This week from DC Comics we get a simple story, but a story that really exemplifies the changes in Gotham City. In Detective Comics 1038 the story really boils down to a few sentences, but what happens as a result really exemplifies how things have changed post Joker War. I’m finding these changes very refreshing and it’s allowing writers to use and include characters fans love, but may not show up often.

In Detective Comics 1038, the story really boils down to one thing, Roland Worth. He blames both Batman and Bruce Wayne for the death of his daughter, and as such in on a holy war/rampage to take them both down. This may not seem like a big threat for someone like WayneBat, but Worth holds two key cards. First off the guy looks massive! He looks to be on a scale equal to a Hulk or Grundy. He may not possess fighting skills, but only one of those massive mitts needs to find its mark to do damage.

The second is the tool Wayne no longer possesses. Wealth. Roland Worth now sits as one of the most powerful businessmen in Gotham, especially with Wayne now demoted. No one stands in his way. This also shows up by how fast he got in and out of jail. Worth’s motives and goals flag the radars for other criminal elements and their interests, but I’ll come back to that.

Detective Comics 1038 – The New Reality

Honestly, though, this issue really lays out the new reality for Bruce Wayne in a way that drives his new reality home. Since his inception decades ago, Bruce Wayne sat as one of the richest men in Gotham. With that wealth came a great deal of power. This allowed him to fund his Batman activities. Bruce always had the Batcave to fall back too, or his big mansion to hole up in. Above all this made WayneBat a solitary creature. Yes, he had Alfred and an occasional Robin, but he operated and planned alone. He was a one man crime fighting machine.

Now, with his fortune gone, WayneBat cannot operate like that anymore. Worth blows up the tunnels he used as his new Batcave. I missed last issue, so I’m not sure if he actually destroyed the cave itself or just the surroundings. Either way once the fight between Batman and Worth ends, Bruce has nowhere to go. His cave is gone and his flat is the first place Worth will go to get Bruce. In this issue we find the great Bruce Wayne, the powerful Batman, crashing at Helena Bertinelli’s (aka- Huntress) apartment!

One might say how the mighty have fallen, but in so many ways I love this change. Bruce no longer has the resources to go it alone. He needs the Bat-family. He needs his allies, and extra resources. Harley played a major role in the Joker War, Oracle now plays a hybrid role between field agent and informant/coordinator, and now Huntress gives shelter to Batman. I really like how all of our Gotham vigilantes are playing bigger roles in Gotham. We are just missing a certain feline.

Detective Comics 1038 – A Lot of Loose Ends

The story arc isn’t finished, so of course there are a lot of loose ends. The problem lies in trying to figure out how these story threads will play out. First off we have Lady Clayface. Of all the villains in the rogue gallery she resides amongst the lesser used. Why bring her into this? The attack on Arkham did something to her, as did her witnessing the death of Worth’s daughter, but in this issue she melts away when Worth attacks the sewers. Is that it? Has she played her part, or doe she have some greater role yet to play?

Then we come to Hue Vile. What a name. Mr. Vile says he works with the mayor, but when he talks with Worth, he says he represents other interests. He sets up the trap with Mrs. Donovan in the sewers, but on who’s orders? The mayor? Simon Saint? Or is he representing another party (or his own) interests? He comes across as a nefarious little weasel whoever he represents.

Finally, we come to the villain that fans love, but I do not remember the last time he was a serious threat in Gotham. Sure he has exploding parasols, but when was the last time Penguin posed a serious threat? The Batgirls show up to stop him, but turn around and leave for a more serious threat. Talk about low blows. Penguin finally sees how far his stocks have fallen. He decides to make a call to Worth and throw his umbrella back in the ring. This should get real interesting going forward, especially if we remember the events of Future State.

What did you think of Detective Comics 1038? Where will this tangled mess end up? Head on over to DC Fanatics on Facebook and tell us what you think.