


Rise of the Batmen, Part One: The Young and the Brave; writer, James Tynion IV; penciller, Eddy Barrows; inker, Eber Ferreira; colorist, Adriano Honorato Lucas; letterer, Marilyn Patrizio; editors, Dave Wielgosz and Chris Conroy; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound 9 (May 2005)

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Eddy Barrows takes over the pencils. Kirk’s absence is definitely Bloodhound’s loss. About the only thing Barrows does right is show Clev as a giant. Otherwise, he’s mediocre. Except maybe his panel composition; it’s weak.

He does manage to do the small town stuff pretty well though. He doesn’t ruin that aspect, let’s say.

The mystery continues–though Jolley pretty much gives it away by the end, which makes no sense (it’s separate from the main narrative). There’s a little more development between Clevenger and Bell, but a lot more with the angry townsfolk.

There’s also the guest appearance from Batman villain Zeiss, who’s rather annoying. Jolley has a lot to tie together next issue and the Zeiss knot seems like it’ll be the hardest. The guest appearance screams corporate synergy.

Still, Bloodhound has enough going for it to survive the art and the guest star. Jolley’s handling it.


Demons; writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Eddy Barrows; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Ivan Cohen; publisher, DC Comics.

Nightwing 3 (January 2012)


Almost there… almost there. Higgins’s Nightwing writing is improving by leaps and bounds. Though the soft cliffhanger is weak and there’s a big irregularity in the timeline (Dick’s parents were alive “five years ago,” meaning Batman’s been through three Robins in four years in the new DC universe?), it’s a decent issue.

Barrows and new co-penciller Eduardo Pansica help a lot. Though it’s still too static in the regular people talking scenes, there are some good pages in this issue. One sequence has Dick tripping out and hallucinating; it looks great.

As far as the plot goes, it’s still old Robin comics recycled, but Higgins earnestly presents it all. Sure, Dick probably won’t take over day-to-day control of a circus and be Nightwing in his off hours, but this issue convincingly presents it as a possibility.

I’m almost onboard, but still wary–Higgins hasn’t exactly proven himself reliable.


Past and Present; writer, Kyle Higgins; pencillers, Eddy Barrows and Eduardo Pansica; inkers, J.P. Mayer, Paulo Siqueira and Eber Ferreira; colorists, Rod Reis and Allen Passalaqua; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Katie Kubert and Bobbie Chase; publisher, DC Comics.

Nightwing 2 (December 2011)


Nightwing might be a little better. I mean, not a lot, but a little. Barrows, for example, gets positively ambitious when it comes to page layouts. Maybe he’s been reading some eighties Batman, since Higgins is still ripping them off.

Two big developments this issue—first, Dick Grayson now owns Haly’s Circus. Not sure if he owns the pre-Flashpoint Haley’s Circus too, or just the one with the inexplicably changed name. Second, Haly’s Circus has a secret.

Now, I’m pretty sure Dick once owned Haly’s in the eighties and, if he didn’t, he at least solved its big secret. It’s a shame DC didn’t just reprint the old eighties Robin backups covering the same material, as the art and writing were, you know, good.

Another strange element is all the gratuitous sex in the new DC Universe. Dick hooks up with a bimbo. Yippee.

Still, better than last issue.


Haly’s Wish; writer, Kyle Higgins; penciller, Eddy Barrows; inkers, J.P. Mayer and Paulo Siqueira; colorist, Rod Reis; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Katie Kubert and Bobbie Chase; publisher, DC Comics.

Nightwing 1 (November 2011)


From the cover of Nightwing, it looks like DC’s employing everyone in the Rob Liefeld school of not understanding human anatomy. Of course, at least Eddy Barrows gets a little better in the comic itself. Not much, but a little.

The problem with the book isn’t Barrows, of course. It’s Kyle Higgins. He read some Batman comics from the seventies and eighties and he’s regurgitating the Dick Grayson Robin backups and DC’s calling it “new.”

Worse than the predictable plotting is the narration. Higgins’s first person narration for Dick Grayson is badly written, more than a little moronic and also fails to make Dick likable. He seems rather inane from his narration; I don’t think he has a single interesting observation.

Nightwing might be my least favorite DC relaunch book so far. Higgins is trying to turn Dick Grayson into Peter Parker at times. It’s uninspired and just plain dumb.


Welcome to Gotham; writer, Kyle Higgins; penciller, Eddy Barrows; inker, J.P. Mayer; colorist, Rod Reis; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Katie Kubert and Bobbie Chase; publisher, DC Comics.

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