The Return Of Henri Ducard In Detective Comics #996
by Josh Davison
[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Alfred Pennyworth, butler to Bruce Wayne and loyal assistant to Batman, barely survived the attack at Wayne Manor. Batman himself has finished his interrogation at Arkham Asylum and has learned nothing. Damian Wayne, aka Robin, is looking after Alfred while Batman chases another lead to Paris, France. Bruce and Damian believe Henri Ducard may be seeking revenge for the death of his son, Morgan, at the hands of Damian. Is he the one who killed Dr. Leslie Thompkins and attacked Alfred?
Detective Comics #996 continues the countdown to #1000 by bringing back another actor in the creation of Batman: Henri Ducard.
He has the motivation, but the recurring creature points towards something completely different. Ducard isn’t capable of creating such things.
The reunion between Bruce and Ducard is an interesting one. Very few know Bruce Wayne is Batman, and fewer still will talk to Batman the way that Henri Ducard does.
This probably isn’t much of a spoiler (regardless, spoiler warning!) Henri Ducard isn’t the one behind this assault on Batman’s allies. In fact, the creature attacks him and Batman in the catacombs beneath Paris. Batman and Ducard are forced to team up to fight it.
We get to see more people who helped train Bruce Wayne to become Batman after this encounter, such as Sensei Kirigi and his students.
Doug Mahnke continues to dazzle with his brilliant line work, giving each panel loads of texture and detail. It’s a world that looks scarred and lived-in, and there’s not a disappointing scene in the bunch. Jaime Mendoza and Mark Irwin give the book excellent inkwork, and color artist David Baron makes sure that this is a book that has the dark shading off-set by garish coloring that marks a Batman book.
Detective Comics #996 dives deeper into the mystery of who is targeting the associates and teachers of the Batman. It seems likely that they know Bruce Wayne is Batman, and this book acknowledges it. Admittedly, this issue doesn’t really gives anymore hints, but it does take some people off the list. In any case, it’s an entertaining read and worth a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Detective Comics #996 comes to us from writer Peter J. Tomasi, artist Doug Mahnke, inkers Jaime Mendoza and Mark Irwin, color artist David Baron, letterer Rob Leigh, cover artist Mahnke with Mendoza and Baron, and variant cover artist Brian Stelfreeze.