Detective comics #958: “Intelligence Part One! Ex Machina”
Writer: James Tynion IV
Art by: Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez
Cover by: Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez
Colored by: Brad Anderson
Azrael now part of the team feels like he has found a family he can trust on and do something for the greater good, but his past will never let him go. An old friend from The Order of St. Dumas appears and pleads with Azrael to help him stop this new terror The Order has released. Jean-Paul Valley takes center stage as this new arc unfolds. Can the team work together to stop this new treat or will they fail one by one?
What you need to know: In this new arc Azrael’s past comes knocking, leaving blood and death as a trail. Will Azrael step up or fall to his knees? The Order is back and is looking to excommunicate its failures.
What you’ll find out: Kate and her team are surprised when Azrael’s past appears with warnings of what has happened. The team must gather what Intel they have of Jean-Paul Valleys past and figure out how to stop the new evil The Order of St. Dumas has unleashed. Bruce Wayne goes to visit an old friend.
What just happened? A man with a jacket and a hat walks towards Dixon Center where many civilians are waiting to enter; blood falls leaving a trail behind. Inside Lucas and Jean-Paul sit court side a basketball game. Lucas more focused on his sketch pad is told by Jean-Paul to focus on the game. Lucas states that he knows every move every player will make with his pad. As they talk, Kate walks in asking, “What did she miss?” Jean-Paul says Lucas was explaining to him the geometry of basketball. All of a sudden a figure walks onto the court calling for Azrael’s help. Jean-Paul tells Lucas to turn off all the lights in the stadium to get him out. “None of us are safe anymore.”
Docking at The New Iceberg Lounge, Bruce is speaking to Alfred on his ear piece telling him that he is looking for an old friend to give him answers. At the pier, Penguin gracefully greets Bruce Wayne and asks if he is going to play at the tables; a man is betting away everything he owes and he should join. Bruce kindly declines stating he came for a different entertainment.
The Belfry: Basil (Clay Face) and Cassandra practice play they have been rehearsing, Basil happy that Cassandra got all her lines right picks her up and tells her “Take it from one of the best, kid. You could be one hell of an actor.” Basil asks Cassandra if she knew what the play meant; silent takes the room and questions him if it was about wanting to be free. The moment is broken when the rest of the team brings in a bloody body.
Fighting to get up from the bed, Nomoz an old friend of Jean-Paul tells them to get his suit away from him; with all the commotion he faints. Confused with all that’s happening Kate asks Jean-Paul to give them answers on what is going on. He tells the team of how he was created and how he was brought up to be a solider for the Glory of God.
Back at The New Iceberg Lounge, Bruce sits at a table surrounded by criminals, even Killer Moth (Not a Threat). There next to him, a man with a red robe talks to Bruce letting him know his name is Brother Kodo. While playing, an explosion erupts and Bruce tells Brother Kodo to get behind him. Brother Kodo yelling out, “No…I thought…I thought I had more time.” looking at the fire, seeing a figure behind it. From the rubble and the fire emerges the “Glory” that The Order of St. Dumas has unleashed. “Brother Kodo. Prepare for Excommunication.”
Final Thoughts: The story picks up quickly as Azrael’s old friend appears leaving a bloody trail. Every team member has his or her voice and you can feel that it is a team. Most team books sometimes fall out of place because members are forgotten in the background; not in Detective Comics. Since he has joined the team, Basil (Clay Face) has shown his worth and in this issue you catch a different side of him. He might be one of Batman’s greatest choices. With Azrael’s past brought to light and now knowing he is obsolete, the upcoming issues are a must read. Can the team get past this new treat or will The Order prevail? Bruce’s friend was a great reveal.