Batman: The Detective #6 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Andy Kubert, Penciller; Sandra Hope, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: This intriguing version of a future Batman comes to a close this issue with a finale that feels far longer than its twenty-odd pages. That’s a compliment—Tom Taylor and Andy Kubert are able to wring so much tension out of this final showdown. Last issue revealed that the mysterious Bat clad in white, calling herself Equilibrium, was the sole survivor of a crash that killed her family and was caused by a man Batman saved. In her grief, she decided to undo every life Batman saved. Batman is away from Gotham and only backed up by the ragtag group of Knight, Squire, and the aged, wounded Henri Ducard. Fortunately, his connections are as strong as ever—and it doesn’t take long for him to uncover Equilibrium’s powerful connections that gave her the power to potentially destroy London. Even before hero and villain meet this issue, the stakes are sky-high.
This series has ultimately been about unintended consequences. In saving a life without judgement, Batman destroyed a family because of the survivor’s actions. In another case, we see how someone’s decision to save a life destroyed their own—and sent another character down a completely different path. With the stakes being the fate of a city, it makes sense that the final showdown would be explosive—but it’s really not. It’s intimate and painful as Equilibrium sees the one thing she was holding on for—revenge—fall apart and expose her as the broken person she is. Unlike all the other future Batman stories where Batman seems to be more bitter, more brutal, and more alone, it feels like Bruce Wayne is coming out of this one wiser and with a better view of what it takes to make a difference. That’s the Tom Taylor effect – he can take old tropes and make them feel completely fresh.
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