Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Andy Kubert, Brad Anderson, Clem Robins, and Sandra Hope
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: July 13th, 2021
Bruce Wayne is being charged for the attempted murder of one Henri Ducard. This leaves Interpol in the driver’s seat while Bruce Wayne is forced to answer a few questions. Nevertheless, nothing this issue is truly what it seems and Equilibrium is everywhere. How will Bruce Wayne escape Interpol without divulging who he is or without the use of his suit or gadgets? And, will he be able to stop Equilibrium from killing more people who BATMAN has saved? Let’s dive into BATMAN: THE DETECTIVE #4 and find out!
Tom Taylor needs to write more BATMAN. Not over the top, Super Bat that fights other multiverse versions of himself. But, the down to Earth, mystery Noire that shows how truly cunning and strategic BATMAN actually is. You see, that’s what readers get in BATMAN: THE DETECTIVE. And frankly, that’s the crux of this entire issue. Taylor delivers an inner monologue that’s spot on for a grizzled, battle-torn, vigilante veteran. Plus, the inner monologue parallels the conversation flawlessly throughout the issue and places the reader into the heart of the narrative.
Taylor explains every step of every detail throughout BATMAN: THE DETECTIVE #4 by putting the reader in the driver’s seat. Taylor’s detailed account as to how Equilibrium gets the upper hand and why doesn’t turn into a ridiculous plot device to show that BATMAN always has a trick up his sleeve. You see, Taylor makes him real and raw. BATMAN messes up. He makes mistakes, regardless of what people may think.
Yet, Taylor creatively finds ways throughout the issue for BATMAN to escape by the skin of his teeth. It’s this writing that’s put the “Detective” back in BATMAN. It’s Taylor’s vision that’s reconnected the character to the cunningly fierce, intellectual, and unwavering demeanor that’s developed and progressed the character for so many years. Deep down, it’s what long-time fans have been craving, and BATMAN: THE DETECTIVE is the instrument and even catalyst we all needed as the firm reminder and redirection.
Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope continue to do a fantastic job adding their own spin to Bruce Wayne that’s unique, rough, and worn. It’s almost as if he’s a 1920s’ Boxer meets construction worker. There is no doubt that Kubert and Hope’s look is an acquired taste that’s far and away from the Billionaire Playboy perception that’s been cultivated for years. If anything, he more closely resembles the DARK KNIGHT RETURNS than he does the most recent incarnation of BATMAN.
Yet, the story takes place while Alfred is dead. Could this be far in the future or is it current? It truly doesn’t matter in the context of the story. However, I’d bet it’s taking place currently in the DC landscape. That said, I’m not only enjoying Taylor’s take of the character but I’m also really digging Kubert and Hope’s artistic license with Bruce Wayne. It may not be for everyone, however, it’s this powerfully grizzled exterior that carries a more realistic approach to a would-be vigilante that’s spent his life in one gory battle after another.
Taylor, Kubert, and Hope offer readers a BATMAN that’ll politely stomp your face in yet use his cunning wit to realistically prepare for what’s to come. He may not have a plan for every possible outcome. However, he’s smart and clever enough to think on the fly, deduce a solution, and all while thinking a couple moves ahead that very well may fail. Nevertheless, Taylor’s BATMAN will relentlessly never give up. His BATMAN is a blue-collar BATMAN who’s tougher than nails and built like a sturdy ox. BATMAN: THE DETECTIVE #4 shows new and old readers alike what’s been missing with everyone’s favorite Caped Crusader.
Yet, as exciting and powerful as this issue is, it won’t be for everyone. Readers that like a BATMAN with more finesse and charm won’t find that here. For the reader who’s looking for a BATMAN who has 17 backup plans that are practically ludicrous and silly for anyone to plan for, this series isn’t for you. Taylor and his team provide fans with one of the most realistic versions I’ve seen in quite some time. I highly recommend giving BATMAN: THE DETECTIVE a shot to see what you’ve been missing. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God bless!