Detective 965: Infodump Incoming!

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Detective Comics 965

Tim Drake, aka Robin III, made his debut in a storylne called "A Lonely Place of Dying." Then he became Red Robin in the New 52 version of the DC Universe, retaining that identity into the Rebirth version.

And then he decided to give it up. Which happened almost moments before he was killed.

Except he wasn't killed. He woke up a prisoner of a mysterious man calling himself Mr. Oz. And with DETECTIVE COMICS 965, James Tynion IV brings us back to that story, merging in the revelations from ACTION COMICS on Mr. Oz's true identy -- Jor-El of Krypton.

Yeah, I'm not keen on the idea either. Why Jor-El would pick the name "Oz" and why DC would use a codename so obviously a red-herring connection to Ozymandias when we know that WATCHMEN's Doctor Manhattan is already involved, is a little boggling. Nevertheless, it's Jor-El, and he reveals himself to Tim Drake in this issue after Tim goes on a half-a-book's worth of interrogatory exposition explaining his secret origin.

But Tim is "the world's smartest teenager." He's been hacking away at the prison's computer via his wrist communicators, because why would a prison guard remove useful things from a prisoner, right? And when Jor-Oz sees Tim escape, he books it out of there, claiming he's been a prisoner as well and that the warden is on his way back. With Jor-Oz gone, Tim loses all the confidence we've seen up to this point and becomes a frantic panicked kid, desperate to get a message out to Batman.

To his great relief, Batman responds. Turns out he's a prisoner too! He tells Tim where he's at, and instructs him to open the cell door. Tim races to get there and orders the computer system to open all the cells.

And there is Batman. And something else, to which Batman must respond to, with force.

Nope. That ain't Batman.

We do learn who it is, though, and that adds a new level of mystery to the story. Who imprisoned Jor-Oz, and why was Jor able to get around so freely if he was held captive? How did this Batman become a prisoner? And what's the overall endgame of Doctor Manhattan -- for we already know he's behind this. What we do know is that the last panel of this book will give you a hint to why the final chapter of the saga is called DOOMSDAY CLOCK.

"A Lonely Place of Living" (a throwback to that earlier mentioned origin story) is exposition heavy -- an info-dump -- which gets wearisome even though Tynion provides a clever explanation for why Tim's being so chatty at the turning point of the narrative. The artwork is uneven, going from exquisite to sloppy in places with awkward expressions and stances, something that, upon examination, I can't lay at the feet of Eddy Barrows' pencils but rather at Eber Ferreira's heavy handed inking.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0