Detective Comics #981 Review

Written By: James Tynion IV

Pencils By: Eddy Barrows

Inks By: Eber Ferreira

Lettering by: Sal Cipriano

Colouring by: Adriano Lucas

Cover Art: Eddy Barrows

Published By: DC Comics




In some cases, a writer’s run comes with a whimper. Other times it’s “well too bad” and you move on. In the case of this issue, the end of James Tynion’s tenure on Detective Comics, the reaction is a profound disappointment. I honestly look at what James has done the last two years as a definitive run, equal in a lot of ways to the sister run that has been concurrent in Tom King’s Batman.

In this issue, the Gotham Knights engage in their final battle with Ulysses Armstrong and Brother Eye. Spoiler is able to break through to the OMAC infected Tim Drake and through Tim is able to crash the OMACs. We then get an epilogue for most of the main cast- Kate is continuing as Batwoman; Luke is hanging up the armor; Jean=Paul is searching for purpose; Cass is trying to reclaim her life, and Tim and Steph literally are riding off into the sunset for new adventures.


It’s a fitting end to such a great run, and honestly I don’t know if Detective can go back to being JUST a Batman book after what Tynion has done. Each of his leads gets a fitting ending, and all of them come through the story deeply changed, mostly for the better. That’s one of the best things this series has done- it’s been a character piece as much as it’s been an action piece. I want to see James do more with all of these characters, and I want to see what’s next eagerly. It’s been a fantastic run, and this was a fitting conclusion to it. Best of all, he doesn’t leave the toys broken at the bottom of the toy box. All of the characters are changed, but none are broken.

Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira’s line work is great throughout. My favorite art teams can carry action moments and emotional moment equally well, and the team here does that wonderfully. Big splashes look as great as quiet moments, and that is such a mark of a good artist. Adriano Lucas’s color art deserves a shout out as well, as it really adds to some of the feel, using the colors to great effect in many spots in the issue.


I often skip acknowledging letterers too (I’m sorry, I’m working on that!) but I can’t neglect Sal Cipriano here. Sal uses some cool effects with fonts and special balloons to carry some of the emotional weight of Tynion’s dialogue. It’s so well done.

This run is going to be a seminal run in the history of Detective Comics. I’m so sad to see it end, but I can’t wait for what’s next.

Overall: 8.5 /10


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