Warning: spoilers ahead for Detective Comics #1028!
In the latest issue of Detective Comics and the first Batman issue after the events of “Joker War“, fans get to see the Dark Knight operating in a city that seems less and less welcoming towards him. Batman can’t really blame them at the moment, as it was his money and resources that were stolen and used by Joker in order to fund and arm his massive onslaught on the city. Joker caused insane levels of terror and suffering for the people of Gotham that had never been seen before. However, this new issue does a great job of providing an open and shut case for Batman to solve requiring nothing extreme or extra: just his skills as a detective. He doesn’t even need his Batmobile in this issue, as he rides a horse instead.
In Detective Comics #1028 from writer Peter J. Tomasi with art by Nicola Scott, a not-so-headless horseman wearing the face of a cop long believed to be dead is going after and killing a group of dirty city officials one by one. Batman arrives on the scene, and despite having problems with Commissioner Bullock, Batman is able to ascertain the identity of the killer before he can strike and take out the last of the officials.
While wearing a disguise to make himself look like the deceased cop Jake Holman, the killer is revealed to be Steve, Holman’s son, seeking revenge against the corrupt officials who framed his father and forced him to kill himself. Holman Sr. tried to expose them years ago but was ultimately caught, resulting in the officials killing him and planting drugs on him to make him appear just as dirty as they secretly were. While Steve is about to kill this last official, Batman emerges from the shadows to stop him, causing Steve to try and escape on his horse. However, Batman mounts his own horse, and rides into the night to capture Steve before he can harm anyone else in his quest for vengeance.
While Batman’s choice to mount up is mostly due to the chase originating in Gotham PD’s mounted division stables, it’s humorous that this is happening right after the events of “Joker War”, where Batman resolved to dial back his production of so many high-tech and dangerous assets, lest they fall into the wrong hands. Batman will be going back to basics, but this is still probably the last crime he’ll solve on horseback for the foreseeable future.
At the end of the issue, Batman manages to apprehend the son of Jake Holman, but not before three men are killed, corrupt or not. Holman’s actions only further perpetuate tensions against vigilantism in Gotham, and Bruce sees Officer Christopher Nakano, a victim of the Joker War, announcing his intention to run for Gotham Mayor on the platform that he’ll be getting rid of vigilantes in Gotham. Things are going to start getting really hard for the Dark Knight when it comes to his public perception. As such, fans better be prepared for what’s to come, as the lighter nature of riding a horse to fight crime in the modern day might be one of the last bits of positivity they’ll get going forward as Detective Comics and Batman‘s journey continues.
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