Batman on the cover of Ram V's Detective Comics.

Detective Comics #1063 Review

Written by: Ram V

Art by: Rafael Albuquerque

Coloring by: Dave Stewart

Lettering by: Ariana Maher

Editing by: Arianna Turturro, Jessica Chen, Ben Abernathy

Harvey Dent rocks a new look in Ram V's Detective Comics.
The gold mask suits Harvey.

Ram V is one of my favorite writers in comic books right now after his work on These Savage Shores. Rafael Albuquerque is an all-star artist who perfectly matches Ram V’s mystical yet grounded style of story-telling. Combine those two with the coloring of Dave Stewart, and the madness of the mind becomes as real and terrifying as it could ever be. Ram V’s Detective Comics in a few issues is already something I haven’t read before in a Batman comic.

Mysticism is a hard nut to crack in storytelling. It’s not like one’s typical belief in a god or deity. It is to believe that “union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender.” In layman’s terms, one gives up their own ego to their deity and their higher existence. They become one with them but do not give up who they are, nor change who the deity should be.

Batman on the alternative cover of Detective Comics #1063.
This is a Batman story you haven’t read before, seriously, I think.

Now, I’m an atheist who took a whole class on Mysticism in college. That experience has certainly colored my read of the book. All I could think about while reading was how Ram V must be applying mysticism to Batman and Barbatos. Mysticism doesn’t have to be the union between someone and a loving deity, just a deity. Ram V’s Detective Comics explores how Batman’s mind and soul are joining with Barbatos, and his ego is being stripped from him. Due to Barbatos’s destructive domain, Batman’s mystic journey is tearing him apart. Bruce’s already-addled mind is growing lost and confused; his already aging body is slowing and breaking down; his tendency towards loneliness and solitude is only worsening.

Not since Batman: Ego have I read a book that uses a Character vs Self plot for Batman. Never has a Batman story read like this. Even if it doesn’t all turn out well, which would be shocking, Ram V’s Detective Comics is something to pick up today.

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