Written by: Ram V
Art by: Ivan Reis, Goran Sudzuka, Danny Miki,
Colors by: Brad Anderson
Letters by: Ariana Maher
Cover art by: Evan Cagle
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: June 27, 2023
Detective Comics #1073 marks the beginning of the end of Batman’s downfall when his choice to destroy Orgham Place creates an excuse for the Orghams to destroy the Dark Knight’s relationship with Gotham.
Is It Good?
When last we left Batman, he was given the choice to either let the bombs placed on the streets around Orgham Place go off and kill thousands of Gothamites or pull the lever that will blow up Orgham Place, bringing the rubble down on the heads of the Orghams and himself. Batman, of course, chose the path of self-sacrifice.
Now, Orgham Place is a smoking heap (or is it? More on that in the art critique), but the tunnels underground are intact due to prescient reinforcements by the Orghams. However, the day is far from saved when the Eye of the Serpent uses her hypnotic powers to blame Batman for the explosion and turn the citizens of Gotham against him. The goal is to un-tether Gotham from its dependence on Batman so the Reality Engine or Thelemus Engine can do its work to remake the city into whatever it’s meant to be… or something.
Huh? What? Exactly. If you were to stop anyone who’s been keeping up with this title and ask them to give you a one- or two-sentence explanation of the Orghams plan, you’d be waiting a long time. That is exactly why this issue flops and why the sales for this title are tumbling.
How are you supposed to enjoy a superhero comic when nobody knows (I suspect not even Ram V knows) what’s happening or why?
What is the Reality Engine/Thelemus Engine, why does Ram V call it one or the other interchangeably, how does it work, and what do the Orghams think it’s supposed to do to Gotham?
What is Orgham Place? Is it an apartment building? An office building? Something else? And why did the Orghams go through all the trouble of acquiring permits, clearing land, and forcibly relocating citizens to build the tower if they always intended to blow it up? Just to discredit Batman? This family of superpowered, ultra-wealthy villains couldn’t have figured out a more efficient way to discredit Batman?
Why does Montoya still not believe what’s going on right in front of her face?
What do Vandal Savage or Ra’s Al Ghul have to do with any of this since they keep getting referenced?
Since the poorly hyped Knight Terrors event is about to hit, and every title is seemingly on hold until it finishes, why does this title appear to be ignoring DC’s big swing in 2023?
Oy! Detective Comics #1073 is like an over-ripe onion injected with black dye. The more you peel the layers, the uglier and more unappealing it gets.
As for the art, it’s a mixed bag. Ivan Reis’s art is amazing, so there’s no problem there, but as you can see from the credits above, multiple artists are employed in this issue, and it’s painfully obvious when the story switches away from Reis’s work and back again. The artist handoffs happen at random points, and the quality dips considerably when that happens. If you’re going to deliver a convoluted story, at least hide it in great art (that’s the Tom King trick), but this issue couldn’t even do that right. Again, Oy!
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Bits and Pieces: