Detective Comics #1052: Tamaki’s Tower Keeps Rolling

Weekly comics often come off as a stunt, tossed around by a committee of writers who don’t match each other’s tone. Toss in a bonus feature that adds a dollar to the cover price, and all the elements are in place to rip off low-grade comic book readers. It makes it all the more impressive that solo-flying author Mariko Tamaki has maintained such a gripping and linear narrative through the first six issues of her 12-part event, The Tower. Detective Comics #1052 didn’t push the story to new heights, but kept the ball rolling as the characters moved closer and closer to the chaos promised in Part 1.

Tamaki is joined again by interior artist Max Raynor, who replaces Ivan Reis on the title for the second week in a row. While Raynor’s art is slightly brighter than his Detective Comics predecessor, he positions beautifully drawn characters in readable sequences just as well. This book could perfectly well lose a cartoonist of Reis’s caliber without suffering as he is emblematic of the talent of DC’s stable of artists.

Batwoman is once again the central character of this issue after taking the back seat last week for Nightwing and the Huntress. The heroine attempts to piece together the insidious secret of Arkham Tower, revealed two weeks ago to be the psycho-pirate’s manipulative power. The Bat Family remain oblivious to the villain’s machinations, however, as Oracle and Batwoman investigate the riot last week. The reader is reminded that the disaster was directly linked to Psycho-Pirate’s waning control over his psychotic patients by a flashback sequence following Dr. Meridian.

The only complaint about this week’s story is that it doesn’t build Detective Comics #1051 to a crescendo, instead preferring a slow-burn plot. The biggest new development leaked in the issue is a cliffhanger involving Huntress, the woman inside Arkham Tower’s vigilantes.

Daniel K. Denny