For those of you reading this that don’t know me, my favorite DC character is Tim Drake. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that Detective Comics this week was all about him. The title of this run is “A Lonely Place of Living” and this is part one. On the cover it says “Tim Drake…in the hands of Mr. Oz,” and there is a picture of Tim in street clothes holding the Red Robin suit with the Bat-Family standing behind him. The cover and title is actually a tribute to Batman #441, “A Lonely Place of Dying,“ published in 1989. This was the series that introduces Tim Drake as not only a new character but as the new Robin. This was also the series that gave us the death of Jason Todd.
I am quite happy to learn that the past two Detective Comics issues, “Utopia” and “Distopia,” appear to be done. To be honest, I was kind of over it. I love Stephanie Brown as Spoiler and I was happy to have her back in the story, but two issues of that particular run was enough. Also, I’m waaay over Clayface.
What is this all about?
Spoiler alert! Mr. Oz’s identity is Jor-El. If you didn’t know that by now then you should get back to your Betty and Veronica comics. I hear Jughead is doing something wacky again. The first, almost half, of this issue before we get to the splash page, has Mr. Oz interrogating Tim Drake. It’s a heck of an intro! Tim is being held in this mysterious prison which I believe is outside of our time. Tim is answering questions about why he chose to be Robin, what it means to him, what it means to Bruce, Dick Grayson, and the decisions Tim has made over his career. One thing Tim says is that he knew from the beginning that he would never take up the cowl of Batman. In fact, he has laid a lot of groundwork to ensure that he will never have to. It’s almost as if it’s a fear of his.
Jor-El speaks of Tim catching “someone’s” eye, and that “someone” has turned his eyes elsewhere as he is preparing to act. Who is Jor-El speaking of? Could it be Dr. Manhattan from the Watchmen??? That’s my theory anyway. As Jor-El leaves Tim in the prison he implores him to reflect and to make the decision to not go back to the life he so desperately wants to return to. That right there gives me hope because it makes it seem like Tim has a choice.
Upon Jor-El’s departure, Tim hacks his prison’s computers and sends out one last mayday signal. Red Robin to Batman. Then amazingly, Batman responds. He’s in the same prison Tim is in. At first I thought how in the world could Bruce be there? Then I thought, ok… well, with the stuff that’s happening in Metal with Barbatos and all that, I can believe that the real Bruce is here now. So he tells Tim which cell he’s in and to unlock it. However, Tim with his incredible hacking skills, unlocks all of the cells. To his astonishment, Tim not only finds Batman but also finds that he is using a gun. The same gun that killed Thomas and Martha Wayne. Tim quickly discovers that this Batman, is not actually Bruce Wayne, but Tim Drake from the future. Yes… Tim Drake as Batman, something we have learned he so desperately wanted to avoid. Ok, so Bruce is NOT there. That probably makes better sense anyways. Bat-Tim scolds Tim Drake for opening all of the cells instead of just his because they aren’t the only ones being imprisoned there. The issue ends with a major character smashing through the wall in front of them….DOOMSDAY….and it’s going to be one hell of a fight that we have to wait until next time to see.
James Tynion IV is savage! I have no doubt that he’s about to rock the DC Universe with his talented writing and storytelling. This issue is the beginning of Tim Drake’s return to our hearts. But let’s be honest, he never really left us. There wasn’t much action in this as it was mostly just character interactions. But I don’t say that in a negative way by any means. The interactions between characters that we see in this issue are super realistic, and incredibly interesting. There were plenty of moments where I had to stop and think about what was happening. Tynion is setting up for something great and I’m itching to know more. Additionally, the art was spectacular. I especially liked the panels during the first half of the issue, where it showed Tim’s interrogation and his flashbacks. The present moment was drawn super realistically in cold dark blue/black colors and really gave the feel of being in a dark lonely prison. Then when we see Tim’s flashbacks, the panels are drawn with less intense detail and golden brown/pale red colors giving the memories a feeling of warmth. It was a nice touch. Furthermore, the Doomsday page at the end looks epic. I seriously can’t wait to buy this issue and add it to my collection. Include this in your weekly pull because it’s amazing and super important to the DC timeline.
10 / 10
Reviewed by Justin Swenson Detective Comics #965 Written by James Tynion IV Art by: Eddy Barrows, Ebber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas Published by DC Comics Release Date: September 27, 2017