Detective Comics #996 Review

Detective Comics #996
DC Comics

Written by: Peter J Tomasi
Art by: Doug Mahnke
Inks by: Jaime Mendoza and Mark Irwin
Colors by: David Baron
Letters by: Rob Leigh

Batman is in mourning, but he doesn’t have time to grieve. What he does have is a desire to get answers and he will cut a swath of violence throughout Arkham to get them.

Unsatisfied with what his rogue’s gallery had to offer, he and Damian actually come up with a possible suspect. Batman puts his detective skills to the test to find a way to get the location of the man who taught him how to hunt, Henri Ducard. Unfortunately, Ducard does not have the answers Bruce is seeking and it turns out that the creature that killed Leslie has targeted Ducard as well.

In the ensuing battle, Bruce makes a realization that will take him on a journey through his own past and straight back to the man who taught him to fight.

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The best thing the Detective Comics writers have been doing lately has been writing actual detective stories for Batman. Giving Bruce a mystery to uncover creates interesting and layered stories and this one continues in that vein. Tomasi has given this issue a gritty, dark tone that lines up perfectly with Bruce’s emotional state after what happened to Leslie. He’s angry, but surprisingly, still in control. Tomasi allows Batman to still be the methodical detective as he works hi investigation to get to who he thinks is the target. It’s even more satisfying when he confronts Ducard. Their back and forth is the product of some great writing and character development.

Doug Mahnke’s art is astounding. There is so much beautiful detail in every panel that one can get lost in the visuals. Every scene, especially the action scenes, is rendered with attention to details. A visually stunning issue. 

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