Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 1): Neighborhood by Mariko Tamaki

Title: Batman: Detective Comics.
Volume: 1.
Story Arc
: Neighborhood.
Universe: Infinite Frontier.
Writer(s): Mariko Tamaki, Joshua Williamson (Short story), John Ridley (Short story), Meghan Fitzmartin (Short story) & T. Rex (Short Story).
Artist(s): Dan Mora, Viktor Bogdanovic, Gleb Melnikov (Short story), Clayton Henry (Short story), Karl Mostert (Short story), Dustin Nguyen (SHort story) & Karl Mostert (Short story).
Inker(s): Jonathan Glapion, Viktor Bogdanovic, Daniel Henriques (Short story) & Norm Rapmund (Short story)
Colourist(s): Jordie Bellaire, John Kalisz (Short story) & Simon Gough).
Letterer(s): Abitya Bidikar, ALW’s Troy Peteri (short story), Rob Leigh (Short story) & Tom Napolitano (Short story).
Publisher: DC Comics.

Format: Single Issues.
Release Date: August 2nd, 2022.
Pages: 176.
Genre(s): Comics, Superheroes, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781779516565.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.


It used to be quite simple for billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne to set out in the night to fight crime while masquerading during the day by hosting or attending events and parties with far too many faces for anyone to remember him in particular. Now without his wealth, his mansion, or some of his closest allies by his side, he must find a new way to obtain the people’s support and continue to stop criminals in Gotham City from getting away from the terrible crimes they senselessly commit. While the task is daunting in itself, it’s by believing in his ideals and doing what he does best that he will eventually be able to revamp his methods and embrace his purpose. Beginning a new chapter into the World’s Greatest Detective’s life and collecting issues #1034-1039, Eisner Award-winning writer Mariko Tamaki and superstar artist Dan Mora explore the Dark Knight’s resurgence.

What is Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 1): Neighborhood about? Set after the events in writer Peter J. Tomasi’s comic book run, the story begins with Mayor Nakano, leader of the Anti-Vigilante Movement, attempting to present the elites of Gotham with a new vision for the city. However, his grand moment is overshadowed by the brutal crime wave affecting the city, and most notably, a tragic death that sends the notorious Roland Worth on a quest for revenge with Bruce Wayne and Batman in sight, clearly framed for a crime he’s never committed. Matters are further troublesome when another villainous force lurks in the background and thrives in his impunity while his kill count grows. With unexpected help, Batman must race against time to find the real culprit before innocent casualties fall and their blood is put on his head.

“The truth is that people who go missing in Gotham… aren’t coming home.”

— Mariko Tamaki

This volume begins on a deceptively wonderful note. Right from the get-go, it clearly establishes the new parameters by which Bruce Wayne must comply and how he has to adapt to these unusual circumstances if he’s to continue his vigilantism. To do so, the story focuses on his character living in a much more modest residence and being implicated in his neighborhood’s affairs. The story then builds up with a tantalizing layer of mystery with a sudden murder that allows Batman to channel his detective skills and begin his search for a killer. There’s even a secondary ally tied into the story in a creative fashion and a supernatural twist that keeps things intriguing. Things suddenly then derail in the most frustrating and ungraceful fashion once Mr. Worth’s character takes over the narrative not only through his incredible and inhuman proportions but also in terms of importance. When he starts to wreak havoc, which implies loads of ridiculous destruction, every other story element is overlooked and everything veers towards the ludicrous, forbidding this volume from ending on a solid and memorable note.

There’s, however, no surprise when it comes to Dan Mora’s crisp, detailed, and gorgeous artwork. Incredibly adequate for this particular comic book run, it effortlessly elevates the narrative through dynamic and stylish designs. The raw and expressive characters also immediately establish the emotional atmosphere and even hint at the motives hidden away in the finer details of each character’s face. Jordie Bellaire’s colouring is also meticulous, beautifully directing attention in the right corners and guiding readers through chaotic panel placements, whether it would be in action sequences or splash page multiple-character dialogues. This volume also contains multiple additional stories that aren’t necessarily written by Mariko Tamaki or drawn by Dan Mora. Although some of these pertain to side characters and actually add something to the main story (which is quite uncommon), others are irrelevant or poorly executed, ultimately being a distraction or a reminder of the larger flaws in this volume.

Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 1): Neighborhood is a decent yet still ill-fated adventure marking writer Mariko Tamaki’s debut with the introduction of the vengeful Roland Worth and an unremarkable vile villain.



24 thoughts on “Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 1): Neighborhood by Mariko Tamaki

  1. Lashaan, you issued a disclaimer about the volume opening on a deceptively wonderful note. So what did I do? I got sucked into the story described and it really sounded promising to me also. It must have failed spectacularly thereafter. A shame. But as Alex noted, there certainly sounds like other Batman tales are waiting in the (bat) wings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Artwork that’s “incredibly adequate.” I’m not entirely sure how to interpret that. 🙂 But “everything veers towards the ludicrous” I can certainly understand! Let’s hope the author gets into a better rhythm if they continue into the next arc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I meant is artwork that felt right for the kind of story it was going for. It wasn’t bubbly, cartoonish, or too abstract. It was much more action-oriented, clear, and grabs your attention quickly! 😀 I’ll probably keep my expectations low for future Detective Comics volumes that I’ll be reading until someone decides to step their game up hahah Thanks for reading, Todd!


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