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Detective Comics #881 - The Face In The Glass Review

5

Scott Snyder's (and co.) final issue of Detective Comics delivers everything you could ask for. The phenomenal run from Snyder ends with a bang and elevates the new Batman villain to classic villain status. Not an issue to be missed!

The final issue of Detective Comics before DC's relaunch is here and there are some major repercussions that will have to carry over to the new titles in September.

The Good

Scott Snyder is a man with a plan. Reading this final issue of TEC lays out everything he's set up for Dick Grayson since his run began. This being the final issue, there might be concern that it'll be a quick end with no consequences for future issues. That couldn't be further from the truth. For those that have been thrilled and have enjoyed the ride that Snyder, Jock and Francesco Francavilla have given us, this issue will not disappoint. I had a deep respect for all involved during this entire run but after this issue, that respect has increased exponentially.

Spoilers if you haven't read the last issue: basically word is out that James Gordon Jr is a psychopath. What he did to his mom and what happens to Barbara in this issue pushes him over the edge into the spotlight as one of the best new Batman villains we've seen in a long time. Throughout Snyder's arc, there's always been the element of hardcore suspense and shock. I'm not talking shock for the sake of being shocking. Each issue blows me away with what he can come up with for Dick.

To sum up this portion, the issue was amazing. There are some intense events that happen (and that's an understatement). The fact that James has a personal connection to several characters makes his motives all the more chilling and powerful. I can't remember the last time I was so blown away by a Batman series.

The Bad

I've been loving both Jock and Francesco's art throughout Snyder's run. Having them alternate during issues and arcs has been a great treat for us. It's fitting that both are present here in this final issue...except that's one of my pet peeves in comics. Having the art change mid-action can be jarring. I do have to say that during the...intense scenes halfway through, I was so sucked into the story that I didn't notice until reading the issue again (I've actually read it four times now). Minor complaint. Amazing art from both.

Also, will September's relaunched series negate what Snyder has set up?

The Verdict

It's Scott Snyder's Detective Comics. I can safely say this will most likely be my pick of the week. Snyder's run has been phenomenal and this was the perfect ending. You can see everything that he's worked towards in setting up and referencing past events. I had questioned the use/return of James Jr for about five minutes and now I couldn't be happier to see the dark path he's taken. James Jr. needs to be elevated to being one of the top villains in Batman's rogues gallery. Snyder's run has been accompanied by amazing art from both Jock and Francesco Francavilla. It's fitting that both handle the art duties in this oversized issue. Normally I'm bothered when the art changes mid-action but the story and mood set up will suck you in and you won't even notice until you read the issue again...and you will want to read it more than once.

The more I've read from Snyder has had me concerned over what might be changed or ignored with September's relaunched Batman titles. He did have this to say via his Twitter account:

[I]n the Bat-U, what was there before is still there, and will be referenced (certainly in Batman, from issue 1) and built upon.

Good news for everyone. Here's some preview pages from DC's The Source.

31 Comments
Edited by longbowhunter

Damn I cant wait!
Posted by ProjektGill

That last issue was really dark and unsettling, especially the way the Joker kept saying "wasn't me". It was a tone that I rarely see and I hope the Detective Comics is able to roll with that through the reboot.

Edited by keith71_98

I refuse to read your review Tony! I'm to giddy with excitement and I can't risk a spoiler. But that 5 star review just makes the wait worse bro.
Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

wow. im going to have nightmares about this guy
Posted by garryk

Man, the last page made my stomach turn in suspense. I don't want to know what is under the blanket :*(

Posted by CrimsonTempest

GAH! Spoilers! But other than that, this is a guaranteed buy for me!

Posted by keith71_98

And another fantastic cover by Jock!
Posted by MrUnknown

Awesome! How many 5 stars in a row has Detective gotten now?

Posted by CombatSpoon86

Again Im spoiled, Thanks alot Tony G lol. 
Another end to a great book. I feel so bad bc Tony Daniels is taking over. He has big shoes to fill for Detective

Posted by G-Man

I didn't spoil anything from this issue.

Staff
Posted by cobra88king8

I love that he's a villain without the gimmick and it works. This is what Detective Comics should usually have

Posted by JonesDeini
@CombatSpoon86 said:
Again Im spoiled, Thanks alot Tony G lol. Another end to a great book. I feel so bad bc Tony Daniels is taking over. He has big shoes to fill for Detective
Feel bad for Daniels?! I feel bad for Detective :P
Posted by sj_esposito

There are Batman stories that I think so highly of that I read them every year -- The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Year One, War Games, etc.. Snyder's run on 'Tec will be joining that list. Amazing, amazing Batman story -- the kind that I think all Batman stories should live up to.

Posted by CombatSpoon86
@JonesDeini: I said i felt bad bc daniels is taking over lol. 
And yes i do feel bad for the detective series
Posted by CombatSpoon86
@G-Man: I spoiled myself by looking at previews that was my own mistake
Posted by B'Town

Snyder's had a great run on Detective Comics, I'l be following him to Batman #1.

Thanks for the review, Tony.

Posted by shawn87

Cant wait for this to come out in hardcover 

Posted by keith71_98
@G-Man
I know bro. I'm just to excited for the book. I'm reading it right after I read the issue.
Posted by SomethingStronger

its been a long time since a comic book has made me so nervous and anxious-excellent storyline with artwork in perfect creepy harmony.

Posted by acomicbooklook

  Man, Detective has been so good as with Snyder and crew. We talk about that and other things in our latest Comic Book TV show.

Posted by twisted17

As a fan that started reading comics full-time, my first series I read whole-heartedly was Frank Miller's Batman Year One. When I heard James Jr. was back in TEC, I never imagined that Gordon's little boy would be such a psychopath. All his dialogue throughout the Skeleton Key series has been top-notch and there's really no way you could tell what his next move would be, no matter how cliched you might be.

Posted by Mucklefluga

How long does it normally take for it to go hardcover?

Posted by G-Man

@Mucklefluga said:

How long does it normally take for it to go hardcover?

Pretty sure the entire run goes HC in November.

Staff
Posted by justafan

if somehow she doesn't have legs.......

Posted by TheRedRobin

I don't think it matters Daniel is taking over 'tec cause I'll just follow snyder to batman.
Posted by Golden Cod
@cobra88king8 said:
I love that he's a villain without the gimmick and it works. This is what Detective Comics should usually have
Quoted for truth!
Posted by entropy_aegis
@sEsposito7 said:
There are Batman stories that I think so highly of that I read them every year -- The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Year One, War Games, etc.. Snyder's run on 'Tec will be joining that list. Amazing, amazing Batman story -- the kind that I think all Batman stories should live up to.
Comparing Snyder to Loeb and War games is an insult to his ability. 
Can't wait.
Posted by sj_esposito
@entropy_aegis: lol... Come on, man, Loeb's latest work hasn't been great, but the guy has written some amazing stories in the past -- TLH and DV being two of them. An War Games was a great story, although, I think I'm in the minority on that one.
Posted by GBrutality

wow. jesus that was incredible story telling. everything that happened was pitch perfect. it really bothers me that we can't continue dick as batman, especially after that last page. the dynamic between him and gordon is a different level of good to how gordon and bruce are. really is a shame. i'm still giving everything a chance but i don't know, i really thought this whole run was perfect and i can be pretty cynical with stuff like this.

Posted by B_Heart

Great review, I hope the ending is used later on in one form or another, it's too good not to. Loved how how the little pieces connected throughout Snyder's entire run with callbacks to the previous arcs. Would love to see more James Gordan Jr.

Posted by jrock85

This issue was awesome.