The Reaper Returns In Detective Comics Annual #2

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Things seem to be calm in Gotham City for the moment. The worst offender on the streets is the Eraser, and the Caped Crusader brings him in with ease. However, an old foe from the Black Casebook pops up in Europe, and this gives the Batman and Bruce Wayne a reason to head to Greece. For Bruce Wayne, it’s a conference for the wealthiest people in the world; for Batman, it’s a chance to bring down the Reaper, a vigilante with a penchant for lethal justice. The Reaper used to operate out of Gotham, so it makes the killer a Batman problem.

Detective Comics Annual #2 cover by Guillem March
Detective Comics Annual #2 cover by Guillem March

Detective Comics Annual #2 finds our Dark Knight on a mission in Greece to investigate the return of an old foe. The story is, thankfully, standalone, beginning and ending within the Annual.
Even with that detail aside, Detective Comics Annual #2 feels quite robust. It introduces (or re-introduces) the Reaper, gives us the history of the character, and the Batman goes after them in Europe.
There is a kinetic flow in both the story structure and the visuals. The comic feels almost constantly in motion, only stalling for the odd moment of exposition.
For those not familiar with the Reaper character (like myself), the Phantasm from Batman: The Animated Series was loosely based upon the Reaper, though the backstory is a bit different.
Detective Comics Annual #2 art by Travis Moore, Max Raynor, Tamra Bonvillain, Nick Filardi, and letterer Rob Leigh
Detective Comics Annual #2 art by Travis Moore, Max Raynor, Tamra Bonvillain, Nick Filardi, and letterer Rob Leigh

Travis Moore and Max Raynor’s artwork serves the comic brilliantly from beginning to end. The fight scenes are cathartic and impactful, there are a number of gorgeous splash pages, and the Reaper’s costume looks fantastic in this book. Tamra Bonvillain and Nick Filardi’s color art is beautifully balanced and vibrant.
Detective Comics Annual #2 is an excellent read which finds the Batman clashing with a lethal vigilante with a history deeply-rooted within Gotham City. It’s intense, kinetic, and fun, and it earns a strong recommendation. Give it a read.
Detective Comics Annual #2 comes to us from writer Peter J. Tomasi, artists Travis Moore and Max Raynor, color artists Tamra Bonvillain and Nick Filardi, letterer Rob Leigh, and cover artist Guillem March.
Final Score: 9/10

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