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Detective Comics #985 Review - by Robbie Rowe

Rating: 5 of 5

Writer: Bryan Edward Hill

Artist: Philippe Briones

Bryan Edward Hill has written and is writing many other comics, including Wildstorm: Michael Cray and Postal. You can find out more here:

Philippe Briones has illustrated many comics, including Aquaman, The Harbinger Wars and more. You can find out more here:

My Twitter account is Robbie Rowe@zandook and I'd love to hear your thought, in the comments below, or over there. Hope you enjoy the review!

Below image used with permission from Chris Begley from Thanks very much, Chris! I highly recommend the site.

You can’t escape the past. This is a fact I know all too well and one that Bruce Wayne likely wishes wasn’t true at all. Bruce is a man defined by his past and sculpted into who he is by it. Without that one pivotal night in Crime Alley, Thomas and Martha Wayne might still be alive – but Batman wouldn’t be.

I feel this story’s in a similar vein – the antagonist/’villain’ probably wouldn’t even exist if not for one cruel, vengeful act by Batman years ago. Back then, the man Batman hurt so badly had his actions come back to haunt him and so he’s returned the favour not only to the Dark Knight... but to his allies.

Flashback: Batman confronts 'a' soldier

One of my criticisms of the issue comes down to how certain characters’ faces are drawn, like Cassandra Cain, Barbara Gordon, or Duke Thomas. Barbara was drawn with freckles here, which I’m not against, just not used to. Cassandra at least once makes an expression meaning, to me, ‘duh!’ and I didn’t get the impression that she was the kind of character to do that.

At the start of this arc, Bruce brought in Black Lightning to help mentor Duke and Cass. He’d likely of felt she needed it especially after her friend’s death, while Duke would’ve partly because of the trap Karma sprung on him. Black Lightning doesn’t get to do as much as he did in the previous issues, but his conversations are very interesting, with some very good points from him to Alfred and to the crime fighting trio he’s been entrusted to protect.


He points out some very saddening, elucidating truths, ones that we’d probably rather not hear, or even think about. And I personally applaud Bryan Hill for writing them. The issue ends in a very exciting, foreboding way, promising an intense, terrifying confrontation between past... and present. I’ll most assuredly be around for the ride, even if a few of Gotham’s citizens might not be...

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