Written by Mark Henely
This review contains spoilers for Detective Comics #940. There are also, spoilers for Teen Titans #24 in here, but that doesn’t matter so much. You will see why in a second.
Did you know that Tim Drake was a good guy? If you did, you can skip this comic.
In this issue of Teen Titans (the final issue of its run), the recently deceased(?) Tim Drake is honored by his teammates in the Teen Titans. Each one takes turns telling bland stories that feature Tim Drake being a nice guy. It’s the type of storytelling that you usually only see in a Kevin Keller comic.
If you aren’t familiar with Kevin Keller, he was the first gay character to be featured in an Archie Comic. And he was a hit. He was so popular, he got his own monthly series. However, the problem was that Kevin Keller was barely a character. He was designed to teach children that gay people weren’t the same as bad people and that gay people are just like you. That is a great message and I stand behind it, but that doesn’t make a character. Kevin had no flaws. His stories ended up being about how he was a nice guy, or a good class president, or how he liked baseball. No conflict, just a series of anecdotes that added up to a vague positive feeling.
That is the goal of this book. Take the action and adventure out of being a superhero and just show Tim Drake saying nice things to people, helping firefighters, and having a great time at the gay pride parade. But, that isn’t really much of a story. It’s structurally more similar to reading a series of Facebook posts about how great Chelsea’s summer has been.
The art is also weird. Everyone is technically making the correct face for the emotion that they are supposed to be feeling, but it feels off. No one is dressed in clothes that are too out of the ordinary, yet the clothes feel off too. It’s like watching manekins talk to each other.
Detective Comics #940 is a tour-de-force that takes readers on an emotional journey and sets up a number of possible future stories that could take place. It is unfortunate, however, that the first story Detective Comics #940 spawns is so dull and off putting.