Detective Comics #959
This issue sees Batman and the gang teaming up with Zatanna to take down a deadly assassin sent by the order of St. Dumas.
After last issue kicked off the exciting "Intelligence" storyline, this issue keeps the ball rolling with no signs of slowing. The pacing of this issue is great! Considering the larger cast of this book, it's impressive that we are lead along several storylines with no disorientation or confusion. I love this team and I think this series deserves ALL of the love.
The issue begins with an updated origin for how Batman and Zatanna first met. Tynion has retconned it so that Bruce met her during his time travelling the world and training. He went to her father for training in sleight of hand and other trickery but grew friendly with Zatanna along the way.
I've never really read much of Zatanna, but after this issue, I would love to see more of these characters hanging out. The relationship developed in this issue is very endearing. In fact, if it weren't for that whole "proposal to Catwoman" thing that King's got going on in the main book, I wouldn't be against a romantic relationship between these two. Their back and forth dialogue is very charming!
As previously mentioned, this book has a large cast and so Batman isn't the only focus of the issue. Everyone has their own thing going on. Azreal/ Jean-Paul Valley feels responsible for the assassin sent by the order of St. Dumas because the assassin in question was created as a replacement for him. This modern Rebirth version of the character has been fascinating so far and I cannot wait to see what's in store for him within this arc. We have been returning to his roots and with that cliff-hanger ending, we know that the order is not quite finished with him yet.
We also get the return of the Batcop suit in a brief cameo within the Fox Tech facilities! Batwing has been tinkering with A.I.'s and so we get to see a lot of cool Batsuits. With panels like these you definitely have to stop and appreciate all the detail put into it!
I'm giving the writing in this issue an A! It packs so much in and yet it still has me impatiently waiting for the next issue. Also, the art is stunning. The team comprises of Bat-vigilantes, tech vigilantes and a mud man. This is a wildly varied team and yet everyone looks equally awesome! So Alvaro Martinez also gets an A for the awesome artwork!
I highly recommend picking up Detective Comics, it's just as worthy of attention and praise as the main Batman title!