DETECTIVE COMICS #1017
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Tom Taylor is one of those writers that can wallop you with an emotional punch every time he writes a book. Just look at what he did in DCeased. He was able to give such powerful, poignant moments that pull on your heartstrings all while set in a "zombie" apocalypse full of death. He continues to show why hes in the upper echelon of writers in the industry today, with this beautiful one off tale in DETECTIVE COMICS #1017. With him set to relaunch SUICIDE SQUAD this month, it still make sme wonder why he hasn't been given an even ore high profile book to write. I for one look forward to the day I can read a Batman run of his. He gets the character on a level that we don't really see often. A softer side with a touch of humor.
This tale focuses on a missing child from the Marth Wayne Orphanage all taking place in the dead of Winter. The missing kid is brought to Bruce's attention by Lucius Fox (I can only assume this is taking place after "City of Bane" since there's no Alfred). At first Bruce's reaction is non chalant, "Sometimes troubled teens run away Lucius". Until he's reminded that it's his mother's/families name on that orphanage. So he agrees to look into it.
After a quick visit to the orphanage, Batman reaches out to Damian to help him on this case. Their relationship has been somewhat strained the past few months, but it was nice to see them come together to save this young boy. Watching Damian call his father out for not putting effort into their relationship but jumping at the chance to save some random kid, had such a raw and genuine emotion behind. Yet another example of the amazing writing of Taylor.
As they scour the city looking for this young man, the days are going by and it continues to get colder and colder. It was a brilliant way to build the tension in the story, making it feel like they were running out of time. I mean those panels of the snowfall continuing to drop as it gets colder were such a great use of those pages by Blanco.
Finally Robin has found the young man but he's not looking good. Once they get him into the Batmobile and head to the hospital. We are treated to one of the best scenes in the issue. Even as this young man is being rescued by Batman he still tells him that Superman is his favorite superhero. I thought it was such a funny little moment that I laughed to myself. The best part though was that Batman said "Me too".
Sadly the young boy didn't make it, but that didn't stop Bruce from solving the case and taking down the man responsible for the kid running away. By the end of the issue we see Bruce taking a more active role in the orphanage, and realizing that these too are his "children" and he must protect them.
Taylor & Blanco absolutely killed it on this one shot and it was his art team that made this book a real standout this week. It's not often that these one issue stories can have such a profound affect on a reader, but this is a perfect example of how to accomplish that. Even this doesn't make you guys want a Batman book from Tom Taylor I don't know what would.