Batman Detective Comics, Volume 3: League of Shadows Review

Detective Comics Volume 3: League of Shadows is without a doubt an Orphan/Cassandra Cain storyline with everything else being a supportive cast, including Batman, Batwoman, Clayface and Batwing from the Batmen. Although a new mini arc, it is still a continuation of the very first issue of Rebirth Detective Comics. If you like Cassandra Cain then you’ll love this volume if not, move along…

The League of Shadows are in town led by Cassandra Cain’s mother, Lady Shiva and chased by R’as al Ghul’s League of Assassins. The LoS seems to have revolted from the LoA and al Ghul doesn’t seem to have control over them anymore, an interesting concept which makes Lady Shiva look all the more deadly – a character I haven’t seen in a book since Death in the Family.

A real nagging feature I find straight away is that Batman thought the LoS was a myth…Batman. Considering he is the World’s Greatest Detective this seems awfully farfetched, however there is a part later that suggests someone has been in Batman’s mind erasing some stuff. The premise of the story seems to be a cop-out just to get Lady Shiva involved in Tynion’s plans for Orphan, and it can be forgiven when we’re presented by the Orphan story proper.

Cassandra Cain can be difficult to write properly as she does not speak much at all, this means that one word answers and facial expressions need to be on point, and in League of Shadows they are! Tynion has made Shiva question Cassandra’s new found softness and how she avoids going for the kill. In fact, Lady shiva demonstrates to the whole Bat-family how far they are in terms of skill as they are dispatches relatively easy by the menacing League of Shadows. This gives Cassandra the chance to take the light and show her mother that she works best as a team and killing is not the answer.

While Cassandra deals with her mother, we also get a few subplots with Azrael and Batwing (this one leads to Volume 4) as well as Clayface in what quickly becomes a book absolutely ram packed with character development and excellent action scenes all drawn extraordinarily well.

Batman and Batwoman’s appearance in this volume was very restricted and sometimes the plot felt a bit uneven if a little rushed. The first part was the aforementioned blindsiding Batman suffers after Gotham is attacked by a group he thought didn’t exist. The second is how often he gets beaten up and how many duels lost throughout this book. It just doesn’t seem right that Batman has such a bad night. However, on the plus side Tynion writes Bruce Wayne much more like a human being than Tom King certainly is on the solo series. Bruce seems like a proper team player and someone who cares for the members, as evident by the ballet show (which sadly never happened) for Cassandra.

Batwoman and her issues with her father rear their head again in this volume but not as much. However, I am pleased that that part of Detective Comics finally moves forward at the end of this arc.

Tynion started something big in issue 1 and we still don’t know what exactly is coming for Gotham yet. All we know is it’s big and Red Robin saw it before he died. I am really looking forward to whatever war is coming as I feel Tynion know how to write epic clashes which involve so many characters. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want to enjoy Batman then Detective Comics is where it’s at right now.

Overall, with a strong plot, great character development and plenty of Cass Cain, League of Shadows is an excellent collection which continues a pretty fine run so far. However, some plot inconsistencies and Batman not a 100% Batman means it does fall short of top marks.




Last update on 2019-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Batman Detective Comics, Volume 3: League of Shadows
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