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I am very behind when it comes to DC's Detective Comics Rebirth, in fact, I read the first story arc just this weekend. I have a lot to say about the story, almost all of it is good. Actually, my one complaint isn't really much of a complaint either. So let's get started on breaking this comic down. Also, there will be spoilers for Detective Comics Volume 1.
The first few pages of this story are amazing. It starts off with Azrael trying to fight off what looks like Batman, but after he gets his ass handed to him by this fake Batman, the real one shows up. Here's why Azrael getting his butt kicked is so important. Azrael, whose real name is Jean-Paul Valley, was a highly trained assassin by The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas. Along the way, Azrael becomes a hero that wants to redeem himself and decides to do so in Gotham city with Batman monitoring his activities. Azrael even took up the mantle of Batman for a while during the Knightfall storyline, where Bane broke Batman's back and incapacitated him for a while. So the fact that someone was able to take him down is a pretty big deal. So, as a reader, you already know that things are about to fall apart. Hard.
Azrael lies where he's been beaten to a pulp when the real Batman shows up and asks Azrael who did this. To which he replies, "You did." Batman then notices a small Batarang shaped drone that has a camera and picks it up. Batman finds out that these drones have been placed to monitor all of Gotham's vigilantes. So Batman decides to form a team that would be under the tutelage of his cousin, Kate Kane, the Batwoman. The team consists of Red Robin (Tim Drake), Orphan (Cassandra Cain), Spoiler (Stephanie Brown), and Clayface (Basil Karlo).
We're going to talk about why Batman recruiting Basil Karlo is important. Basil Karlo was an actor, but after an accident, he became pretty much a monster made of mud. And people don't react well to seeing monsters, so Basil Karlo was really thrust into a villain position when really he didn't want to be a villain. In fact, in the scene where Batman recruits Clayface, Clayface broke out of prison so he could watch a movie where he could see what he used to look like. He didn't want to hurt anyone, he just wants people to not treat him like a monster or provoke him because he doesn't want to hurt people either. His story, should I decide to go into it, is pretty tragic. And the important thing here is that Batman knows Clayface's story. Batman knows that Clayface doesn't want to be evil, he just wants to be normal again, and if Basil can't become normal again then he will give him the opportunity to be on his team and help Clayface right his wrongs. The writer, James Tynion IV (how awesome is that name), may have done this because it gives the team a character with a redemption story, and everybody loves redemption stories.
The next on our list is Orphan. To be honest, I do not know much about Orphan other than her name is Cassandra Cain, she was trained to basically be a killing machine, she's beaten Batman in a fight, and that she doesn't speak very often. But, she is a very badass character, and recruiting her to be a part of the Bat-Team is really a no-brainer.
Now we are going to pair up Spoiler and Red Robin because as it turns out, they are a couple, and are an integral part of each other's lives and the story's sub-plot. I enjoyed the fact that Tynion did add a bit of romance to the story, but not so much that it ruins the story. Spoiler, a.k.a Stephanie Brown, is the daughter of a criminal. So to not be him, she dresses up and fights crime. According to Batman, she is smart, but she isn't all that well trained. Tim Drake, on the other hand, is incredibly smart. It took him a few days to find out that Bruce Wayne was Batman. The boy is a genius that has made his own super-computers, gadgets, encryptions, and is also a tactical genius. He also has been trained by Batman, has either beaten or almost beaten Ra's al Ghul in a fight, and managed to earn the respect of Ra's al-Ghul, who calls him the "Detective." And that is a big deal because the only person Ra's calls Detective other than Tim is Batman himself.
I am not going to be covering Batwoman's origin and her importance in DC Comics because she has her own solo title and I am going to be reading through that and then discussing it.
This concludes this post, but there is so much more than I want to cover in this first volume of Detective Comics. And that likely will be the next few posts that I'll be writing as well. Feel free to check out my other posts until then. See you in my next post!
Note: I do not own any of the characters or art shown in this post. All art, characters, and panels belong to respective owners.