Jonathan Layman’s departure from Detective Comics and DC in general, after his upcoming Batman Eternal issues, is an unfortunate one. His run on this series has been fantastic. With the aid of some fantastic artists, Detective Comics has been a consistently wonderful read. Gothtopia, his final arc, was a decent arc, but not quite as great as it could have been. Three issues was not nearly a sufficient amount of time to tell this particular story, and as a result the arc felt a tad rushed. Also, Scarecrow has appeared heavily in Batman titles in the past couple of years, which is strange considering the vast vault of villains Batman writers have at their disposal. Nevertheless, John Layman will still be missed on this title. 4/5
Anytime a reader is asked to pay almost double for an issue, it better be great. While that hasn’t been consistently true for DC’s annuals, Greg Pak and company deliver big on this issue. A fairly standalone story, Pak is able to deliver a strong plot, heavy action sequences, as well as many emotionally driven moments. Batman and Superman, as seen in the ongoing Batman/Superman series, are still not a particularly efficient duo, so it’s great that Pak brings in a strong supporting cast to add some meat to the story, without causing the story to feel chaotic. Jae Lee, Kenneth Rocafort, and Philip Tan each handle their own “Acts” in the issue, and while they all have distinct art styles, their art meshes really well together creating a gorgeous book. 4.5/5
With this being the penultimate chapter of the event, one would expect most of the pieces to start falling into place. Instead, this issue leaves readers with more questions, plot lines still left unanswered, and only one issue left to resolve everything. The big question that was meant to be resolved in this issue, will Dick Grayson live or die, was broached but ultimately left unresolved. While he technically died, it appears Luthor has plans on reviving him, so unless things go remarkably wrong, Grayson should be surviving yet another near death experience. The hooded prisoner is revealed to be Alexander Luthor, which fits in line with the widespread theory that the Crime Syndicate’s enemy is actually the Anti-Monitor, or a similar entity. The issue does have a bit of plot progression, however there isn’t enough to justify how long it has taken this series to end. 3/5
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