hits counter Batman – Detective Comics, Volume 4: The Wrath - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Batman – Detective Comics, Volume 4: The Wrath

Availability: Ready to download

The Caped Crusader is challenged by the mystery of the 900 in a special tale celebrating the 900th issue published of Detective Comics! Plus, Batman faces two new foes: Emperor Penguin and the deadly vigilante known as The Wrath, a dark counterpart to the Dark Knight. Collecting: Detective Comics #19-24 and Annual #2.


Compare

The Caped Crusader is challenged by the mystery of the 900 in a special tale celebrating the 900th issue published of Detective Comics! Plus, Batman faces two new foes: Emperor Penguin and the deadly vigilante known as The Wrath, a dark counterpart to the Dark Knight. Collecting: Detective Comics #19-24 and Annual #2.

30 review for Batman – Detective Comics, Volume 4: The Wrath

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jayson

    (B+) 78% | Good Notes: Art endows the energy, its peak is at the start, and trouble’s done by doubles: usurper, alter ego and evil counterpart.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Originally The Wrath was conceived as a version of Bruce Wayne that chose a darker path - someone who allowed hate to consume him and who grew up as a similarly-costumed figure, deciding to gun down cops in misguided revenge for his parents’ deaths. He was actually a compelling character and I’d highly recommend Batman: The Wrath to any Batman fans to find out why for themselves as well as for an entertaining read. Unfortunately, John Layman’s New 52 version of The Wrath is pure dogshit. Here he Originally The Wrath was conceived as a version of Bruce Wayne that chose a darker path - someone who allowed hate to consume him and who grew up as a similarly-costumed figure, deciding to gun down cops in misguided revenge for his parents’ deaths. He was actually a compelling character and I’d highly recommend Batman: The Wrath to any Batman fans to find out why for themselves as well as for an entertaining read. Unfortunately, John Layman’s New 52 version of The Wrath is pure dogshit. Here he’s reimagined as a rich guy in an armoured suit that doesn’t look like Batman’s outfit who’s killing cops for seemingly no reason. Right at the end he blurts out his reasoning and it’s so face-palmingly stupid that it would’ve been better if he had no reason at all. Ham-fisted? Shoe-horned in? Yup and yup! Awful writing, John Layman. The aerial fight across the Gotham skyline wasn’t bad though. One of my least favourite Batman characters is Manbat/Kirk Langstrom so it’s disappointing how much of this book is taken up with repeating his uninteresting origin story for the New 52 audience. It’s largely similar to the pre-New 52 Manbat origin and it’s written better than the godawful Wrath garbage but it didn’t change my view on the character. This book also includes the conclusion to the decent Emperor Penguin storyline started in the previous volume. Ogilvy takes on his second form to fight Batman in a rushed finale but he wasn’t a bad new character all told. For some reason there’s a callback to Detective Comics, Volume 2: Scare Tactics where the girl from the Bruce Wayne Himalayan short is all growed-up and in Gotham to assassinate someone for some reason. It wasn’t good and felt like it existed to try and sell Harper Row as an important character. Remember her? Yeah, she didn’t take and reading this story shows why she’s been shoved aside now for this Duke chap! There’s a lot of comic to this fourth volume - roughly double the usual size - and it’s definitely a case of quantity over quality. It’s a readable book but there are too many mediocre storylines and side stories that are nothing special and forgettable. I was really impressed with Jason Fabok’s slick art even if John Layman’s writing never came close to the same inspired quality often seen in his Image series, Chew. Detective Comics, Volume 4: The Wrath is an ok Batman book at best and definitely no must-read for anyone.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sud666

    This is one of the better New 52 comics I've come across. Jason Fabok's artwork is very good and Layman's plot is better than some of the dreck that's been masquerading as "good" in the "newer" DC line-up. This one is a story not only of Batman and his conflict with Wrath, but also about Kirk Langstrom (Man-Bat) and his struggles with his serum. There are a few different story arcs in this volume- from the Emperor Penguin story, which wasn't that good, to the Wrath story which was better. The who This is one of the better New 52 comics I've come across. Jason Fabok's artwork is very good and Layman's plot is better than some of the dreck that's been masquerading as "good" in the "newer" DC line-up. This one is a story not only of Batman and his conflict with Wrath, but also about Kirk Langstrom (Man-Bat) and his struggles with his serum. There are a few different story arcs in this volume- from the Emperor Penguin story, which wasn't that good, to the Wrath story which was better. The whole Kirk Langstrom and his marital conflict is also a decent story. I won't spoil any of the plots-but suffice it to say, for the most part, they are good. The fascination with d-list heroes (yes white trash hero- Harper..I am talking about YOU) seems to have abated and I wasn't forced to deal with all the "subsidiary" dark-night wanna-be types that have now infested some of the Batman titles. Batman has also regained some of his intellect and fighting abilities, which had declined precipitously in other titles, to give the writers an excuse to deploy the C and D list heroes to save him. It was trite and annoying. Layman avoids such things by having a Batman that is competent and intelligent. So no need for several Robins, 2-3 batwomen, 4 or 5 random low quality hero types all under the aegis of "Batman Inc". No this is Batman struggling to solve the strange man-bat killings, deal with the new Emperor Penguin, deal with GCPD and the Wrath. A nice throwback to the days when Batman was one of the best heroes out there. Just one side note, again I realize that comic writers are typical liberal clones (due to their fields of study at whatever third rate institution they matriculated from) but seriously do they even realize how stupid they sound? Likely not. Case in point is when Wayne and Caldwell meet on the roof to discuss the buyout offer. Caldwell, displaying an utter lack of any financial sense, cutely ups his offer with a casual "Oh just add another zero to the offer". Oh? Oh yeah? You sure? I know it sounds REALLY cool. I bet that's even how liberals think that business goes down. But ummm..no. See the thing is, as cool as it sounds..that extra "0" is kinda a big fucking deal, idiot. Don't believe me? Ok try seeing if there is a difference to YOU between a $10,000 bill and a $100,000 bill. So for a company the size of Waynetech..ummmm likely a billion dollar company....so when you casually "add a zero" ummmm..that's 10 BILLION dollars. Did Caldwell's company factor in the additional capitalization for that "extra zero" would require them to come up with $9 BILLION extra dollars? Where did that money come from? How many people will lose their jobs? What about Caldwell's debt to capital ratio (by virtue of which stocks get valuation)? Oh wait I forgot....liberals know about as much of economics as a creationist knows about evolutionary biology. But hey..if you are a virtue signalling liberal and really DO think the world is this way...cool....then I'm sure you won't mind when your employer just takes a "zero" away from your paychecks. What's in a number anyways, right? Pffffftttttt. Grow the fuck up already.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Frankh

    John Layman has yet to disappoint me (until his last two issues of this series, that is, but I digress) and his second collected volume for Detective Comics is definitely something I can recommend you buy and store in your library. His collaborative work with two spectacular artists, Jason Fabok and Andy Clarke who illustrated his main stories and backup stories respectively, has easily made his run for this series a visual adventure that continues to enhance your enjoyment page after page. In th John Layman has yet to disappoint me (until his last two issues of this series, that is, but I digress) and his second collected volume for Detective Comics is definitely something I can recommend you buy and store in your library. His collaborative work with two spectacular artists, Jason Fabok and Andy Clarke who illustrated his main stories and backup stories respectively, has easily made his run for this series a visual adventure that continues to enhance your enjoyment page after page. In the fourth volume entitled Wrath, Batman battles the titular villain who had been targeting and killing the GCPD officers with chilling efficiency based on a decade-old grudge. A striking similarity can be found between Wrath and Batman himself, but it's in their motivation and approach to injustice that ultimately distinguished one from the other. Wrath is driven merely by a thirst for vengeance while Batman is able to rise above his own traumatic experiences and contribute to Gotham as the guardian and crusader for the weak and the oppressed. This story arc is heavily featured for issues 22-24. Now I have great fun reading this arc because, aside from the great action sequences offered and heftily drawn by Fabok, Layman also imparted a story that serves as a parable on the many ways one man's dangerous quest can consume him. Wrath may as well be what Batman would have become if he allowed his personal vendetta get the best of him. Another material included for this collection is issue #19 which marks the 900th issue for Detective Comics and features five standalone stories, most notably The 900 which tackled the Man-Bats epidemic as well as the re-imagining of Kirk Langstorm's origin story. I mentioned in my review for the third volume that this story should have been included there since it was Emperor Penguin that spread the bat-serum infection in the first place. However, this story is better suited for this volume after all, and that it's issue #20 (the finale for Emperor Penguin story arc) that should have been in the last volume. It seemed rather out of place for this volume that focuses more on Wrath and the backup minor arc on the Langstorms. Speaking of which, while the Wrath storyline is going on, we also have Layman crafting the very intimate tale of Kirk Langstorm and his wife Francine who both became addicted to the bat-serum and surrendered to their inner monsters. I've mentioned that this was an arc that surprised me because I didn't expect to like it that much, let alone look forward to it, considering Man-Bat is a B-rated villain I hardly cared for in the canon but Layman was skilled enough to make readers care about his beginnings and struggles in a very Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde fashion. This arc is happening in hindsight while we follow Batman and Wrath and their confrontation primarily, but I personally found myself caring about Kirk Langstorm more than Wrath because he was sympathetic. That's not to say I didn't enjoy Wrath because I did but I never formed a personal connection with him unlike with Langstorm. An issue that I felt was only included for chronological purposes was issue #21about the Shadow Assassin which was an average oneshot and whose only redeeming factor is that Harper Row made a delightful appearance. Other than that, it was forgettable so feel free to skip. feel immensely different about its Annual #2, however, which I maintain is one of my favorite New 52 annuals ever (next to Peter J. Tomasi's two annuals for Batman and Robin). It was less about Batman (which actually works) and more about Harvey Bullock and this sinister villainess called Jane Doe. I gave that one a perfect rating in my review HERE Overall, Detective Comics Volume 4: WRATH is a better installment than the first collected edition because it features more material and a secondary arc that's just as enjoyable as the main one. The added bonus of the second annual and issue #19 anthology of standalones also helped its content a lot. I could really do away with issue #21 though, and issue #20 REALLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN in the third volume. Nevertheless, this is John Layman at his best for Detective Comics! RECOMMENDED: 9/10 DO READ MY BATMAN COMICS REVIEWS AT:

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    The previous volume of Detective Comics (Emperor Penguin) was missing the conclusion of its titular storyline. A strange omission, considering DC have packed plenty of content into this volume. Containing five regular issues, an annual and the 80-page special that marked the 900th overall issue of Detective Comics, The Wrath certainly wont leave readers feeling short changed. The aforementioned special issue focuses on 'The 900', an area of Gotham City that falls victim to an outbreak of the Man- The previous volume of Detective Comics (Emperor Penguin) was missing the conclusion of its titular storyline. A strange omission, considering DC have packed plenty of content into this volume. Containing five regular issues, an annual and the 80-page special that marked the 900th overall issue of Detective Comics, The Wrath certainly wont leave readers feeling short changed. The aforementioned special issue focuses on 'The 900', an area of Gotham City that falls victim to an outbreak of the Man-Bat virus. This starts an ongoing storyline which retcons the familiar origins of Kirk and Francine Langstrom, but their troubles with the serum at least make for an interesting read. Artist Jason Fabok delivers once again, especially when Emperor Penguin returns for a showdown with Batman. Colourist Jeromy Cox's blood red skies increase the intensity of their confrontation. I enjoyed both this storyline and the character of Ignatius Ogilvy, while the epilogue left me hopeful that we'll see him again someday. After a decent story centered around Harper Row, the Annual issue focuses on Harvey Bullock, with Layman delving deep into his character to create an intriguing tale. One aided by the addition of unsettling new villain, Jane Doe. The two epilogues really hammer home the consequences of her actions. Simon Kudranski's artwork that utilises heavy inks to create shadow was perfect for that particular follow-up. It all leads to the main event, The Wrath. Jason Fabok returns with colourist Emilio Lopez and the first issue of this arc looks simply incredible. Cox's bold palette becomes a distant memory, replaced by a darker and grittier tone that's perfect for kick-starting the cop killer storyline. Although it becomes brighter thanks to colourist Blond, a focus on tech and some rare daytime confrontations for the Dark Knight, it's a decent conclusion to the main narrative. A handful of bonus stories from 'The 900' issue are also included, the best of which is a short story focusing on the GCPD. It's great to see individual members of the Gotham police force in the spotlight and it serves as a strong foundation for their involvement in The Wrath, too. Great character building and storytelling. The only real misstep is the issue with Bane talking about the Court Of Owls. The best place for this story would have been Talon Vol. 2 and it ends the trade on a strange note. Still, it's hard to complain when there's so much solid reading packed into one volume. The Wrath continues Layman and Fabok's strong run on Detective Comics with some memorable stories. Both this and the previous volume are recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    This is quite hard to grade. For a volume entitled "The Wrath", it contained so much more than you'd imagine. A special chapter investigating block 900 and a monstrous outbreak, a singular and random chapter featuring Harper Row, a conclusion to Emperor Penguin's legacy, an origin story for Doctor Langstrom, an apperance by Bane and his newfound nemesis and a short and quick presentation of The Wrath. Damn. That's a lot. Wait, let's not forget this volume's annual issue. That story alone deserve This is quite hard to grade. For a volume entitled "The Wrath", it contained so much more than you'd imagine. A special chapter investigating block 900 and a monstrous outbreak, a singular and random chapter featuring Harper Row, a conclusion to Emperor Penguin's legacy, an origin story for Doctor Langstrom, an apperance by Bane and his newfound nemesis and a short and quick presentation of The Wrath. Damn. That's a lot. Wait, let's not forget this volume's annual issue. That story alone deserves attention because of how unexpected and fascinating it was. There's probably so many other parts that I've missed, cause I know that by the end of it, I had multiple storylines running through my head. While under the impression that I was starring at some kind of storytelling mosaic, I still thought that some of these stories had such great ideas, but that the execution was off. The Wrath could've so much more if you ask me. While he presented himself as some sort of alternative Bruce Wayne/Batman figure, his scheming felt off. That's probably due to how quickly his story was opened and closed. With the things he had planned for Gotham, he had everything in the palm of his hands to deal some nasty damage. (view spoiler)[I mean, Batman was this close to lose one of his trusty sidekicks (Alfred). It felt wrong that he just let that go and went off on a rampage instead. (hide spoiler)] Emperor Penguin's storyarc shouldn't have been placed in this volume. Although it did clear up some plot holes regarding some of the incidents throughout Gotham, this dude's mission could've been neatly tied up in volume 3. Speaking of which, I did feel like the tempo for all these Batman-centered stories felt wrong. The only true near-perfection tale was a side-story in the annual issue of this volume. A story revolving around Bullock and a villain who could be anyone was definitely fascinating. It was true character analysis, and an adventure that was quite destructive for the famous detective. It would've been marvelous if they had given this story more space to shine. Oh, I did enjoy seeing Batman in a new armor though. That pleased my inner child's imagination. The artwork at times was fine. Enough to keep me hooked to the volume (or maybe it's just cause.. it's Batman). However, there were times were I thought the character's had funny poses (Bane and company looked really funny; like a stylish pack of hyenas). P.S. A full review to come. Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: http://bookidote.wordpress.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jesse A

    Did not care for this volume. The art work was uniformly good but the story left me with a headache.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    I'd give this 3 and a 1/4 stars. It's called the Wrath, but that character isn't really featured for most of the book. This is a very patchy collection of numerous stories. There's more about the Man-Bat, Kirk Langstrom, which is confusing, since Vol. 4 of The Dark Knight has a story arc about Abraham Langstrom (Kirk's father) also Man-Bat! Hmm...turns out even Langstrom's wife gets in on the act, as She-Man-Bat...though they don't actually call her that. Wrath is actually a super rich industri I'd give this 3 and a 1/4 stars. It's called the Wrath, but that character isn't really featured for most of the book. This is a very patchy collection of numerous stories. There's more about the Man-Bat, Kirk Langstrom, which is confusing, since Vol. 4 of The Dark Knight has a story arc about Abraham Langstrom (Kirk's father) also Man-Bat! Hmm...turns out even Langstrom's wife gets in on the act, as She-Man-Bat...though they don't actually call her that. Wrath is actually a super rich industrialist who comes back to Gotham and wants to change things for the better...Alfred makes some sly observations about this. Of course he wants to buy Wayne Enterprises, and Bruce doesn't like him at all...in about 5 seconds, anyone with half a brain knows who he is...yup. It ain't a spoiler unless you're legally brain-dead. There's a showdown, and Batman saves the day, but also lets the GCPD do things, and it repairs some of the bad feelings between the two (AWWW!!! Meh.) There's a story about Jane Doe, a psycho who has no skin, and can become anyone (sorta looks like a less weird Red Skull if she were a DC Girl) anyhoo, she's killing tons of people and there's a storyline with her and Harvey Bullock (nice to see Harvey finally getting used again!) We see that Dick and Barbara are still not speaking to Bruce after the events of Death of the Family (though, having read it all, I'm still not entirely sure why...maybe someone would like to walk me through it? I have ideas, but...) though Batwoman shows up, but only to help the Langstroms try and stop all the Man-Bats who have been unleashed in the 900 Block by some bad serum (900 block story coincides with issue 900 of Detective Comics, or what would have been - clever eh?) given to everyone by Zsasz, who was given it by another uber baddy...the Emperor Penguin of Vol. 3... It's all to set something else up, and Batman has a showdown with him, which is actually a lot more taxing than the one with Wrath. I feel like Emperor Penguin got ripped off here, with the title going to Wrath...Not cool dude. Batman gets help in the unlikeliest of places. There's a lot of Evil here, mostly from the uber baddies like Emperor Penguin and Wrath, and to some extent with Man-Bat, but he's like the Curt Connors/Lizard of Gotham...trying to cure something with animals and fucking shit up along the way...sad storyline, but a bit confusing after how things end earlier in the book, and also no mention at all of his father's actions as Man-Bat in TDK Vol. 4...hmmm... Anyhoo, John Layman does the best he can, and there's a bit more explanation of things that need it, and it is in no way bad, but it's just very herky jerky, all over, and doesn't flow much at all, it's just a patchwork of interconnected Bat-Drama. A decent read, but non-essential. Then there's a story at the end about Bane, but not by Layman, and I barely read that...There's also some very cool artwork by the 1000 artist who drew this volume...no joke, like 1000. It's good, and I'll keep reading it, but Scott Snyder is on a whole other plain than everyone else in terms of Batman.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    5 stars Glad that Batman was able to stop Wrath. Ogilvy was turned into something very interesting. Wonder what he's going to do now. Also glad Penguin went back to being in charge. RIP cops. Also wonder if we will see Moi again. Was her master Ra's al Ghul? 5 stars Glad that Batman was able to stop Wrath. Ogilvy was turned into something very interesting. Wonder what he's going to do now. Also glad Penguin went back to being in charge. RIP cops. Also wonder if we will see Moi again. Was her master Ra's al Ghul?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    Layman, Fabok, and Clarke's Detective Comics continues it's unstoppable run here as we celebrate Detective Comics #900 with an extra-sized main story featuring thousands of Man-Bats as well as the origin of the New 52 Man-Bat, and some little back-up stories that focus on the cops of Gotham City as they deal with the problems these Man-Bats create. The aftermath of issue 19/900 is felt throughout the rest of the volume as Man-Bat gets the back-up stories of the remaining issues all to himself. Th Layman, Fabok, and Clarke's Detective Comics continues it's unstoppable run here as we celebrate Detective Comics #900 with an extra-sized main story featuring thousands of Man-Bats as well as the origin of the New 52 Man-Bat, and some little back-up stories that focus on the cops of Gotham City as they deal with the problems these Man-Bats create. The aftermath of issue 19/900 is felt throughout the rest of the volume as Man-Bat gets the back-up stories of the remaining issues all to himself. This new semi-heroic Man-Bat is an interesting take on a classic character, and Andy Clarke's artwork makes things even better. Issues 20-21 deal with the rest of the Emperor Penguin storyline from the previous volume, bringing Batman and the Penguin face to face with the usurper, and whilst it closes off Ogilvy's storyline for now, he is still present in future issues, bubbling away another plotline in the background that I expect will come to fruition before Layman leaves the title. Annual #2 is collected here, and unlike Annual #1 from Volume 2, this one is great stuff. Although Scot Eaton steps up to pencil instead of Fabok, it tells the story of Jane Doe, a serial killer who steals faces as well as lives, and infiltrates the GCPD until Batman enters the fray. The back-up stories in this Annual again favour the main story, but help set up the final three issue storyline here that features the titular Wrath. He's basically the Anti-Batman, and whilst his secret identity isn't particularly inspiring, the battle scenes across Gotham City as Batman and Wrath face off are spectacular.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Logan

    Pretty good! So in this story Batman fights a villain called Wrath, hes also a billionaire playboy so hes batman gone wrong, hes a bit more military style but it was interesting to see him go to head to head with batman, overall i say this was a great story!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gökberk Kaya

    I was very excited when i bought this book and when i saw the cover i got super excited but after i finished it i was dissapointed.When i first saw the book i thought Batman was going to stop a war but it was nothing a like that

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Mostly focused on the Man-Bat, and various other lesser known villains. An okay read. This could have been much better.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    I enjoyed the Man-Bat storyline, but the Wrath and Emperor Penguin storylines flatlined big-time. 3/5

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ann D-Vine

    So John Layman understands Batman. He really does. Or, at any rate, he understands the Batman formula. He gets how his villains are meant to work - perverse reflections of Bruce Wayne. He gets how his stories are meant to go - putting "detective" into "Detective Comics" yet again, a feat somewhat unparalleled when you go back and read Tony S. Daniel's work on the series. The Wrath, though. I... I didn't hate it? The art is excellent. The action is fine. I particularly enjoy the Manbat sections, i So John Layman understands Batman. He really does. Or, at any rate, he understands the Batman formula. He gets how his villains are meant to work - perverse reflections of Bruce Wayne. He gets how his stories are meant to go - putting "detective" into "Detective Comics" yet again, a feat somewhat unparalleled when you go back and read Tony S. Daniel's work on the series. The Wrath, though. I... I didn't hate it? The art is excellent. The action is fine. I particularly enjoy the Manbat sections, in which the villain's origins are turned on their head in ways that really humanize the guy (though it does come perilously close to to the tried-and-true Marvel method of just making everyone Dr. Jekly and Mr. Hyde... but whatever, it works). Manbat isn't exactly a thrillingly original or compelling character to begin with, so these tweaks to make him more suited to the New 52 are absolutely welcome. It's The Wrath, though. See, I told you Layman understands that Batman villains have to kind of reflect Batman back at himself, right? It's why we get Emperor Penguin. (The Emperor Penguin story arc finishes here, by the way. After I complained about how there was an utterly pointless cliffhanger at the end of Volume 3, the conclusion was... it was alright. Penguin and Batman sneak up on him in his mansion and smack him over the face with heavy objects. Not amazing, no, but it was about as expected, so, what are you gonna do.) So, The Wrath is this new villain who is a dark reflection of Batman. Makes sense. but he's so booooooriiiiiiiing Like... oh my god. Layman understands it maybe too much. He maybe is adhering to the formula a little too tightly. The Wrath is a darker Batman. That's who he is. He's a guy who wants to stop crime, by wearing a cool suit and a cape and using technology funded by his secret playboy millionaire lifestyle, who has a bunch of sidekicks-come-allies who are following in his footsteps. But he kills people, and Batman doesn't kill people, and Batman won't stand for this and whatever! It's so... like, I feel like Layman is making sure we're recovering from whatever it was Mr. Toxic was (A LAVA LAMP MAN WITH A SKULL FACE WHO HAS A BLACK HOLE MACHINE ACTUALLY WTF IS UP WITH THAT)... incidentally, Mr. Lightbulb Mr. Luminescent or Mr. Brightshine or whatever his name is (you know, he was one of the Penguin's hired freak weirdos with weird heads? You know the one), he's in this and he's delightful and it's so weird to see him written sort of well after Daniel sort of... wrote him as per usual. But I digress. ...yeah, okay, so it was silly and unprecedented and left a sour taste in all our mouths. But the solution is not to go so far back to the drawing board that you punch through it! The Wrath is just not engaging or unique in any way. Layman's writing, his sense of voice and characterization, the way he unfolds the action and the plot, is intact. He's an insanely competent scriptwriter, and the art team(s) back him up confidently. I just can't get over how much of a turn it is, that within the space of three volumes, we lose the daft inanity of, say, a room full of funny-headed energy people talking to the Penguin underneath his diamond casino, and now we have (at the hands of a better writer, don't get me wrong), a guy who is just Batman but meaner. Action abounds! Explosions! Punching! Guns! Manbat zombies! It's all here, but it lacks the creativity, the flow, that made Tony S. Daniel's run so entertaining in its madcap, unchecked lunacy. John Layman has proven, time and time again, that he can conjure scenarios from his mind that are memorable, ingenious, and completely out-of-left-field. The guy created Chew, for crying out loud. Wherever that injection of surrealism is, it's left Detective Comics, and it's so much blander for it. I don't like bland. I don't like competence that isn't backed up by some kind of demented passion. See, creativity, unhinged, and unchecked - unleashed irresponsibly with quality control? That, I can take. But dullness, pepped up by knowledge of the medium, storytelling coherency, and technically flawless art? It's so much less fascinating. I ended up gravitating more towards the Manbat and Mr. Bulbhead or whatever his name is sections, just because... well, The Wrath makes me groan. I dunno. It was enough to be a conduit for decent action and intrigue, if only for a few issues. I just hope it picks up, and we get something a little more manic next time. Something that shows knowledge of the tried and true Batman formula, without devoting itself entirely to it for lack of ingenuity.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Some amazing Batman adventures here; great art and talented writing. Some small issues that detracted from _my _ enjoyment: -- The volume needed a better title. The Wrath was maybe a quarter of the book. -- There was a "New-Villain-Of-The-Month" vibe going on, especially when some of the baddies came out of nowhere and returned into obscurity at the end of an issue. -- Artist fixation on two figures -- lithe-yet-busty women, and high-shoulder-to-waist-ratio men. -- Batman gets 10 seconds off-camera b Some amazing Batman adventures here; great art and talented writing. Some small issues that detracted from _my _ enjoyment: -- The volume needed a better title. The Wrath was maybe a quarter of the book. -- There was a "New-Villain-Of-The-Month" vibe going on, especially when some of the baddies came out of nowhere and returned into obscurity at the end of an issue. -- Artist fixation on two figures -- lithe-yet-busty women, and high-shoulder-to-waist-ratio men. -- Batman gets 10 seconds off-camera between issues featuring "The Scorn", yet magically has discovered the villains name and back-story. Still, a quality effort!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Jason Fabok's art is amazing. John Layman's writing is spectacular. They along with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman continue to make Batman shine as the lone bright spot of the new 52. Jason Fabok's art is amazing. John Layman's writing is spectacular. They along with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman continue to make Batman shine as the lone bright spot of the new 52.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Rush

    This really isn't what you could call "good." Mr. Layman (whose credentials are immediate grounds for trepidancy) does at least wrap up the earlier storyline before branching out on his own, but his wrap-up to the lengthyish "Emperor Penguin" story is basically "Batman fought him and lost then fought him and won." Obviously that was going to happen, since that's the typical formula, but Layman doesn't exactly make it engaging. There is a potential for cleverness, sure, with Penguin helping Batma This really isn't what you could call "good." Mr. Layman (whose credentials are immediate grounds for trepidancy) does at least wrap up the earlier storyline before branching out on his own, but his wrap-up to the lengthyish "Emperor Penguin" story is basically "Batman fought him and lost then fought him and won." Obviously that was going to happen, since that's the typical formula, but Layman doesn't exactly make it engaging. There is a potential for cleverness, sure, with Penguin helping Batman, but that twist fizzles out almost immediately, with Penguin almost stereotypically devolving from being "Gotham's Friend Penguin" to "Gotham's Secret Enemy Penguin." Could have been more, but clearly Layman wanted to get on with his storylines. I don't begrudge him this, but it is also allowable to react correctly to a displeasing situation as a reader and fan. Approximately four seconds into Layman's main storyline for his tenure in this series we grasp everything that he wants to do, and then painfully wade through three or four issues and dozens of ploddingly-obvious panels until we are finally relieved from the tedium of this "story." Again, as with so many of the New 52 Creative Teams, a potentially enjoyable idea is squandered, eviscerated, and underdeveloped (and a whole lot of other negative-sounding words). A competitor for Wayne Enterprises? A wealthy man with lots of training and a mysterious past? A costumed vigilante wreaking havoc? The GCPD duped into accepting bad gifts? Stop me if you've heard this one. At least Layman, at the conclusion of the TPB, is man enough to admit his character (totally-cleverly called "The Wrath") has the exact same origin as both the Emperor Penguin guy, Bruce Wayne, and about 3,000 other DC characters (and 2,330 Marvel characters): "dad was killed by the police or someone, now I'm wreaking vengeance and/or taking his place." Layman even goes out of his way to highlight the similarity of "The Wrath"'s origin to so many other characters. Why, then, are we to care? Why are we to find this engaging, new, fresh, meaningful, worthwhile? Fun? Somewhere in this mess is a sub-plot of a weird skinface old lady who can mimic any character and somehow turns herself into Bullock while she has him tied up and watching "himself" on the news, as she does his job even better than he ever did. She also gets some psychiatrist lady to fall in love with "him," which is a bit strange but never discussed (possibly as to avoid offending anyone except people who want quality stories and characterizations) other than once it's all straightened out the psychiatrist lady never wants to see the real Harvey. It's a bit of a mess, since the "twists and turns" have been done to death on every procedural show and sci-fi show ever (like the pilot movie of Babylon 5 and the second episode of Stargate SG-1, and the fifteen others you could think of if I gave you only 10 seconds to think about it). Blah. And, lastly and leastly, we have the other B-story, sub-plot, time-filler, life-wasting pile of cow flubdubbery having to do with Man-Bat (I think). It all begins with this suspense-generating "What is the 900?" question ... and the answer is "it's the address of an apartment where bad things happened!" Oh my. How ... totally uninteresting. Not "the 900 citizens returned by aliens" (yes, I know that's been done, too) or "the 900 complaints filed against Batman by concerned citizens" or "the 900 minutes Batman has to save Nightwing from Mr. Freeze's ice poisoning." Nope, nothing exciting at all. An address. And then it gets worse. Everyone in Gotham is turning into Man-Bats and Batman has to stop them. Typical Thursday night in Gotham City. For some reason I don't understand (and, of course, the Editor Team refuses to print any footnote cross-references so the reader can understand what is happening), all of Batman's associates are angry with him and won't answer his calls. Are they still angry about the Joker Death of the Family thing? That's just stupid if it's that. If it's some other issue/storyline I missed, why not tell me? Are you, DC TPB New 52 Editor Team, punishing me for not buying every individual issue and only reading the TPBs? This sort of pettiness certainly isn't going to encourage me to starting buying individual issues, let me tell you. And no, I'm not digressing, this is all relevant commentary on this TPB. So Batman is alone, doing his detective thing, and instead of saving the day, the real Man-Bat scientist guy drinks a magic potion, turns into Man-Bat, then Bob's your Uncle and the day is solved. Instantly. Apparently his musk turned the air into No Other Man-Bats air. We still aren't at the worst part. Man-Bat, despite being an intelligent Scientist, cannot resist the taste of Magic Man-Bat Potion, and keeps drinking it, turning into Dr. Man-Bat Hyde every night, going on killing sprees. His faithful wife, loving her man, realizes the only way to save him is by taking Magic Potion herself, to save him on his level. This is presented as a loving, heroic thing. And then Layman pummels us with Metal Sticks of Antagonism for trusting in this act of love. Soon, she becomes a Vampire Bat-Queen and starts loving going out as a killer Woman-BAt herself. Still not the worst part, though it's close. The worst part is the big "reveal" about how his faithful wife is actually a spy for The Wrath, and instead of really loving him she just was undercover and blah blah blah. Utter shash. The "act of love" was all part of her master's plan. Then she decides to turn on her real boss and just stay a Vampire Bat-Queen and we have totally lost interest in all of this, having been so horribly used by Layman during this entire sub-plot-thread. If you are upset with me for "spoiling" this for you, I suppose you would also be upset with me for pushing you out of the way of a falling flowerpot, "spoiling" for you the surprising sensation of a concussion. You're welcome. Why 2 stars, then, not just 1? Well, Layman does at least have the decency of creating some semi-recurring police characters who actually like Batman. Sure, he does give us some more "we are GCPD and we hate Batman" cops, which is one of the most inane, tiresome, ludicrous things in the history of Art (seriously, no GCPD cop should ever dislike Batman - EVER), but he does have them change their tune by the end and the new cops are mildly interesting. Such high praise, I know.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Booksinthethroneroom

    I love the man bat, and in this volume it definitely comes to his right. I think he also stood more in flashlights then the other villains that came in this comic. The wrath was very cool but he could be better and more to be scared. But still very cool. The ending pumps you up to read the next volume.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mouse

    Anybody else feel like they missed something with that beginning? So this is how Man-Bat gets born? Cause he's been in the comics for years already...so I thought y'know...that he was already Man-Bat. When Batwoman introduced the Langstroms to Batman he had no idea who they were. Zsasz-Man-Bat was pretty lame by the way and that character shows up waaay too much. How does Zsasz manage to get out of Arkham all the time? He's just a serial killer and not even a genius! Just put a straight jacket on Anybody else feel like they missed something with that beginning? So this is how Man-Bat gets born? Cause he's been in the comics for years already...so I thought y'know...that he was already Man-Bat. When Batwoman introduced the Langstroms to Batman he had no idea who they were. Zsasz-Man-Bat was pretty lame by the way and that character shows up waaay too much. How does Zsasz manage to get out of Arkham all the time? He's just a serial killer and not even a genius! Just put a straight jacket on him, put one of those Hannibal Lecter masks on him and feed him through a tube if you have to...jeesh! The art in this is pretty spectacular but the story, dialog, and the rest...not that great! Emperor Penguin is a lame character and I hope he's gone for good. It's good to see Penguin back and I did enjoy his story in the middle. Some of the other things going on in this book were just weird...felt a bit off! Who's this Harper Row person and her friend? What's with this weird Kali looking 'Penumbra' villain? Then there's some girl running around in disguise whom we don't know about and then this armored dude Wrath shows up and he's a Cop killer! Then the Red Skull shows up and monologues and shakes his fist! Then armored dude #2 shows up and goes by the name of Scorn and the Langstrom's aren't getting along too well. Harvey Bullock got played by Shapechanger Woman and tied up and forced to watch reruns of I Love Lucy! Oh...the humanity!!! At this point I don't know where the heck we are in the story cause things are all over the place!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Will Robinson Jr.

    I have to say I wish DC Comics would cut down the amount Batman books one has to follow to keep up with the continuity. So I wish I could say I didn't like this forth volume of the Batman: Detective Comics series. There is a lot to chew on in these issues here. I did really enjoy the narrative being told here from issues #19-24. We enter the story sort of bouncing between the Kirk Langstrom aka Man-Bat mystery, the short rise of the Emperor Penguin's takeover of Gotham crime and the mystery the I have to say I wish DC Comics would cut down the amount Batman books one has to follow to keep up with the continuity. So I wish I could say I didn't like this forth volume of the Batman: Detective Comics series. There is a lot to chew on in these issues here. I did really enjoy the narrative being told here from issues #19-24. We enter the story sort of bouncing between the Kirk Langstrom aka Man-Bat mystery, the short rise of the Emperor Penguin's takeover of Gotham crime and the mystery the cop killing villain, Wrath. This story reads like a newspaper strip at times giving it a consistent cliffhanger feel. I really loved following the Man-Bat killer mystery because it directly ties into the other stories and I loved how even Bruce in his heart roots for the good nature of Kirk Langstrom to win over the beast he is becoming. There are some pretty good mysteries and jaw dropping moments in this book. I am still not a fan of the Emperor Penguin character but he is starting to grow on me . I liked the Jane Doe character and the new Wrath villain was pretty cool too. I get the feeling that DC Comics is really aiming to really bring some new blood into the Bat books. The artwork was good but in a few issues could have been better. In conclusion I think this Batman is worth a look but clearly Scott Snyder's are the best.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dev

    Introducing: Scorn and Wrath. I loved the arc, but I didn't find the ending that enjoyable. Something that I've noticed lately in comics is that arcs aren't coming to a good resolution as they used to, and commonly, they end in mass destruction that, by next month, will have been forgotten or cleaned up and completely fixed before the next arc takes place. Gotham was flooded and hundreds of thousands died, but that was six issues ago, so lets just skip away from that. That may be the primary issue Introducing: Scorn and Wrath. I loved the arc, but I didn't find the ending that enjoyable. Something that I've noticed lately in comics is that arcs aren't coming to a good resolution as they used to, and commonly, they end in mass destruction that, by next month, will have been forgotten or cleaned up and completely fixed before the next arc takes place. Gotham was flooded and hundreds of thousands died, but that was six issues ago, so lets just skip away from that. That may be the primary issue I'm having with the DC New 52 right now. They are trying so hard to reinvent the wheel that they forget little things, such as all the destruction that riveted the city maybe only an issue ago. Granted, Marvel has been doing that with New York for 50 years or more. I would like to see more continuity with its partnered comics. Enough has to be enough when Batman is supposed to be doing twelve different things, plus all the action he may be doing within his own comics, and nothing gets explained or done about the destruction that entailed. Go Alfred, though! That was great.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    A bit of a mess. Lots of back-ups that explore upcoming and ongoing events or serve as epilogues to the main story. The pacing and narrative kind of felt, at times, like it was suffering from editorial demands of keeping up with other titles or Layman keeping important beats for back-ups, so the whole thing came off as a little disjointed. Also, this story featured one of the most ridiculous characters I've seen since the '90s. Liefeld would cream his jeans: a female assassin from Bruce's traini A bit of a mess. Lots of back-ups that explore upcoming and ongoing events or serve as epilogues to the main story. The pacing and narrative kind of felt, at times, like it was suffering from editorial demands of keeping up with other titles or Layman keeping important beats for back-ups, so the whole thing came off as a little disjointed. Also, this story featured one of the most ridiculous characters I've seen since the '90s. Liefeld would cream his jeans: a female assassin from Bruce's training past who projects two pairs of shadow arms that can hold all manner of deadly weapons of the Near and Far East. Ridiculous.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Roberts

    Surprisingly good. Disagree with the quote on the front that this is an all-ages story because it is not, but it is an interesting story. Annoying that each comic was not a full story but 3/4 of one and a back-up story about Man-bat. Would have been nice to not have the choppiness of this trade and have the stories flow a little better, but still enjoyable.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aron

    Outstanding! I had a great time reading this volume which collects #19-24 & annual #2. It had some Man-Bat shorts well placed here & there that were fun. But probably the biggest part of the volume went to "Wrath",...a masked, well equipped cop killer. The writing was great & the artwork was spectacular,...I think this is a great series. Outstanding! I had a great time reading this volume which collects #19-24 & annual #2. It had some Man-Bat shorts well placed here & there that were fun. But probably the biggest part of the volume went to "Wrath",...a masked, well equipped cop killer. The writing was great & the artwork was spectacular,...I think this is a great series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    This graphic novel took the fantastic characters of Wrath, Man-Bat, and Francine Langstrom and completely destroyed the characters. This is why I absolutely abhor the "New 52". This graphic novel took the fantastic characters of Wrath, Man-Bat, and Francine Langstrom and completely destroyed the characters. This is why I absolutely abhor the "New 52".

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chantay

    I'm so confused. I feel like I'm missing something, but I don't know what? I'm so confused. I feel like I'm missing something, but I don't know what?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    great art, good background..this is a good read

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Detective Comics: The Wrath picks up where the previous volume left off, collecting the next six issues (Detective Comics #19–24) of the 2011 on-going series with Detective Comics Annual #2 and covers many interconnecting one-issue stories with backups. This trade paperback has Bruce Wayne as Batman taking on various villains. It concludes the story of Ignatius Ogilvy as Emperor Penguin, tackles Mio as Penumbra from the League of Assassins, and reintroduces Elliot Caldwell as Wraith – the titular Detective Comics: The Wrath picks up where the previous volume left off, collecting the next six issues (Detective Comics #19–24) of the 2011 on-going series with Detective Comics Annual #2 and covers many interconnecting one-issue stories with backups. This trade paperback has Bruce Wayne as Batman taking on various villains. It concludes the story of Ignatius Ogilvy as Emperor Penguin, tackles Mio as Penumbra from the League of Assassins, and reintroduces Elliot Caldwell as Wraith – the titular villain. Elliot Caldwell was young when his father was gunned down by a corrupt G.C.P.D. officer and swore vengeance for his father's death and would eventually become the Wrath – a vigilante that fights the police. Additionally, there are back-up stories staring Ignatius Ogilvy as Emperor Blackgate (Detective Comics #20) and Man-Bat (Detective Comics #21–23). Detective Comics #19 is an 80-Page Special with five stories told in different perspective of the same story – more or less: Bruce Wayne as Batman, Kirk and Francine Langstrom, Bane, Mr. Combustible, and Hector Melendez. A swarm of Man-Bats darkened Gotham City's skies and it is up to these people (sans Bane) to contain and cure it. Likewise, Detective Comics Annual #2 is a collection of three stories which stars Bruce Wayne as Batman and Lieutenant Harvey Bullock. John Layman penned most of trade paperback including the back-up stories with James Tynion IV writing the Bane story for Batman #19 and Joshua Williamson who co-wrote Detective Comics Annual #2 stories. For the most part, it was written rather well. However, the problem that plagued the previous trade paperback of this series continues here: a lack of central focus, which makes reading the trade paperback a tad chaotic and gives an overall mediocre feeling. Jason Fabok (Detective Comics #19–20, 22–24), Andy Clarke (Detective Comics #19, 20–23 backups), Scot Eaton (Detective Comics #21 and Detective Comics Annual #2), Mikel Janín and Henrik Jonsson (Detective Comics #19) and Szymon Kudranski and Derlis Sanctacruz (Detective Annual #2) are the pencilers of the trade paperback. With seven different pencilers with a varied of different styles made this trade paperback hard to read as the artistic flow is wildly turbulent. All in all, Detective Comics: The Wrath is a somewhat good continuation to what would hopefully be an equally wonderful series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    Layman continues a strong run on Detective, wrapping up the Emperor Penguin storyline and introducing a new villain, the Wrath, who has some serious parallels with Bruce Wayne/Batman. Several back up stories focus on Man-Bat, who takes a leading role in the story The 900, which refers to an area in Gotham City but also reaching what would have been the 900th issue of Detective under the old numbering. Layman's not strong on characterization, but his Detective is more about the interaction between Layman continues a strong run on Detective, wrapping up the Emperor Penguin storyline and introducing a new villain, the Wrath, who has some serious parallels with Bruce Wayne/Batman. Several back up stories focus on Man-Bat, who takes a leading role in the story The 900, which refers to an area in Gotham City but also reaching what would have been the 900th issue of Detective under the old numbering. Layman's not strong on characterization, but his Detective is more about the interaction between Batman and Gotham City in all its iterations. Very little is shown of Bruce Wayne's personal life, except as it pushes the story narrative forward. In some ways it's good, because it doesn't trespass on Snyder's work over on Batman, but with just a few nods towards other events in the Bat universe, it makes Detective almost too fast paced, too action oriented. Art by Fabok is great as always, as are the backups drawn by Andy Clarke. The coloring is a bit too bland and monochromatic for me, but whatever. I guess that's how Gotham is supposed to be.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...