Written by Mark Henely
Detective Comics #940 is one hell of a comic book.
Since the DC Rebirth, Detective Comics has been one of the most enjoyable comics that DC puts out every month. It uses a unique cast of characters (Batman, Batwoman, Red Robin, Orphan, Spoiler, and even Clayface) to tell swashbuckling superhero stories. Those characters really make a great team and it feels more like you are reading an issue of some sort of All-Batman Justice League rather than just another regular Batman comic.
This comic maintains the hot streak that this comic has been on. The art is beautiful, the emotion is there, and it is a very good read. This is the end of a 7 part story and it is a great ending. If only all multi-issue arcs could be so satisfying.
It was heavily rumored that Tim Drake, the Red Robin, would die in this comic books. Those that have read this comic know that it was a little more complicated than that. Let’s break it down.
1. The Death
Tim Drake is shot up by drones while saving Gotham from The Colony. He gives his life for the service of others, just before he was going to give up being a Superhero go to school. The detail about how he was going to quit is really heartbreaking and it adds an oomph to a development that might have felt half baked and rushed.
There is a really incredible page where Batman embraces Drake’s girlfriend, Spoiler, after learning that Drake was ready to stop being a superhero. You see a giant man in a scary costume, with muscles on top of muscles, and he is breaking down and hugging a woman who has shared his loss. It’s a very affecting image because it shows a man who is strong (physically, mentally, and emotionally) break down, helpless in the face of the finality of death. It’s a profound image that takes a moment to acknowledge the enormity of pain that is in this world and how helpless we all are to stop it.
2. The Rebirth
On the very next page, we learn that Tim Drake is not dead. He has been teleported to a new place and is now being held prisoner by a cloaked, hooded figure. The figure alludes to the idea that he is in control of their reality on a level that Drake did not understand. As the heart of the team, Drake needed to be taken off the board to allow things to really devolve into madness. Hopefully, this is a preview of what is to come in future issue. I want to see how the removal of Tim Drake affects this team and how they cope with the idea that one of them is gone.
Then, there is also the speculation over who is this hooded figure.I have a couple theories, but there is one in particular that I think could be really interesting. While it is possible that this could just be the next big villain the Justice League of Batmen have to fight, it could be a very familiar face. The DC Rebirth Special alluded to the fact that Dr. Manhattan has been remaking the world and the New 52 is a result of Manhattan’s tinkering. This could be another instance. The hooded figure could be a disciple of Manhattan. At that point, he could be Night Owl, Rorscharch, Adrian Veidt, or even Dr. Manhattan himself. This moment could prove very pivotal in future storylines.