Batman Detective Comics #968 Review: A Tim-Penny Symphony

Ulysses Armstrong is back working with the Colony, and he has plans for the organization.

However, our attentions turn back to the Batcave, where the Tim Drake of the future — dressed as the Batman — is fending off Batman, Red Robin (Tim Drake of the present), Nightwing, Red Hood, and Robin with the help of Brother Eye. This Tim Drake is intent on killing Batwoman before she can cause some alleged irreparable damage to Gotham and the Bat-Family.

At the Belfry, Brother Eye is launching an attack of Colony drones against Batwoman, Clayface, Azrael, Orphan, and Batwing. It looks to be their last stand, and the future Tim Drake intends on killing Batwoman at all costs.

Batman Detective Comics #968 cover by Adriano Lucas
Batman Detective Comics #968 cover by Adriano Lucas

With this conclusion to 'A Lonely Place of Living', writer James Tynion IV gives us a deeper cut into the psyche of Tim Drake and his perception of Batman. Needless to say, the doubts the future Tim have are not absent in the Tim of the present.

It is worth mentioning that it's a bit of a bother that Detective Comics pulled the old "kill 'em and bring 'em back" with Red Robin here. Mainstream superhero fare desperately needs to find a way to up the stakes or change the game without killing heroes for increasingly brief amounts of time. Making death meaningless is damaging for the industry overall, and it's already become a joke at best and a detriment at worst for mainstream comics.

That being said, Detective Comics #968 is still an exciting crescendo to this story, and it carries considerable emotional heft. The future Tim Drake is not just an antagonist; his grudges against Batman and his operation are genuine and visible to the reader. Batman does treat his allies with coldness and distance that is damaging to a young psyche. Whether Jason Todd, for example, is in a better or worse place in the present compared to his time before Batman is genuinely questionable.

It's also pretty impressive how Batman isn't given the centerstage in this comic. This is a story about Tim Drake, and Tim Drake holds the spotlight. Batman has little to do here, and he doesn't have many lines.

The conflict between the two Tims is very compelling. Batman-Tim really thinks he's going to make the future a better place, and he's not happy with what he is having to do in order to accomplish that vision. Red Robin-Tim can't let his allies die and will protect Batwoman at all costs.

Batman Detective Comics #968 art by Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, and Tomeu Morey
Batman Detective Comics #968 art by Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, and Tomeu Morey

Alvaro Martinez's artwork is up to snuff for this plot. His work is capable of conveying the pain present in Batman-Tim, and, when things need to get grim, Martinez can make it look grim. The moments where Batman-Tim is being "dragged back to the future" in particular are striking and imaginative. His art looks truly great, and he gives 'A Lonely Place of Living' the sendoff it deserves. The color work of Tomeu Morey is as great as ever, too.

Detective Comics #968 is a strong finish for the comic's latest story arc. Tim Drake is a great protagonist, and I'm glad he gets the spotlight this issue. The story is tense and emotional, and the art is damn good. I recommend this one; give it a read.

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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