Review: Detective Comics #26
✔ Brings the Man-Bat saga to a close perfectly.
✔ Batman brooding look is perfected.
✔ Man-Bat looks ferocious.
✘ Last panel felt tonally wrong.
✘ The twist in the plan didn't feel needed.
For quite a few issues in Detective Comics we have had a small back-up story about the journey of Kirk Langstrom and the mystery behind Man-Bat. The impression that this reviewer had was that ever since issue 19, the story as a whole would end in a back-up story with no ties to the main story. This theory was proven wrong as, for once and for all, the saga of the Man-Bat has finally ended and it is the main, and only story, in Detective Comics #26.
Many people are dying by bats that seem overpowered and they aren’t the bats known around Gotham. Batman quickly notices this and tries to capture Kirk Langstrom to find out what is wrong. Since Batman knows bats he is able to apprehend Langstrom to find out that he is not the problem, his wife his. For those new to the Detective Comics, Langstrom’s wife was actually a spy for Caldwell Industries so Caldwell could manipulate an army of Man-Bat’s. Kirk has a way to stop his wife and with Batman leading the way it all leads down to a very simple, yet powerful conclusion to the story. It’s nice that this feels like a definitive ending for the story as the story isn’t trudging along like it has done in the back-ups for weeks, they were the weak point of every issue.
This is a great end to the story and probably the best issue that Detective Comics has done since its start in the new 52 universe. This is on par with Snyder’s main Batman book and that is probably the greatest compliment you can give a book. The story is simple with only a small twist that really wasn’t needed as Batman is the tactician and Langstrom’s plan wouldn’t have stacked up to what Batman’s plan was. It bugged this reviewer, but you need a twist like that to ramp up the tension a little. The very last page of the comic was a little bothersome as it was jokey, and that didn’t fit tonally with the rest of this dark and brooding issue.
This is probably the best art that has been done for the new 52 Detective Comics. Aaron Lopresti did a great job drawing our ‘Bats’ the best way that suits him well. He is an imposing figure in the comic and you get just how much of a presence he has in a room, even with it is an holographic projection. That’s the Batman we know, and that is the Batman we have fallen in love with many years ago. The Man-Bat is a very scary character on paper, and Lopresti’s interpretation of the character makes it just as scary. The same can be said for the ‘Bat-Queen’ that appears at the end of it. This is a dark world that is created and it fits the tone of the overall story quite nicely.
Overall, you should definitely check this issue out. It was a pleasant surprise to see the main back-up story shine and get the conclusion that was needed. New readers may get confused by some of the references to past issues, but it is not that much of a problem as it is as simple of a story as you can get. The ‘twist’ that occurred a couple of issues ago gets told again so it is worth it to check it out. Please comment your thoughts below and let us know how you felt about the review and the comic in general.