Comic Book Review – Detective Comics #871: The Black Mirror, Part 1

A whole new chapter opens in Detective Comics series. A horrible string of murders again besets Gotham City and the GCPD is far from solving the crimes. As a matter of fact, there are indications that some members of the police force are involved in these bloody killings. It must be pointed out that the murders occur after the much awaited return of Bruce Wayne and the start of Batman Incorporated, where Dick Grayson has been designated by Bruce Wayne as the ‘official’ Batman to watch over Gotham.

Cover Art for Batman Detective Comics #871

So, needless to say, Dick Grayson’s knack for detective work will be put to the test. Will he come close—or even surpass—Bruce Wayne’s detective skills? Better yet, will Dick be able to fill in Bruce’s shoes as the city’s Dark Knight? Well, it remains to be seen. But if there is anything that can be said about these brutalities, it’s that Dick will have to face one of the oldest evils lurking in Gotham City.

Rising comics star Scott Snyder and celebrated artist Jock has finally teamed up for the ongoing Detective Comics series. And if that’s any indication, this long-running serial from DC Comics will surely break the state of affairs in the Batman mythos. Snyder is known for his dynamic storytelling style, particularly in American Vampire series from Vertigo Comics. Jock, on the other hand, is admired for his dark, unrealistic but gorgeous artwork in The Losers.

In the co-feature story entitled Skeleton Cases, also written by Snyder, a vile mystery stares Commissioner Jim Gordon in the face. It all started out in the Gotham City Aviary and may soon lead into the police commissioner’s personal life. Color and art for the second story is by Francesco Francavilla.

Batman #704: Eye of the Beholder

“That was a total Bruce move. And now, the Grayson finish!”— Dick Grayson/Batman

This issue bursts with mysteries, right from the opening pages and all thru the end. First, there’s a gruesome murder of a member of some secret organization. Then, we see Batman, Robin and Catgirl exchanging blows with the Reaper. What’s more intriguing is that a wealthy organization, represented by a woman named Sasha Lo, is bent on buying a few blocks off Crime Alley, which is owned by Bruce Wayne.

Batman #704

But the thing that really stirred up the hornet’s nest in this issue is seeing Batman hot on the heels of a character known as Peacock, who’s actually Ms. Sasha Lo clad in some colorful outfit that mimics the appearance of, well, a peacock. The only problem is a group of well-trained Oriental assassins are also on the hunt for Ms. Lo. Well, it does not matter anymore if Peacock a friend or foe. Sure enough, Batman will be caught in the crossfire.

With the numerous Batman storylines right now, you would think that this issue is yet another huge piece of the puzzle for fans who want to stay informed with what’s happening with the Dark Knight right now. But surprisingly, Batman #704 actually signifies a fresh chapter in the lives of Dick Grayson as the Caped Crusader, Damian Wayne as Robin, and the citizens of Gotham City. After the return of Bruce Wayne, who now has bigger plans in his head, this book—I believe—will be Dick Grayson’s domain. So far, the storyline has got me hooked, but let me tell you right off the bat that the art work is very impressive as well. Tony Daniel returns as writer and artist.