With Detective Comics #9 Tony Daniel and the rest of the team joins the Night of the Owls cross-over with an assault on Arkham Asylum. The Talons come for Jeremiah Arkham, but find they’ve bitten off more than they can chew when they’re met with an inmate break-out.
Detective Comics #9
Detective Comics had all but lost my attention following the end of the Dollmaker arc. The issues that came next felt to me like a mish-mash of ideas without any specific hook to draw readers in, but issue #9 felt like the series has been given some direction with the tie-in to Scott Snyder’s fantastic Night of the Owls event.
The issue is told from the perspective of Dr Arkham, hunkered down in the Asylum believing himself safe from the chaos raining down on Gotham courtesy to the Court, and their threat against his life.
We get a swift tour of the Asylum, featuring appearances from Mr. Zsaz, Clayface and eventually, Roman Sionis – apparently ending his hunger strike after coming to his senses and wanting to turn over a new leaf. The thing is, he says he needs Black Mask back to do it.
Their conversation is interrupted as the Talons arrive, followed closely by Batman.
Arkham flees with the Talons in pursuit, who in turn are being chased by Batman. Before we know it, the inmates are let loose and engage the Talons.
Though I enjoyed this issue much more than the last couple of ‘Tec issues, it might just have been because the story is tied into Scott Snyder’s excellent arc. I found little variation in the voices of Dr Arkham and Roman Sionis, though I was pleased to see that this appears to be the return of Roman as The Black Mask.
In terms of the art, again I found this issue to be better than the last couple. I particularly enjoyed the Clayface and Nightwing cameos, and the inmates’ brawl with the Talons.
This is the first comic cross-over event I’ve ever read as it unfolded, rather than picking up the trade afterwards, so I did struggle to work out how this issue tied in with Batman. Overall it didn’t seem to further the Night of the Owls story, but did complement it to an extent.
We also got a Two-Face back-up story which, although featured some nice art, was fairly dull – or at least an exposition-heavy set-up for what’s to come.
Detective Comics #9 might have done enough to keep me reading for another couple of issues, but it wasn’t anywhere near as thrilling as the main Batman series, or as complementary as the last Nightwing issue.