Monday, July 7, 2014

Detective Comics [The Black Mirror] by Scott Synder issue #877

"Every time you try to get some purchase, the city changes beneath you, surprising you in terrible ways. So why try? I can't help it though. I'm built differently. There's something about Gotham from the sky that energizes me, gives me hope, if only for a moment before I come back down to earth." ~ Dick Grayson, issue #876 

This all feels familiar by now. Just like in The Black Mirror three-issued arc, Dick Grayson's Batman finds himself trapped again for the second time here in Hunger City part II but with it's a less dangerous scenario and one that I know he will escape from anyway even when it ended as a cliffhanger in the last issue. Dick gets to have witty monologues as he catapults out of the trap and captures Bixby Rhodes, an arms dealer who fancies himself with the name Roadrunner because why not. He had a set of mechanical legs, apparently, which Dick casually steps in when Rhodes gives him a lecture about Metropolis being more intimidating with the criminal element because a god (read: Superman) practically walks its streets. Meanwhile, Gotham only has Batman who is still a man nonetheless underneath the cowl. How arrogant is that? Well, Dick handles it professionally and with good taste, but it turns out Rhodes doesn't really have that much connection with the whale carcass and the dead woman inside.

This issue had its moments but certainly not one that was engrossing like the previous ones. I really have nothing else to say about the story because that would give the game away some more so I'd like to talk about character interactions now, particularly between Dick and Sonia Birch (Zucco). As I've previously mentioned, Sonia's father is the mob boss who had Dick's parents killed during one of their acrobatic acts. There's an understandable discomfort that should stem from this but I must say, Dick is handling himself with good grace but I do get the sense that he's drawn to Sonia for that reason and Red Robin (Tim Drake) was quick to point out that he may be attracted to her. Um, foreshadowing? I'm not sure. I wouldn't mind that kind of angle because Dick is such a sweetie that him having a love interest, even a half-baked one at that, might be interesting to see play out, especially with the given history. 

For some reason, my gut tells me to believe in Sonia. I do believe she wants to stop being associated with her father's infamous legacy. There's this great two-paged spread where Sonia talks about how sometimes our fathers' shadows are larger than we'd like. I wonder if Dick thought about Bruce then. I had a feeling that he might have had. Though we never really get characters talk about Bruce Wayne in the story, you do feel that emptiness that is so strong that putting it in words wouldn't do it justice at all.

In any case, this second installment of Hunger City wraps up quite nicely for the last part which should have more action and substance to it, hopefully. I think Jim did ask Dick to meet James Jr. just to get a read on him so I think that's something we should look forward to. This issue had an even pacing but nothing that remarkable, plot-wise. After his conversation with Sonia, Dick follows a new trail and this time around it's the man who did murder that woman and put her inside a killer whale.


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