Detective Comics #965 (DC Comics)
Much has been made about the mysterious Mr. Oz, who’s been collecting various aspects of the DC universe since the “DC Rebirth” era began. He took Doomsday, and most recently he kidnapped Tim Drake, now known as Red Robin. While Batman and the other heroes in Detective Comics assumed Drake was dead, in actuality he’s been a prisoner of Mr. Oz, and in James Tynion IV’s and Eddy Barrows’ Detective Comics #965, Tim Drake starts planning his daring escape from Oz’s prison.
If you’re going into this issue hoping for a knock down drag out fight, you’ll be disappointed. A large chunk of this issue is a conversation between Mr. Oz and Tim Drake. But that doesn’t mean that this issue is a major drag. In fact, this approach is pretty awesome, as it serves as both a recap for people picking this book up for the first time and as a refresher for how Tim Drake fits into the DC universe again. James Tynion IV’s script is at its best in these moments, as Tynion nails the characterization of Tim Drake. The key difference between Tim and the other Robins is that he CHOSE to become Robin; he wasn’t picked by Bruce Wayne after suffering a tragedy. In a lot of ways, Tim Drake could become a better crime fighter than Batman, and it’s this aspect that Detective Comics focuses on with this issue, which is what makes it so effective.
Also making it effective is Eddy Barrows’ art, which is perfectly suited for this kind of issue. Barrows does best with the expressive emotions on Tim Drake’s face, and while his Batman looks a little chunkier than usual, there are some pretty great sequences here, especially with the last page of the book. As the “main artist” of this series, it’s a welcome sight to see his art for this storyline.
With both Action Comics and Detective Comics making major reveals about Mr. Oz, it’s easy to see why these two series would be of interest to anyone curious about the upcoming Doomsday Clock event. In a lot of ways, this issue of Detective Comics is what DC is currently getting right with the Rebirth event: it’s a story that honors the past of the DC universe while also putting a cool new spin on the universe, creating an exciting new story with a ton of possibilities.