Wednesday, November 14, 2018 • Morning Edition • "At least we're not Multiversity!"

Durnkin Reveewz: Detective Comics #956

Written by Zechs on Thursday, May 11 2017 and posted in Features

Durnkin Reveewz: Detective Comics #956

So much wasted potential with this ending. So much booze cosumed to think what could have been.

* To those who do not know what they're about to read. Well, here's your warning. The following is just Zechs being Zechs. Grammatical errors are bound to happen you down three bottles of This Ain't Your Dad's Root Beer or several soft drinks mixed with Captain Morgan trying to comprehend the garbage you read.

Further, these reviews began on the forums. Those looking for a numerical system as per my other reviews best look else. Some folk above me love me blurting out raw brutally honest shit, and rather have that be on the front page.So there. You've been warned. Anything now is on your head for not following the warning.

Goddamit. This arc was SO CLOSE to being good, and hitting the right notes. And-- they fucked it up. Well, not they just writer James Tynion IV. This had all the makings of a good arc with a good solid finish beginning to end. But the grand problem with Tynion is. The man has good ideas but he relies too much on half-measures and things taking place beyond the pages of the comic leaving the reader to imagine what the heck is going on between pages. It happened with Tim Drake taking on the drones in the opening arc of this run. It happened again with Stephanie Brown realizing what course of action she had to take in the following arc. And with this third one? Well, Tynion IV juggled off a bit more than he should have.

Look, I get the why he spaced on the previous two issues for this story. It worked on one end with #955 (Cassandra beatdown on the League) and it didn't on #954 (The entire issue being nothing more than an encounter between Ra's and Bruce derailed the story until the end). But you have one issue left to wrap up the plots and tease more. Instead, there just doesn't feel like any ending to this story. It feels gutted. The supposed center character for this arc, Cassandra Cain barely even shines after the mid-point of this issue and then we're not really given a happy note for this story to end on.  Oh, sure it's alluded to in the final two pages. It was hinted at all throughout this entire damn arc. But nope. We don't get see Cassandra with Bruce and Kate go to the ballet and the ballerina that took a part in this arc.

Instead, we just get more teases for what's to come and no real payoffs that this arc has built-up save one scene. This one:



That's it. The only payoff to this six-issue arc other than what happened the prior issue or this entire story. 

Everything else just seems more build up to something else. We have more Ra's on the horizon (damn is he everywhere these days. Here. All-Star Batman. Trinity. Teen Titans.). The Colony still lingering about. But to end the showdown with Shiva with a freaking whisper?! COME ON! Have we not learned from Marvel's mistakes?! 

Not to mention two previous stories in this series ended on downer notes (Tim "dead", Stephanie going "WILD CARD BITCHES!" to the rest of the team). This one needed that happy ending. Instead, it felt again more teasing and a sort of a downer of an ending. I feel it to watching The Empire Strikes Back and I've got three goddamn more years to wait for any final payoff. ARGH!! This isn't the emotion I was hoping for reading a damn monthly comic! 

This was supposed to be Casandra Cain's spotlight arc right? Why did this issue barely feel like one? In total, it barely felt like she was the focus in this issue. Save for that one good moment above and then the hated whisper again. It should have been more than just those. The character loses another parent and that's all glossed over? No wait, that leaves me with another question now: what happened to Shiva's body? I mean did Ra's get it? Cause if so then that body is so going in a Lazarus Pit. It feels like that the way Batman just shrugs off Shiva dying and all. Batman also is just fine for letting Ra's take the League of Shadows with him? The hell?! 

Speaking of half-measures. What the hell is up with the sudden change in Lady Shiva's characterization in this issue? This whole arc she was being built as the darkness itself.  Now, this issue we get a basic half-measure. We are teased of something Shiva didn't approve of with Ra's. So her motivation is to nuke Gotham? Da hell? So was she not going to do it? If she was then what the hell was worse than nuking Gotham? Why only Gotham? This leaves me with just more questions than answers this story gives me.

Not only that, but what the hell does this make Shiva? Again it befuddles what came before. So now she was doing this to oppose Ra's? The best villains are those who think themselves of doing good. Tynion IV literally has Shiva spouting it this issue to undo basically all the build-up as this shadow. Then this act? Answers dammit! 

The thing is we could have had them. Just take out some of the scenes that were on this issue and replace them. The scene of Clayface turning himself and Kate to ninjas just felt so out of place. Likewise, the first scene of the Colony. It could have built-up what Shiva was saying more. Now it just feels like a half-ass attempt to make you sympathize with someone who just put Gotham through some serious hell. 

Just a tiny bit of finality! It could have made this arc better. This series earns a lot of comparison to X-Men. I can see it. The way Tynion IV balances the characters. The way he plays with each type (Cassandra's the Logan, Kate = Cyclops, Tim = Jean, Stephanie = Kitty, Basil is Magneto etc.) The thing is. The X-Men when they were most remembered well did give us a bit of a full measure of closure on one end while teasing the next thing.  Well, would it kill Tynion IV to just give us what X-Men gave us and some happiness along with some full measures?! I'm beginning to think this damn comic needs a "Detective Comics: Classic" back-up with additional short stories that fill in the gaps even more. 

I hate when my feeling proves my original gut feelings right. It was a nagging thought that crossed me ever since this arc started, carried over, and now bam. It turned out to be true. It just goes to show that when it come's down to it. Tynion IV delivers a meat and potatoes story. But I was just hoping for so much more. The build-up felt like something was going to give. Now it just feels stalled for another arc and this story didn't feel final at all. Shame really, since it does show that a character like Cassandra Cain can still carry her own solo (you listening DC?! You got a pool of eager writers and artists who can do this). If anything Tynion IV did a freaking blueprint for one in this arc.

The other thought is that waste of artist Marcio Takara in this issue. Dude gives us some great sketches in the last three issues. It just feels so subdued here save the expression he gives the characters. That and some of the action. Other than that. Fighting in a sewer leaves to basically nothing but one good use of him using League of Man-Bat Assasins (I kind of wondered what happened to those dudes). Hopefully, if there's more Cassandra stuff down the line he can come back. The man just gets the character of Cassandra Cain, draws a mean Ra's, and does a great job with the rest of the team.

All and all this issue just left me sad and frustrated. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to drown my sorrows in some rum. Because rum cures all misery. That and reading Action Comics #979 and the previous issue of this series again.



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About the Author - Zechs

Zechs is the lord and master of The Toy Shed, Moment of the Week, and Durnkin Reveewz. He's also the official whuppin boy at the Outhouse. So he'll get stuck seeing stuff that no mere mortal should ever see. If there's any greater quality to Zechs, it's that he's an avid fan of comic book characters and would defend them to the bitter end against the companies that use them wrongly. He's also brutally honest. Zechs walks the lonely path in Chicagoland area.


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