Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Detective Comics #38 Review


Anarky sends the city spiraling into chaos and people react differently to the new status quo.

But not all beginnings are good as Bruce learns.


Batman manages to save everyone from the Wayne Tower explosion, but Anarky has already started his second act.

Having erased all digital records of every inhabitant of Gotham, he has given them the incentive to be what they want to be – which leads to different reactions.

It all feels very V for Vendetta, which is a parallel to Anarky’s dogma, and for now it works.

City Councilman Sam Young (yes, the same corrupt one who wanted the waterfront) insinuates that he should be the mayor, but Harvey Bullock isn’t too impressed given his connections to the recently departed Jeb Lester.

Meanwhile, Bruce in his Matches Malone avatar looks up a bright but wayward young kid who once broke into WayneTech’s server. He makes no headway as the kid Lonnie seems to have had a change of heart since Anarky gave them all a clean slate.

But not everyone is moving away from a life of crime, as a bank hostage situation is initiated and a marauding Batman, who’s also sidetracked by the case of the mysterious dead kids at the waterfront (paying the Hatter a visit), crashes the scene.

The bank culprits manage to get away with Bullock/Yip and Batman in pursuit. A series of shooting exchanges between Yip and one of the criminals catches a passing Lonnie in the crossfire.

Even as Batman tries to keep him alive, the bystanders start accusing the cops or Batman of killing Lonnie.

It seems the Lost Children case will weave in and out of the Anarky storyline, maybe ultimately tying in but for now it serves to show that Bruce is overspent and unfocused.

The double faced theme is prominent as we see Matches exude the warmth of Bruce with the slick connived nature of a criminal and Sam Young look and talk like a well meaning person, but secretly may be behind the Lost Children case. As does Mad Hatter’s inability to distinguish his victims, instead grouping them under his first one ‘Alice’.

Lonnie is a conundrum given his pre-New 52 history. He was actually in my opinion, the true Anarky. Malone's mention of his hacking into WayneTech was a storyline during the early Tim Drake Robin years. If you like, you can see a very good comprehensive history of the character here.


The theme of innocence and masks recurs over and over again during this issue, as does identity.

Manapul and Buccellato manage to craft a deep story involving very personal issues of Batman himself, and the stunning visuals help a lot.

So, I give it 9.0 out of 10.

+Some deep exploration of themes

+Excellent imagery

+Nice explanation of the escape at the beginning

-The Lost Children storyline feels like a plot device

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