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Detective Comics #1062

Review by Paul Bowler.

With the new creative team of writer Ram V (The Swamp Thing, Catwoman, The Meany Deaths of Laila Starr) and artist Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire, Superman / Batman) at the helm Detective Comics #1062 sets out an eldritch Gothic threat that will strike at the heart of the Dark Knight’s world like never before. This issues ominously titled “Overture” kicks off Ram V’s “Gotham Nocturne,” an epic all-new four part storyline. From the outset its clear this tale is going to be one steeped in operatically charged  horror and music. Something is also terribly wrong with Batman. Despite all of his best efforts, Bruce has been unable to pin down the source of the foreboding dread which besets him and the city he is sworn to protect. Indeed, the worlds greatest detective will soon confront his inner demons and his own mortality as a terrifying invasion of real demons start emerging from the shadows of Gotham City – a horror that is spawned with devastating consequence from the uncanny melody currently haunting the darkest corners of Gotham…

Ram V works his magic again with this impeccably paced scene-setting issue. Juggling rich characterisation and dark Gothic horror with consummate ease to craft a spellbinding mystery that inexorably builds around the Dark Knight. Whether he’s cracking a smuggling ring, battling a grotesque monster, or figuring out the workings of a strange box that looks like something from a Hellraiser movie, Batman is constantly on the back foot as the sinister events – seemingly orchestrated by a secret cabal – threaten to overwhelm him. Although the curtain is raised on this new threat, Ram V wisely keeps the air of suspense building, immersing us in rich characterisation and intricate plot twists as Batman realises he has only scratched the surface of this mystery. The full scale of what he faces in Gotham Nocturne gradually becomes apparent. But just who is human, who is demon, and has there been a demon within Batman all along?

The artwork by Rafael Albuquerque is every bit as impeccable and compelling as we’ve come to expect. Every page is awash with vivid imagery and brooding atmosphere – enhanced further by Dave Stewart’s exceptional use of colour and tone. Rafael Albuquerque masterfully captures the essence of the Batman’s world and the chilling danger he faces. Everything from the unflinching action, to the simmering lurking dread and the Gothic majesty of Gotham itself is all sublimely rendered via the prism of Albuquerque’s distinct take on Gotham. There’s lashings of visceral horror and gore too. One particularly gruesome sequence that really stands out is a startling transformation and fight with a hulking monstrosity. Bruce also experiences a horrific nightmare at one point that proves especially unsettling – highlighting just how vulnerable the Dark Knight really feels.

Simon Spurrier (Legion of X, Suicide Squad: Blaze) is on board as Detective Comics ongoing backup writer In these backups, Spurrier is set to explore various characters across Gotham, and how their stories interact with Batman’s wider world. The first new story feature Jim Gordon’s welcome return as a private investigator, with artwork by Dani (Arkham City: Order of the World, Coffin Bound), ‘The Coda’ is a stylish noir-tinged tale where Gordon’s case to find a woman’s missing son leads him into the ruins of Arkham. Detective Comics #1062 also marks the debut of a fantastic new logo and border designed by Darran Robinson. The issues stunning main cover is drawn by Evan Cagle, with variant covers by Lee Bermejo and J.H. Williams III, as well as InHyuk Lee, and a foil variant by J.H. Williams.

The new creative team hits the ground running with Detective Comics #1062 and brings a haunting new aesthetic to the fore as Batman is confounded by the unimaginable horror that’s sweeping across Gotham. Expectations for Ram V’s run on Detective Comics has been high, his skill in melding horror and  drama is flawlessly applied here, and together with Rafael Albuquerque’s superb artwork I’m pleased to say this issue exceeds all expectations. 

Publisher DC Comics

Writer RAM V / Artist Rafael Albuquerque

Colors David Stewart

Backup: Writer Si Spurrier / Artist Dani

Cover Evan Cagle

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook