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Detective Comics #968

Review by Paul Bowler

A Lonely Place of Living reaches its astounding conclusion in Detective Comics #968, with Tim Drake now back on Earth, but he’s also brought a fearsome menace back with him – a future version of himself that has been tragically moulded by fate to become the Batman! This misguided Batman is determined to complete his mission to kill Batwoman and change the future, not even the Dark Knight and his allies can stand against him, and now Red Robin must fight to save everything that he’s ever fought and died for…

Suffice to say, Detective Comics #968 is not only one hell of an action packed issue, its also probably writer James Tynion’s finest story arc so far during his run on Detective Comics. With its throwbacks to A Lonely Place of Dying and nebulous links to the Mr Oz storyline going on over in Action Comics, this storyline with its timey wimey narrative has made for compelling reading, and effectively brought Tim Drake‘s story full circle as he returns to the fold in a battle royal with his future self who now wears the mantel of the Bat!

Tynion skilfully balances the cast of Bat-characters in this issue, with Batman, Red Robin, Nightwing, Damian, Red Hood, and Alfred squaring off against the future Tim / Batman in the Batcave, while Batwoman, Azeral, Cassandra, Batwing, and Clayface bravely confront a lethal attack from hacked Colony drones at the Belfrey. Everyone in the Bat-Family gets a moment to shine in the spotlight, the dialogue and banter positively crackles from the page, and the team dynamic that makes this book so strong will no doubt be made all the richer by the dramatic far-reaching implication of the events that unfold over the course of this issue.

Detective Comics #968 also dazzles with some especially striking artwork, with pencils by Alvaro Martinez, inks by Raul Fernandez, and colors Tomeu Morey, the bold, free flowing page layouts and panoramic double page spreads exquisitely relay the frenetic action and emotional beats in vivid detail; while the concise letting by Sal Cipriano ensures the dialogue seamlessly blends the narrative across each and every panel. From the face-off in the Batcave to the showdown in the Belfrey, the extensive cast of characters are all impressively rendered, dynamic perspectives give each location a distinct tone, and the temporal effect that intermittently manifests around the future Tim / Batman also provides an interesting visual flourish.

This story-arc has been nothing short of brilliant, and James Tynion IV has excelled once himself again with this issue. Detective Comics 968 delivers an extremely satisfying, powerful, and moving conclusion to A Lonely Place of Living. It’s great to finally have Tim Drake back after his apparent demise in the battle with the Colony and his subsequent incarceration outside of time by Mr Oz. A Lonely Place of Living has offered us an intriguing glimpse into the future (or at last one possible future), it will be fascinating to what happens now that Tim has returned to the Bat-family, and I can’t wait to see what Tynion and Co have in store for this team next!

Publisher DC Comics.

Writer James Tynion IV / Pencils Alvaro Martinez / Inks Raul Fernandez

Colors Tomeu Morey / Letters Sal Cipriano

Cover Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, & Adriano Lucas

Varian Cover Rafael Albuquerque