Title: Batman: Detective Comics.
Story-arc: Road to Ruin.
Writer(s): Peter J. Tomasi.
Artist(s): Nicola Scott, Kenneth Rocafort, Bilquis Evely, Andrew Hennessy, Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy.
Colourist(s): Trish Mulvihill, Daniel Brown, Mat Lopes, Dave McCaig.
Letterer(s): Rob Leigh.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Single Issues.
Release Date: October 5th 2021.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating:
Previously in the Batman: Detective Comics (2016―) series:
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 1): Mythology by Peter J. Tomasi.
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 2): Arkham Knight by Peter J. Tomasi.
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 3): Greetings From Gotham by Peter J. Tomasi
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 4): Cold Vengeance by Peter J. Tomasi.
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 5): The Joker War by Peter J. Tomasi.
Bad blood between two individuals is always a burden to lug around. Sometimes it’s also what’s needed for each of the concerned parties to walk down a path of self-reflection and unravel deep and complex issues. For Batman, the recent events have flipped his life upside down and led him to rethink his vision of Gotham and the peace he wishes for it. Although his grief-stricken life requires an additional effort of introspection, it is an intricate emotional and psychological journey that he doesn’t need to partake in alone. But will he be able to look beyond his habits to begin a new chapter in his life? Collecting issues #1028-1033, the latest volume in the Detective Comics series is the final story arc written by Peter J. Tomasi as he introduces a new mayor and new villains into the lives of the slowly-recuperating Batfamily.
What is Batman: Detective Comics: Road to Ruin about? Set after the events of The Joker War, Bruce Wayne looks to take a blind leap into a new future where his capital is without reach, and grief following the loss of a dear friend is behind him. Unfortunately, Gotham isn’t yet ready for any peace and quiet as a new series of gruesome murders reveals a trail of headless corrupt citizens with the Dark Knight also targeted by this deranged maniac. As Bruce Wayne also tries to figure out what Damian has been up to, fleeing to find a new resolution follow the recent tragedies, a new villain surge from the shadows and wishes to unmask the vigilantes who are roaming the streets, lining up his vision for Gotham similar to the mayoral candidate Christopher Nakano who wishes to rid the city of the masked and dangerous.
“I’m not hiding who I am. I’m showing everyone who they really are. Because I’m The Mirror. I am you and you are me… And We are Gotham.”— Peter J. Tomasi
I am overly thrilled that this will be writer Peter J. Tomasi’s final story arc on this series. It was about time that he got off that road to ruin and found inspiration elsewhere. Thankfully, compared to the previous volumes, this turned out only forgettable. An overall sense of choppiness in the desire to introduce new characters and a new climate of conflict between political entities and masked vigilantes and villains makes for a rough and unengaging reading experience but the story doesn’t dwell long enough on any part to allow further criticism. The overarching themes of identity and trust do help tie together the narrative but the failed attempt to properly emphasize the mayor’s or the villain’s relevance forbids any of the subplots to bloom under his penmanship. While it was an ambitious decision to bring into play Hush’s character, there’s very little depth to the decision nor the finale to justify the decision in the end.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, this story arc collects the artistic vision of multiple illustrators and combines for an uneven and uninspiring visual experience. While each individual artwork can be appreciated for its respective strengths, the collected work simply emphasizes the absence of cohesion and the multiple plot threads that are sequentially and rapidly introduced to be later developed in future story arcs. Nonetheless, the colouring remains standard in its execution and strongly plays around darker tones and shadows. Although there isn’t a lot of action sequences, the final moments strongly compensate for the earlier absence, which was in fact mostly filled with detective work (after all, these stories had to cleverly tie into the series’ title). Hopefully, the next writer will be able to do something better with this series and the cards that have been dealt.
Batman: Detective Comics: Road to Ruin is a forgettable story arc introducing the rise of mayor candidate Christopher Nakano and the mysterious new villain The Mirror in Gotham city.