Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Detective Comics by Benjamin Percy issue #36

I read and finished Terminal (issues #35 and #36) last night with ease because it was only composed of two issues after all; and yet it was certainly a self-contained story that I will never forget and I therefore want you to experience it yourself. It wasn't even about Batman at all. He just happened to be there. To some, this would defeat the purpose of reading a Detective Comics issue where the Dark Knight himself was not a main character but rather a set piece.

However, I found this story arc a refreshing break from all the crossovers, tedious major arcs, and self-replicating drama that a lot of DC's titles are currently operating on for New 52.

Terminal stands out immediately because it was nothing I would ever expect to read right now in DC, mainly because superhero comic books are so concerned with continuity and action-packed sagas that it's no wonder that this medium still alienates someone who may be interested in comics but are easily overwhelmed by the mass of titles and worlds they had to sift through. Terminal is a good example of a self-contained arc in a comic book that can be readily consumed, and appreciated for its resonant message. It wants us to examine our lives in a larger context which is a pretty nice touch.

All of us can get lost in the chaos of our own lives as well as the chaos of the fictional characters and world we are heavily invested in. This story reminded me why we even do it; why we even bother as lovers of prose, literature and art.

I've been dutifully reviewing a lot of Batman titles and their individual issues in the last six months and I admit that even I get short-sighted, impatient and exhausted in between reading and reviewing. Often, when I come across Bat-stories that piss me the fuck off (there have been more than a couple), I want to rage-quit my way out of them. Sometimes I even wonder what's the point of writing reviews especially when I just do it to please myself. I know it sounds overly melodramatic and slightly shallow to complain about my own self-imposed comics diet. But hey, this has already been a six-month routine and once in a while I'm allowed to get sick about it.

Therefore Terminal became a brief salvation. I began to reflect on the spot about what I've accomplished in the last six months which not only includes reading and reviewing comic books for my own personal leisure. I began to understand my motivations for doing so a lot clearer than before. And it scared me with a relief that's unimaginable. It's always gratifying when a work of fiction can heal you in some ways, isn't it?

There are layers to this two-issued story that will delight, upset and truly make you think. I can recommend this to anyone, and not necessarily a Batman fan or an average comic book reader. It's just a good story with a timely message, illustrated with painstaking detail and simple elegance. Terminal is something you really should try picking up for yourself. I can guarantee that it will get to you too. Just look at these narrative boxes:

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