Detective Comics 934-950

This is it…I am returning to DC after a 5 year absence. Now that DC Rebirth has brought back the original continuity without throwing the New 52…will these characters be the same as the ones I loved. Most of all, for this book, I care about Cassandra Cain. She is my favorite comic book character and in my opinion the one true Batgirl. AND she is finally a regular in a book again. Will this be the same Cassandra I know and love? I know she got reintroduced but is she really just the same character with the memories of her time as Batgirl erased by the evil Dan Didio…I mean Doctor Manhattan. Let’s find out as I explore Detective Comics Rebirth.

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Detective Comics #934
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

This was a great jumping back on point for old/new readers. I did not miss a beat. Batman discovers someone is targeting Gotham’s vigilantes and has recruited Batwoman to “train” them. (I do cringe at the idea that Cassandra needs training from Batwoman.) He finally reveals his secret identity to her and they are cousins. I always was annoyed the the Wayne-Kane connection was never explored pre-Flashpoint so I loved this moment. The first of the team we meet is Stephanie Brown former Batgirl and Robin but now back to her Spoiler idenity. The identity she should have remained. I like her, don’t get me wrong, but she should never have been allowed to take the mantle of Batgirl from Cassandra Cain.

After Steph, we see Tim Drake in a new Red Robin costume that evokes his classic Robin costume. Man it is good to see him look like that again. That was an amazing costume.

Finally, we get Cassandra and I love that her new costume evokes her original Batgirl costume but I am sorry it is not enough….she needs to have a bat emblem and be a real Batgirl again someday. As fan, we can’t just give up on that. She now calls herself Orphan. As cool as it is to have her full mask back, I still would prefer her pre-Flashpoint Black Bat identity than “Orphan.” Now besides this, Tynion IV writes her perfectly as the bad ass scary fighter she is but I just wish she could be that way in a Bat costume.

The final member of the team is Clayface which is an odd choice but okay we will see where it goes. Eddy Barrows’s art was beautiful…he has truly stepped up his game in five years and seems perfect for this book.

So ya….CASS IS BACK!

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Detective Comics #935
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

In this issue, Batwoman continues the training of the younger vigilantes. Meanwhile, Batman tells Tim he has always been Robin to him. So in this continuity was Tim never officillay Robin? If so, will he remember his time as Robin whenever the missing ten years gets restored or whatever? I sure hope so. I hope the same with the other characters too.

Cassandra is bad ass in this. I love how Steph says he just shows up and gets blood on the floor and is almost never home. We truly are getting old school Cassandra Cain back and I could not be happier…except if she was Batgirl again. That would be better.

Beautiful story and beautiful art. I feel Tynion IV truly gets these characters.

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Detective Comics #936
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Alvaro Martinez

It is perfect that Cassandra is shown quietly watching the ballet from the rafters when she is called in by Batwoman. It would make sense that a girl who was only taught body language to communicate would be fascinated by the ballet.

Just when I think okay that was a cool Cass moment and that will probably be that for this issue, Tynion gives me more with Cassandra taking on the army called “the Colony” herself when she spots them coming after the Belfry. It was classic Cassandra Cain and brought me back to reading her series as a kid.

We soon learn Batwoman’s Dad, Jacob Kane, has secretly built the Colony based on Batman’s tech and he double crosses her. I did not see that coming at all!

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Detective Comics #937
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Alvaro Martinez

While we only got really good Cass moment in this issue (where she gives a thumbs up to say they are not being followed) I still loved every page of this comic. We find out that the Colony is being developed for years to copy Batman and become an army of Batmen that work for the US Military – which includes killing people, this is no Batman Inc. Jacob Kane tells Batman the League of Shadows has infiltrated Gotham City… I really hope that this isn’t just a Ra’s Al Ghul thing. It has been done SO many times. But I have hope there is more to it than that because Tynion IV has been an incredible writer so far.

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Detective Comics #938
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Alvaro Martinez

Yes! Cassandra just have to say one thing in an issue and she makes my day all better! In this issue she is asked by the Colony if they sent her to fight alone and all she says is Yes and proceeds to beat the crap out of them. Later on they all brace to fight these men only to find Cassandra has taken them all done and she justs says “Hi.” God I love this character! Jacob Kane is pure villain here. And I was wrong…thank God the League of Shadows isn’t real as Batman said and Batman explains why Ra’s would spread the lie about them so he could take credit for every terrorist action in the world. This reminded me of ISIS or Al Queda. Brilliant writing and art…this book continues to impress.

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Detective Comics #939
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

This was a fantastic issue and if I am not mistaken a very good story to tell in the political climate of today where innocent lives are being hurt to fight an imagined enemy in the real world too. The drones of the Colony go after the sleeper cells of the League of Shadows which are really just innocent people. Red Robin reprograms them to go after him in a very courageous act. I don’t remember Tim being such a tech genius Pre-Flashpoint or at least it wasn’t emphasized as much as this. Maybe because that was Oracle’s thing I don’t know.

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Detective Comics #940
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

The final issue of this story arc is quite an emotional one as Time is believed to have been killed by the drones. Spoiler….he does not die! He is taken “off the field” by Mr. Oz. I loved how Mr. Oz says he is too beloved and he is bringing back the connections in the DCU and that needed to be stopped. That is some meta-commentary. Tim is loved by people my age who grew up with him as Robin and Didio took him off the field when he made him Red Robin and never Robin. I am assuming that this what they are getting at…but seeing as Didio is still in charge there this probably goes over his head or something. I look forward to seeing where this mystery goes. Has a mystery like this ever been so widespread in the DCU effecting all the books? Who is Mr. Oz and why is he manipulating the DCU and its characters? I am so happy to be reading comics again!

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Detective Comics #941
Written by Steve Orlando and James Tynion IV
Art by Andy MacDonald

This was Part 3 of the Night of the Monster Men crossover. I did not read the first two parts before reading this but I was only slightly lost. Apparent the Batfamily is fighing some monsters who have taken over the city. I am not sure who Gotham Girl is but it was good to see Nightwing again and to see Stephanie working with Cass. I love that they haven’t forgotten Tim. This is the best the batbooks have been since Cass gave up being Batgirl. Also, the monster in this was super gross.

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Detective Comics #942
Written by Steve Orlando and James Tynion IV
Art by Andy MacDonald

This concluded the Monster Men storyline and it was decent. There wasn’t much for Cass to do in it and the artist drew her as being out during the day which to me is not in character. Still great to have her back and loving this series.

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Detective Comics #943
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Alvaro Martinez

This was a good issue but I have some…well…not complaints but annoyances I guess. In this issue Cassandra does a lot of smiling and hugging which is really not like her at all. Second of all, why the hell does this Luke Fox get to have a bat emblem but Cassandra can’t. Come on DC! And how many children does Lucius Fox even have at this point? That being said, the Victim Syndicate is an interesting idea and I want to see where this goes. It is still well-written with great art so these are just minor problems for me.

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Detective Comics #944
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

Now this was an incredible issue. I love how “the Mute” has no effect on Cassandra because she barely talks anyways. In fact, all of these new Victim Syndicate characters are actually really interesting villains – of almost Dini-esque proportions. Tynion IV is brilliant. Also, why does Leslie Thompkins look so young now?

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Detective Comics #945
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Al Barrionuevo and Carmen Carnero

In this issue, there is a lot of debate about what it means for Gotham to have costumed heroes and how that effects Gotham. I think in the end Gotham is better off with its heroes and I am sure that is where this is leading but you can see doubt in even Bruce in this issue. This was explored before with the Spoiler and Leslie Thompkins even being a part of it during War Games so it is great to see this being brought back. I wonder what the final panel of this issue meant…is Red Robin just a hologram?

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Detective Comics #946
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

In this issue the team fights the Victim Syndicate again. Cass has a great moment where she puts a microphone in the ear of the Mute whose powers she seems to be immune to. In th end, I was shocked to see the Spoiler turning against Batman like that. It must be a trick. We shall see.

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Detective Comics #947
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

Just when I decided Tynion IV was my new favorite writer he goes and has a character pull a “Brad Meltzer.” (Metlzer always did this in his Justice League run). Why the hell would Batwoman call Spoiler by her real name right in front of the Victim Syndicate. That is very dumb and dangerous. Batwoman should have been kicked off the team for that shit. And than Cass does it too! Well at least you can say maybe Cass doesn’t understand secret identities…she had a hard time understanding it during her time as Batgirl and earlier in this run Stephanie tells Tim she had no life outside of being “Orphan.” But Batwoman has no excuse. I was quite surprised Stephanie would go this far to fight the others and threaten to reveal who Batman is. She must be shaken up hard over Tim but it is just more proof in my mind she should never have been Batgirl. It always should have been Cassandra Cain.

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Detective Comics #948
Written by James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennnett
Art by Ben Oliver

This issue focuses on Batman and Batwoman as the clean up for the Monster Men from issues back has begun in Gotham and they are afraid to just dispose of the monsters because the weaponry that created the monsters could get in the wrong hands. That is brilliant. I like how each of these arcs are building on eachother. In the end the weaponry is stolen by the Colony, which is of course led by Batwoman’s Dad.

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Detective Comics #949
Written by James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennnett
Art by Ben Oliver and Szymon Kurdranski

“I was forged by fire, you were forged by men” is an incredible line from Batwoman in this issue. She says here the difference between her and Batman is that he wants to end crime, while she wants to end war. Wouldn’t it be better for her to work on the international scale if she wants to end war? That line doesn’t make sense to me. And the ending made it seem like maybe that is what she is going to start doing. Is she leaving this title for good?

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Detective Comics #950
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Marcio Takara, Alvaro Martinez, and Eddy Barrows

In this incredible anniversary, Tynion IV and DC decide to put the spotlight on their greatest character and my favorite character of Cassandra Cain. I can’t thank them enough for that after years of neglecting her. But it breaks my heart still she is no longer wearing any Bat emblem. If you refuse to make her Batgirl, DC, please make her the Black Bat again. Hell you could even use her original Batgirl costume, which was way creepier than the current one with all the yellow. Orphan just doesn’t make sense for me. She is Batman’s heir apparent in my book, and she needs to have a Bat-costume.

In this issue, her origin is recapped. It has changed a bit since Pre-Flashpoint, now her only killer was a woman who happened to be the mother of her only friend. I don’t like that as much as the man she killed Pre-Flashpoint where she had no connection to him but still FELT IN HER HEART that what she did was wrong. That to me is more powerful.

That being said, it is clear to me that Tynion has actually spent time thinking about this character. She is not just a background character to him like so many writers who did not understand her have treated her over the years. This new backstory where she is watching the ballet is brilliant and his narraration shows that he truly understands how this character thinks and feels.

This issue harkens back to the deep father-daughter relationship Cassandra had with Batman in her Batgirl run in her early days and even before Batman RIP when he was ready to adopt her but Didio ruined it. She should never have been turned into a killer after Infinite Crisis. It goes against what Batman saw in her and it goes against everything the character stood for up until that point. It was clear the editors at the time did not get the character, but Tynion does.

The narrarator even says that Cassandra wants to learn all she can from Batwoman. It will be interesting if this will lead to her taking on a Batsuit again soon. I sure hope so. And then the final part of the story has Lady Shiva show up – now I know for sure Tynion understands Cassandra’s history. HELL YA! We may have Donald Trump as President but at least we get to have Cassandra Cain back!

The second story was focused on Azrael and it actually got me really excited for this version of the character in a way I never was before. I did go to seminary after all.

The final story shows how tightly managed the Batbooks are these days and I mean that in a good way. It seems everything Bruce has been doing all over the DCU is leading to something big. I look forward it!

 

 

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