*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.
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The ride is almost over for Bryan Hill's Detective run, and I'm kinda sad we're one issue away from it. But that's always the thing with something you enjoy much before you know it. BAM! It's gone.
What I love so much about this arc it has that classic late 90s/early 00s Batman stories that I adored. You have a villain in Karma who's targeting the Bat Family instead of trying to burn Gotham City down for eight hundredth and ninety-second time. You have a pair of main characters (Black Lightning and Cassandra Cain) to root for, and you have Batman doing his thing (better or worse cause he's BATMAN!).
The real icing on the cake though is slowly but surely you're seeing something being created here. But-- is this going anywhere? Cause we got one issue left and really no announcement of any spinoff to this. You'd think Black Lightning getting the band back together you'd think, "Okay and DC announces a new Outsiders ongoing." Yet-- we kind of haven't gotten that yet. Nor, does it seem any future payoff for these characters.
I really like that HIll is continuing to pave what James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder did before him with Cassandra and Duke, but-- there just seems like a road where you see no real pay off to the arc. Where do they go from here?
And really, with one issue left here's my biggest fear. There's a lot to cover in just one lone issue, and the new format the $2.99 comics (lesser page count) at DC just ain't cutting for me. Sure the story and art are there, but just when your fully into the story. Bam. It's over.
That sort of thing plays into the story itself. Hill plays and spotlights favorites. It isn't hard to tell which character in this arc and even this issue that he enjoys more to right. And I have zero problems with that since basically, that's my hook into reading this comic as well. The story he weaves around said character is an added bonus. But if you're a fan of Duke Thomas aka the Signal. Um-- this extra pages might have helped more. It just feels like for someone who had all that hype the character's getting put on the back burner here. But again, given who gets the spotlight more.. Again, I digress it doesn't bother me as much and Hill gave the character an out given his early mishap in meeting Karma early in the arc. But-- those who read the Signal mini prior to this? Yeah... But maybe there's an "outside" chance if something happens beyond this arc?
Really, the only other character who flounders as much is Barbara in this. I love the fact that basically, she's so much used to Bruce's shit that she's like, "Eh... Same old Bruce. Just gonna do what I always do when Mr. DARKNESS decides to see some light." And the little teases of the continued mentor relationship she's having again with Cassandra? MORE PLEASE! Like why isn't this being used in the "Batgirl" ongoing?
As for the main villain of this arc Karma, he's interesting, but he just continues that trend of villains who set up something so half-assed and be all cocky cause Batman won't treat as such if you encounter him again. Which basically happens to the villain this issue. Not to mention even if he has a faceless chrome mask (and I do enjoy faceless chrome masks). He just screams this arc and that's it given the intro on how he got this tech seems where it'll likely end for him. Or-- MAYBE NOT?
I just wonder with one issue left. Where does this all go? Where do these characters go from here? Is there something beyond this arc? Or not? Cause this has been a fun read and I kind would love to read more of Hill's take on Cassandra Cain and Jefferson Pierce. Both are the highlights for me this issue (though the former kind of steals it by getting three to Jefferson's epic one). Not to say Batman ain't no slouch either. The way he deals with Karma was so damn rewarding. Not to mention. Okay cliched as it may be. But that opening? Gold too.
Add to that the art and colors by Philippe Briones and Adriano Lucas make a nice combo as both styles compliment the other. The scene when Black Lightning makes his entrance or the opening just pop with ironic energy.
Again, I just hate that like these issues. Just when I'm getting warm to this creative team, bam one more issue and who knows? It be a shame to waste this creative team for just a one and done arc, and not use them for something else. Plus they have a damn good handle on the toys they're given. Not to mention dammit you can't just tease us with Black Lightning bringing the band together and not fully utilize it? Or give him a Black Lightning ongoing (seriously why haven't we gotten one of those save for one-shots. With a hit CW show you'd think DC could capitalize with a few more stores with Jefferson)? Or a Cassandra Cain ongoing (wut? Hill obviously loves and has a natural handle for the character)?
So yeah this has been a fun arc, but I'm beginning to wonder what the payoff to this all will be? Since judging by the solicitations. No one in this comic save Bats and Barbara are showing up in October. And if we get 0 payoff? I'm gonna need a drink.