Detective Comics #952
By Avi Weinryb
March 8, 2017 - 00:08
Probably Batman’s most fearsome foe, Shiva is a fiercely tactical, effective assassin. But she’s also a warrior. Combine this with her ruthlessness, precision and plain old evilness, and you’ve got a formidable enemy. Plus, she’s the mother of Bat-team’s Cassandra Cain. Drama!
Back in Gotham, Shiva is looking to test her daughter’s abilities and burn the city to the ground. This issue contains ugly battles and bloody mayhem. A great opening bit features a squad of commandos approaching Shiva before a “Ten seconds later” caption appears and we see them all dead and bloodied. Yes, she’s that talented. If you can call murder a talent.
This issue contains a heady mix of action, dialogue and conveyed, meaningful drama - all enough to drive home what’s already obvious; that James Tynion IV knows how to write a Batman comic. In addition to the family drama that takes the forefront, we’ve got some creative moments to enjoy, such as when Clayface turns himself into multiple beings, all linked to his own mind. This fighting squad is a surprise and proves clay is more versatile than one can imagine. Especially when it’s deflecting katanas and serving up hot plates of butt-kicking.
A mix of artists contributed to this book, with the majority of pages coming from Alex Sinclair. Others include Christian Duce, Fernando Blanco, John Rauch and Allen Passalaqua. All do solid work, but Blanco’s opening pages, set in Paris, are especially endearing. All in all, the action flows, with a great physicality expressed among the characters. Even the most awkward, arm-twisting chokeholds look natural and painful here. Wincingly painful.
The stakes are high for Gotham and a seemingly unstoppable foe presents Batman and his team with a stark challenge. I’m guessing it will take an even greater villain to defeat the current one. And being that Shiva runs the League of Shadows, perhaps the League of Assassins will need to step up its game and rise to the occasion. No matter how this all shakes out, readers are in for a fun ride.
Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00