Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 3: League of Shadows by James Tynion IV

Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 3: League of Shadows

Batman’s team of vigilantes continues to protect Gotham City in the next volume of the best-selling series, BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 3: LEAGUE OF SHADOWS!The next big DETECTIVE arc explodes here as the League of Shadows goes from mysterious rumor to deadly fact! With two new members of the team, Azrael and Batwing, will the Dark Knight’s squadron of crime-fighters be...

Title:Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 3: League of Shadows
Author:
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Edition Language:English

Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 3: League of Shadows Reviews

  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    .

    If I had to bet money on the Batman-related Rebirth series that would thrive first between James Tynion IV’s Detective Comics run and Tom King’s Batman run, I would’ve thought Tynion IV was on track to delivering the better content. While his run is still highly entertaining and generally much more intriguing than what Tom King has to offer, there just seems to be roof that his run can’t seem to burst out off in order to place a mind-blowing sto

    .

    If I had to bet money on the Batman-related Rebirth series that would thrive first between James Tynion IV’s Detective Comics run and Tom King’s Batman run, I would’ve thought Tynion IV was on track to delivering the better content. While his run is still highly entertaining and generally much more intriguing than what Tom King has to offer, there just seems to be roof that his run can’t seem to burst out off in order to place a mind-blowing story arc out in the market. Batman: Detective Comics (Volume 3) League of Shadows is the third main story arc by James Tynion IV within the Rebirth era. Collecting issues #950 to #956, the story explores one of the most well-known group of villains within the Batman universe: the league of shadows. Unfortunately, this secret organization remains a myth to the eyes of most individuals until now. Presenting us a rabid introduction of the league of shadows, James Tynion IV also places Cassandra Cain, also known as Orphan, at center stage and dives into her origin story with sheer brutality.

    Giving Orphan a voice was probably the best story-telling decision in this arc. For those of you who don’t already know, Orphan is not exactly a character that says a lot. Most of her dialogues are just a word or two long. To compensate for her lack of communication, she’s a natural dancing assassin. Every single one of her takedowns are lethal and merciless. This volume explores her personality as well as her way of life as her origin comes hunting her through a villain who matches, if not outdo, Orphan’s own viciousness: Shiva. The introduction of this Big Bad villain was pretty well done and conveys that urgent threat that is sure to come soaring into Gotham. There’s also a certain war for power that seems to surge within Shiva and one of Batman’s greatest villain, but its inclusion never felt quite poignant. In fact, after the first two issues, the story started to become very stale and uninteresting. The major problem that is presented is the Dark Knight being blackmailed for the death of an important individual and leaves everything on territory a bit less uncharted.

    What really stood out from this volume is the artwork, and not in a good way. One thing I really hate is the change of style from one issue to another, especially when there doesn’t seem to be any effort put into cohesion or transition. The first issue had the strongest artwork with Marcio Takara as the artist. Then the job shifted into the hands of Christian Duce for two consecutive issues. You’d think that things would quickly find consistency after that, but all we get is a hectic division of labour. With Christian Duce and Fernando Blanco sharing artwork duty and finally a return of Marcio Takara as lead artist for the final three issues. When the artwork becomes such an evident flaw throughout the story, you know something is wrong and that all you’ll get from it is a an obstacle that will hinder the experience of the reader. For me, the decline in quality that often arose throughout some of the later issues made me dislike the stagnant story-telling that was slowly floating to the top of this story arc.

    The artwork wasn’t this volumes forte and the story-telling felt a bit messy with multiple subplots and a rather incoherent main plot, but things don’t really find a balance with the characters either. The highlight definitely remains Orphan as James Tynion IV explores her past and her identity crisis throughout this volume. The arrival of Shiva launches Orphan on an even more complicated path as she tries to understand why Shiva does what she does. I did however enjoy all the analogies and development that was put into Cassandra Cain’s character. Unfortunately, while she does start and end strong, there still seemed to be some very hazy and blunt moments regarding her character in the middle. Nothing however compares to how atypical Batman seemed throughout this story arc. In fact, Batman never seemed to be any steps ahead of anything. He was lost and everyone managed to surprise him in ways that only Batman should be able to do. The only upside I saw from his character was his psychological support for Cassandra Cain, but sometimes, even that felt off; maybe just out of the blue.

    While the artwork sometimes had some pretty original moments (see that moment where it shifts into landscape), there was a steep decline in quality throughout most of those middle issues that really killed any vibe the story wanted to convey. Batman: Detective Comics (Volume 3) League of Shadows however remains fun and interesting as it explores so many characters at the same time. I do love it when two members of the team would have their own moment and have their chemistry developed in an instant (i.e. Batwing and Azrael with the whole science versus religion/faith dialogue, even if it wasn’t exactly part of the main story). Speaking of things that weren’t part of the main storyline, the first issue is an oversize anniversary special and includes a couple of mini-stories, including one that serves as a nice little unexpected teaser to DC’s next huge Batman-related event (Dark Nights: Metal). In the end, this third volume remains a nice Orphan-centric story that unleashes a bunch of different new threats for future volumes to explore. Fans will want to stick around as James Tynion IV will surely have something up his sleeves in volume 4.

    Yours truly,

    Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer

    Official blog:

  • Dan

    Tynions series is great!

    Not only does Tynion make stories that are better and less convoluted than the flagship title (Batman), but he also has a way of making side characters I could otherwise care less about matter.

  • Luke Sims-Jenkins

    HELL YES!

    While Batman flounders, Detective Comics flourishes!

    It was only a matter of time before the focus finally went to Cassandra Cain who is be far my favourite DC character! So I had high hops for this one and they were exceeded. The League of Shadows have struck and soon every member of Team Batman is taken down by the badass that is Lady Shiva. Everyone that is except Cassandra Cain the Orphan! James Tynion IV did my fave justice and issues 955 and 956 had me jumping with glee

    What I love

    HELL YES!

    While Batman flounders, Detective Comics flourishes!

    It was only a matter of time before the focus finally went to Cassandra Cain who is be far my favourite DC character! So I had high hops for this one and they were exceeded. The League of Shadows have struck and soon every member of Team Batman is taken down by the badass that is Lady Shiva. Everyone that is except Cassandra Cain the Orphan! James Tynion IV did my fave justice and issues 955 and 956 had me jumping with glee

    What I love about this book is not just the wonderful characterisations of the Bat Family and the action packed stories, but the mysteries and the seeds that get planted and will grow over future issues. By the end of this arc Jame Tynion IV teases you with some of the things the group will come up against and I cannot wait!

    The arc had a couple of artists, but I'd like to single one out, Marcio Takara whose energetic and gritty fight scenes were just jaw dropping. Just look at one of the splash pages in 955, you'll know it when you see it.

  • James DeSantis

    This is right around a 3.5. I think Detective Comics remains engaging and fun throughout it's series run though the best part is still the first arc for me. This one brings in the league of shadows. For some odd reason Batman believes they aren't real. Then we find out why he believes that. Then we have some side story with Batwing and Clayface which is entertaining but feels like a afterthought. The main event is Cassandra and her life as Orphan.

    What I liked: Anything to do with Cass is GREAT.

    This is right around a 3.5. I think Detective Comics remains engaging and fun throughout it's series run though the best part is still the first arc for me. This one brings in the league of shadows. For some odd reason Batman believes they aren't real. Then we find out why he believes that. Then we have some side story with Batwing and Clayface which is entertaining but feels like a afterthought. The main event is Cassandra and her life as Orphan.

    What I liked: Anything to do with Cass is GREAT. The moments of quietness for the character really help grow her. I also love any fight scenes with her because she's the most vicious fighter on the team. Add on the fact her relationship with different people is always interesting. I also like Batwomen alot in here, she came across most relatable here. Also thought Clayface was adorable here, as he is becoming one of my favorite characters.

    What I didn't like: Batman's plot felt uneven. I also felt Batman was kind of dumb? Like he just seemed to be surprised and confused at everything. Also his reaction with the mayor felt offbeat. I also still don't care about Batwomen's father. So anything with him was mehish. The art seemed to be pretty bad at certain points too.

    Overall Detective Comics is still a must read for Batman fans. I think it balances a lot of characters pretty wall. Also the character growth of people like Cass make it well worth reading for fans of the character.

  • Ken Moten

    This I have actual read volume 1 of

    , but this one is the one I want to review first. This is the "Batman Team book" of DC Comics right now and it is a very interesting book. I did not read this series at first, but the buzz over it got the better of me. The story is good, but depending on how you look at it, shows one of the weak-points of the Rebirth project in-general. The tendency to redo pre-

    stories only works if they can stand on their own.

    The focus on t

    This I have actual read volume 1 of

    , but this one is the one I want to review first. This is the "Batman Team book" of DC Comics right now and it is a very interesting book. I did not read this series at first, but the buzz over it got the better of me. The story is good, but depending on how you look at it, shows one of the weak-points of the Rebirth project in-general. The tendency to redo pre-

    stories only works if they can stand on their own.

    The focus on this story is Cassandra Cain, the Batgirl during the early 2000s. I plan to review the second volume of that run soon, but this run has her under her pre-Batgirl codename: Orphan. We see her backstory get established and it comes back to haunt her and her team as very terrifying mother comes calling.

    This story is a composite story of her two original storylines as Batgirl. The thing is, if you do not know this, then this story feels a little out of nowhere. This is one of the few blind-spots of

    . If I had not been reading

    's run on the character concurrently, I would have been lost through half of the story. Beyond that, it is a good story and because it did not introduce her father yet (oh boy) it can be revisited in the future.

  • Chelsea

    *** Received an ARC review via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***

    4.5 stars.

    So, this volume centers around Rebirth! Cassandra Cain and her meeting with Shiva.

    So, I’ll get the negatives out of the way upfront: (1) This is not my favorite art. Something about it just isn’t as pleasing to the eye, to me. (2) I’m still majorly bummed that this version of Cass is not Bruce’s daughter. This version of Bruce is wary of her and she chose to name herself after David Cain, something Cass woul

    *** Received an ARC review via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***

    4.5 stars.

    So, this volume centers around Rebirth! Cassandra Cain and her meeting with Shiva.

    So, I’ll get the negatives out of the way upfront: (1) This is not my favorite art. Something about it just isn’t as pleasing to the eye, to me. (2) I’m still majorly bummed that this version of Cass is not Bruce’s daughter. This version of Bruce is wary of her and she chose to name herself after David Cain, something Cass would never do because her father was an abusive prick. Sigh. (3) All of Cass’ portions are told through narratives and boxes because she barely speaks because they regressed her. While I liked the choice to use movement and art to tell her story, i’m still not pleased with these choices as a whole. (4) There’s another fade to black scene when Shiva’s fighting. Why?

    Onward!

    I loved that they gave us more of Cassie and ballet. I loved her sneaking into the studio to learn and watch the dancers! She's fascinated by people using body language to create art and not pain. I also loved Cass using the dance moves to inspire her fighting style. It was heartbreaking to see Cass unable to communicate with Harper even though she so badly wants to. This friendship remains interesting to me.

    I liked seeing Bruce's proud little smile when he’s talking about Cass. Bruce admits Cass would beat him. Batwoman worries about her. Bruce also talks about them taking her out to see ballet. Again, wish she was still his adoptive daughter but this was cute to see. I also really liked the relationship between Cass and Basil.

    Shiva has always been a very dynamic character. Watching Cass go through this situation where her mother, who she’s been dreaming of meeting, tells her she’s not worthy was heartbreaking. As were the flashbacks of her father’s abuse.

    So, when you separate Cass’ superior history (had to say it) and just appreciate this as a story for an entirely separate character, it’s pretty interesting. If I didn’t have the context of her past incarnation, I would probably love this even more. As it stands on its own, it’s pretty moving. Cass is a little more trusting of others, especially considering the scene with Claire, the dancer. I loved their interactions and I really hope Cass stays in touch with her.

    The crux of this story is Cass’ relationship with autonomy. While it isn’t as progressive as Puckett’s run, it does obtain some autonomy for Cass. She discerns, from a story read to her, that she can choose her own destiny. Not fighting to kill doesn’t make her weak: it makes her strong. She defines who she is; not her father and not Bruce. It does make me question whether they’ll let her have a real code name after this. Orphan. Especially after David Cain makes no sense at all.

    I’m still a little fuzzy as to what Shiva’s goal were but the ending was satisfactory.

    My daughter is a total badass!!

    There’s a short interlude with Luke and Azazel that surprised me. I was actually charmed by it and want to see more of them working together. I love the idea of an atheist/agnostic scientist that trusts in logic and reason working with a religious person. They have an interesting chemistry and I hope to see more of it in the future.

    The end with Tim kind of served no purpose other than to hint, once again, at the war coming.

    So, in some ways, this was probably the strongest, well put together arc of the series. I say that not just because I love Cass and it focused on her but because it had a beginning, middle and end and by focusing more on one character, it felt more cohesive. Still bummed that this version do Cass speaks in sentence fragments and isn’t Bruce’s adoptive daughter and the Batfam’s adoptive sister. However, as I said, if I remove that context, it’s a very powerful story.

  • Rory Wilding

    At the beginning of DC Rebirth, both Tom King and James Tynion IV were putting new spins the Bat-mythos with their respected runs of

    and

    . Based on their first volumes, Tynion’s Detective was more ambitious in making it more about the sense of family with Bruce Wayne pairing up with his cousin Kate Kane/Batwoman to recruit a team of vigilantes that would protect Gotham. However, it’s been over a year since DC did their big relaunch and although the Dark Knight Detective wi

    At the beginning of DC Rebirth, both Tom King and James Tynion IV were putting new spins the Bat-mythos with their respected runs of

    and

    . Based on their first volumes, Tynion’s Detective was more ambitious in making it more about the sense of family with Bruce Wayne pairing up with his cousin Kate Kane/Batwoman to recruit a team of vigilantes that would protect Gotham. However, it’s been over a year since DC did their big relaunch and although the Dark Knight Detective will always come out on top, every subsequent installment from this run fails to stay strong.

  • Wing Kee

    3.5.

    World: The art is dark and brooding and it does work well for a Batman book, that being said I did find it a bit too muddy during action sequences to really see what was going on. The world building is solid, it comes from all the Batman books and the past which is good cause I guess that stuff all happened even in the New52. The focus in characters is also great. The pieces at play and the larger picture really makes a good stage for future books.

    Story: Paced alright but I did find the di

    3.5.

    World: The art is dark and brooding and it does work well for a Batman book, that being said I did find it a bit too muddy during action sequences to really see what was going on. The world building is solid, it comes from all the Batman books and the past which is good cause I guess that stuff all happened even in the New52. The focus in characters is also great. The pieces at play and the larger picture really makes a good stage for future books.

    Story: Paced alright but I did find the dialogue a bit much and sometimes fairly redundant. I also found the emotions to be a bit fragmented and unearned especially the ballerina stuff. I love that this is a Cassandra story, she's important to Batman lore and her run in the 2000s was great and it was such a shame of what happened to her during the New52. This is the new origin and her being still tied to Shiva is perfect. Tying use League of Shadows even better. The cast was a but too big though as I've found with this book so I think more time with Cass and Shiva would have been better. The end was good leaving the stage set for more. Solid, this teams best arc yet.

    Characters: I love Cass and her story and her struggles and I wish we had more time with her. I kinda wish the Detective Comics book was able to pull away from the team and have more small intimate street level stories and character stories for each of them. Make this series an anthology for the Bat family. Okay sidetracked but yeah Cass is good. I just want more. The rest of the cast had little development this arc and pretty much acted as they do. The Colony stuff so still iffy to me and making Kate have that relationship with Dad is not something I'm enjoying.

    It was the best arc so far, Hey DC I wonder if you'll do what I suggested with this book.

    Onward to the next book!

    *read individual issues*

  • Jimmy

    DC Comics has several series on Batman running at the same time and Detective Comics is one of the longest running series not only in DC Comics’ history but also in comic history in general. This volume collects Detective Comics issues #950-956. Here it focuses on Batman fighting a villainous group called the League of Shadows.

    One of the things that I noticed in this volume is how this is more of a story focused on a team rather than just Batman the solo hero. We see an array of characters and s

    DC Comics has several series on Batman running at the same time and Detective Comics is one of the longest running series not only in DC Comics’ history but also in comic history in general. This volume collects Detective Comics issues #950-956. Here it focuses on Batman fighting a villainous group called the League of Shadows.

    One of the things that I noticed in this volume is how this is more of a story focused on a team rather than just Batman the solo hero. We see an array of characters and sidekicks from Batwoman, Robin, Nightwing, etc. The story began with readers meeting Cassandra Cain, a lady who is behind the hero named “Orphan.” In fact much of the story is directly tied to her origin and background as readers will soon discover. She’s a character that is rather new to me and I thought the first issue with her talking about her upbringing by her father to become an assassin and how she has problem communicating was interesting for this is a story of a hero who is troubled, flawed and she knows it. There’s an element to the way the writer and artist presenting her inner thoughts that makes it more believable and invokes empathy for the character. I really found the character Cassandra Cain compelling and a strong lead in this volume. First off she’s stronger than Batman and even Batman admits in the story that she can kill Batman. Secondly she’s someone who was raised in a worldview that is completely opposite of that of Batman in which she is trained to murder at a whole different level of fighting than the rest of the villains and heroes in the story but you see her living out what Batman believes in not taking a human life. Of course to hold to Batman’s value as her own she inevitably clashes with the ghosts of her past which becomes incarnate so to speak when the league of shadows emerges and eventually lead Cassandra to face her own mother.

    From the previous paragraph I hope it is evident that I enjoyed the story in this work. At the same time I felt there were some drawbacks. For a work on Batman this has way too many sidekicks than what I’m used to. It felt somewhat crowded. Which might not be a problem for other heroes and superheroes but there’s something to Batman that is rather aloof even when he has others helping him. Having so many sidekicks seem to also pull away from the Cassandra Cain storyline which seems to be the main thing in the volume. Also I thought there were times where the story got a little bit unbelievable even for a world of DC Comics superhero. There are moments where various members in Batman’s team get severely injured only for them to somehow get freed and back in action right away. Now I know it is not real life and it is just comics but the writer and artist has it as their intention to describe how lethal the enemies are and how much devastation they can cause but it was rather distracting and took away from their emphasis on the powerful attacks and coordination of the enemy when Batman’s sidekicks could just somehow be in the fight so quickly and at times without explanation how they got themselves back together. Also I felt this story presupposes a lot of what went on before in volume one; I had to go back to volume one to situate what is going on in volume three and I’m not sure if I needed to know what’s in volume two for the story to be more complete (I happen to have not read volume two). I wished maybe perhaps in the beginning of the book it could have told us where it was picking up from or filling in some of the details in summary form in the same way Batman volume one and two did in the New 52 series.

  • Will Robinson Jr.

    James Tynion continues to show what a great super hero team book is all about. In each volume we dive more into what makes the Bat family tick.

    focused more on Tim Drake and Batman's second in command of the Bat Family unit, Batwoman.

    focused more on Spoiler and Clayface . In this volume we get to learn more about Cassandra Cain aka Orphan. I have to admit I have a soft spot for Cassandra

    James Tynion continues to show what a great super hero team book is all about. In each volume we dive more into what makes the Bat family tick.

    focused more on Tim Drake and Batman's second in command of the Bat Family unit, Batwoman.

    focused more on Spoiler and Clayface . In this volume we get to learn more about Cassandra Cain aka Orphan. I have to admit I have a soft spot for Cassandra Cain. Many a Batman fan has told me her run as Batgirl was incredible. Tynion does a good job not only capturing the voice of Cain but also the books tone has changed to match the character's psyche. I really enjoyed this book. The villain, Lady Shiva, had some exciting scenes and I really enjoyed her back and forth with Orphan. The artwork was a bit sketchy and not that great in some issues, but ultimately it was the story that won me over. Sometimes I wish I collected this series instead of the Tom King Batman. I am not saying King's Batman book is bad it is just Tynion's book is more fun. I really loved the set up for the coming Dark Days and Dark Nights Metal event. Having the flashback with Tim Drake was a nice touch at the back end of the book. The Batman creative team continues to give us some of the best Batman stories around.


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