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Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina

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The Dark Knight teams with his fellow Gotham City vigilantes to protect their hometown in the newest volume of this hit graphic novel series in BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 4! The next big DETECTIVE arc is here! Stephanie Brown wants nothing more than to save Gotham City from the epidemic of costumed vigilantes and madmen who regularly tear the city apart. But before she c The Dark Knight teams with his fellow Gotham City vigilantes to protect their hometown in the newest volume of this hit graphic novel series in BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 4! The next big DETECTIVE arc is here! Stephanie Brown wants nothing more than to save Gotham City from the epidemic of costumed vigilantes and madmen who regularly tear the city apart. But before she can try to stop them, she must face the challenge of one in particular: the insane the Wrath is back, and Stephanie knows what he has planned—but she refuses to let Batman risk more lives to stop him. That means it’s all on her…and a very unlikely ally! From writer James Tynion IV (BATMAN/TMNT) and the spectacular art team of Eddy Barrows (NIGHTWING) and Alvaro Martinez (BATMAN ETERNAL) comes the fourth volume of the return of DETECTIVE COMICS! Collects DETECTIVE COMICS #957-962.


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The Dark Knight teams with his fellow Gotham City vigilantes to protect their hometown in the newest volume of this hit graphic novel series in BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 4! The next big DETECTIVE arc is here! Stephanie Brown wants nothing more than to save Gotham City from the epidemic of costumed vigilantes and madmen who regularly tear the city apart. But before she c The Dark Knight teams with his fellow Gotham City vigilantes to protect their hometown in the newest volume of this hit graphic novel series in BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 4! The next big DETECTIVE arc is here! Stephanie Brown wants nothing more than to save Gotham City from the epidemic of costumed vigilantes and madmen who regularly tear the city apart. But before she can try to stop them, she must face the challenge of one in particular: the insane the Wrath is back, and Stephanie knows what he has planned—but she refuses to let Batman risk more lives to stop him. That means it’s all on her…and a very unlikely ally! From writer James Tynion IV (BATMAN/TMNT) and the spectacular art team of Eddy Barrows (NIGHTWING) and Alvaro Martinez (BATMAN ETERNAL) comes the fourth volume of the return of DETECTIVE COMICS! Collects DETECTIVE COMICS #957-962.

30 review for Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. After a slightly messy and tumultuous story arc, James Tynion IV comes back strong with Batman: Detective Comics (Volume 4) Deus Ex Machina. Collecting issues #957 to #961, this volume kicks things off with a quick reminder of Spoiler’s solo adventure and then dives into a solid and well-executed story around Jean-Paul Valley, also know as Azrael, as well as Zatanna. While there has yet to be an update on the subject, issue #962 is actually the You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. After a slightly messy and tumultuous story arc, James Tynion IV comes back strong with Batman: Detective Comics (Volume 4) Deus Ex Machina. Collecting issues #957 to #961, this volume kicks things off with a quick reminder of Spoiler’s solo adventure and then dives into a solid and well-executed story around Jean-Paul Valley, also know as Azrael, as well as Zatanna. While there has yet to be an update on the subject, issue #962 is actually the finale to the Intelligence story arc, but seems to have been excluded so far in the collected edition’s blurb. I doubt this is an intentional and cleverly thought-out marketing ploy by DC Comics since you’d be left with no closure and a huge cliffhanger if you end things at issue #961; the logical way to go will be to include issue #962, the final part of Intelligence into this trade paperback. In this volume, James Tynion IV explores the lore behind Azrael and his infamous sword and armour as science bursts through the front gates of religion. Reinventing Azrael by adding a technological explanation to the sword and suit of Azrael in order to explain his radical beliefs and his enhanced combat, James Tynion IV brings forth an original story that blends science and religion in a very riveting compound. The story is also enhanced with a touch of magic and nice past and present narrative as Zatanna is finally introduced into this universe. I can’t explain how glad I am that this story arc finally does justice to James Tynion IV’s potential. With the aid of Batwing, a good friend to Jean-Paul Valley, but also a mastermind whenever it comes down to technology and science, the story was able to illustrate an intriguing advancement in artificial intelligence. The introduction of a brand new villain who quickly shatters the peace that embodied Jean-Paul Valley helped also pushes the story’s intrigue to new heights, while simultaneously exploring new territory regarding Azrael’s character and a bunch of throwback Easter eggs to his origin story. However, this volume doesn’t solely focus on Azrael and the new threat that has risen from the dark. Batman also gets a sub-plot with one of DC’s most interesting characters: Zatanna. Without ever being jarring, this story line intertwines with the whole volume beautifully and further explores the complex relationship between both Batman and Zatanna. In fact, I believe my favourite part of this story arc lies in its mystical aroma. Although there’s artificial intelligence, strange creatures, magic, religion and science, they are all blended together in perfect harmony. I loved how the story strives in a world that doesn’t usually rhyme with Gotham City and yet still manages to perspire as a Batman/Detective Comics story arc. The little plot twists and surprises thrown into this adventure, whether to prepare for something that is soon to happen within this series or to relate it to something that is much bigger in the DC universe, were done with great precision and timing as well. In fact, speaking of surprises, this volume, apart from the first issue that focuses on Spoiler (Stephanie Brown) which enlightens us on her new goal as a solo vigilante, every other issue part of the Intelligence story arc is drawn, penciled and colored by the same artists. Alvero Martinez (pencils), Raul Fernandez (inks) and Brad Anderson (colours) do an excellent job in maintaining a consistent and excellent artwork and giving this volume an identity that it can proudly broach about. I’ll always prefer having the same creative team behind a story arc than a bunch of different artists whose artworks never really blend together and would more often than not vary in quality, from mediocre to excellent. It is such a pleasure to be able to enjoy good artwork with this fantastic writing. Batman: Detective Comics (Volume 4) Deus Ex Machina is definitely the best volume so far in this series. It was about time that James Tynion IV was finally able to release a story arc that truly highlights his talents and excellent artwork that did justice to every single character and brought life to the mystical and technological beings of this world. While the first issues, The Wrath of Spoiler, was completely random standing beside the main story arc, Intelligence, it was a nice little reminder of the existence of that ex-member of the Bat family and how things have heavily changed for her, especially her perception of Batman and what he’s done to Gotham. I also liked that that particular issue showcased a villain that was initially introduced in volume 4 of the New 52 Detective Comics run. I’m pretty sure the coincidence was intentional, and it definitely a fun one, to say the least. Intelligence then takes matters into its own hands and delivers a magnificent and creative story featuring characters who have yet to be truly explored in DC Comics: Zatanna and Azrael. It was only a question of time before we’d finally get something well worth our while. Action-packed, cleverly written and beautifully drawn, Intelligence is a story arc that does everything you’d want in this Rebirth series. Yours truly, Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: https://bookidote.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    This is probably the weakest arc in detective comics so far. Saying that this isn't all bad. The first issue starts with Spoiler. Stephanie is not taking Tim's death well. She decides to be a hero without being a "superhero". Meaning she'll save people but give the cops full credit and act like she was never there. The rest of the volume focuses mostly on Azurla (or however spell his dumbass name) and also Batman and Zatanna going to the past and speaking of how they were once friends and the se This is probably the weakest arc in detective comics so far. Saying that this isn't all bad. The first issue starts with Spoiler. Stephanie is not taking Tim's death well. She decides to be a hero without being a "superhero". Meaning she'll save people but give the cops full credit and act like she was never there. The rest of the volume focuses mostly on Azurla (or however spell his dumbass name) and also Batman and Zatanna going to the past and speaking of how they were once friends and the secrets it all holds. The ending comes down to a big battle that finally reveals some secrets to Batman that he needed to know. Good: As always the art is pretty good. I had no issues here, especially the fight scenes becoming better and better. I also enjoyed Batman and Zatanna conversations throughout all this. I liked the first issue as well with Stephanie to get a whole issue of her. Last but not least the ending sets up some exciting future things to come. Bad: Azareal or whatever is so lame. I'm sorry, he just is. I feel no pity for him in this arc, and I feel no attachment, and sadly this whole volume really focuses on him. So it's the least appealing in terms of what came before. I also think they could do so much more with the cast here where's previous volumes used them well they felt like plot devices here. Overall this arc was around a 2.5 but due to the ending and first issue I'll bump it to a 3. It's not as good as volume 1-2 but I believe we'll get back to greatness now that a certain someone seems to be returning. A 3 out of 5 right now!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    While the book mainly focuses on Azrael and the Rebirth version of the Order of St. Dumas, there are a lot of great character moments which I think are the strength of the book. The scenes between Batman and Zatanna are gold, I'd love to see more. Cassandra and Clayface reciting Shakespeare was very interesting, especially so since Cassandra barely talks. Clayface is quickly turning into one of my favorite characters in the book. I hope he doesn't revert to his former villainous self anytime soo While the book mainly focuses on Azrael and the Rebirth version of the Order of St. Dumas, there are a lot of great character moments which I think are the strength of the book. The scenes between Batman and Zatanna are gold, I'd love to see more. Cassandra and Clayface reciting Shakespeare was very interesting, especially so since Cassandra barely talks. Clayface is quickly turning into one of my favorite characters in the book. I hope he doesn't revert to his former villainous self anytime soon. Finally we get a solo issue featuring Spoiler and her new mission. I found it interesting. Alvaro Martinez's art is quite good and it was nice to have the same artist on the entire story. Received an advance copy from Dc and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Wow! This volume was truly wonderful! Surprisingly, I really liked the storyline between Ascalon and Azrael. Jean Paul has really grown on me as a character and his relationship with Luke is awesome! I can't believe Luke made him a suit without telling Jean Paul about it! I really love how supporting they are of each other. I also enjoyed Zatanna in this one! She's a character I haven't read much of but I always love when she shows up. She was even more powerful than I expected and this volume su Wow! This volume was truly wonderful! Surprisingly, I really liked the storyline between Ascalon and Azrael. Jean Paul has really grown on me as a character and his relationship with Luke is awesome! I can't believe Luke made him a suit without telling Jean Paul about it! I really love how supporting they are of each other. I also enjoyed Zatanna in this one! She's a character I haven't read much of but I always love when she shows up. She was even more powerful than I expected and this volume surprised me quite a bit. It was interesting that Batman truly took a backseat for this volume. Unfortunately Clay Face and Cass are pretty much just here to fight and that's about it. Presumably because Cass' arc took place last volume and they still haven't gone that far into an arc with Clay Face. I'm sure that's coming. All in all, A+ here. This is the one series I'll keep reading as we go further into this year because Super Sons and Batwoman were cancelled and those were the only DC books I had on my pull list. I've been trade waiting Detective Comics and I wish I'd started when it was just starting out so I didn't have to wait for the next trade. 5 stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    [Read as single issues] Seeded in issue #950, and even as far back as Batman & Robin Eternal, Azrael finally takes centre stage as the Order Of St. Dumas returns with a vengeance. Meanwhile, Batman and Zatanna look for proof about the fate of Red Robin, and what they find may shatter Bruce's world to pieces. I've made it no secret that I love this run of Detective Comics, and this arc is no different. The character explorations, particularly those of Bruce and Zatanna, are really well done, an [Read as single issues] Seeded in issue #950, and even as far back as Batman & Robin Eternal, Azrael finally takes centre stage as the Order Of St. Dumas returns with a vengeance. Meanwhile, Batman and Zatanna look for proof about the fate of Red Robin, and what they find may shatter Bruce's world to pieces. I've made it no secret that I love this run of Detective Comics, and this arc is no different. The character explorations, particularly those of Bruce and Zatanna, are really well done, and considering Azrael was originally very much a product of the 90's, he feels like a much more well-formed character now. The two disparate storylines dovetail really well together at the end, and set up the next arc perfectly; Tynion IV has structured these stories so well that they flow seamlessly, building on everything that came before (even some pre-Rebirth stuff too). There's also a Spoiler-focused issue included here that shows us what Steph's been up to since she left the team (Spoiler: it's not a good idea), and this again sets up some stuff that will come to a head in the issues that follow. All of the main story issues in this volume are drawn by Alvaro Martinez, which is an achievement in itself since the book came out fortnightly, but does an amazing job. There's a good reason he was paired with Eddy Barrows on the earlier issues of the book, because their styles are very similar, and Martinez really gets time to shine in this one. Carmen Carnero takes the Spoiler issue (and will draw the next two too), and while they pale next to Martinez, they've got a solid style too. I'm running out of ways to say I like this book. Just read it already.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Adam Spanos

    This book features a five-part arc and a solo story featuring Stephanie Brown. The five-part arc has two elements. First is a story focusing on Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael), the cultic order of Saint Dumas is back to mess with him and perhaps introduce an AI version of Azrael who is not subject to doubts. The B plot of the story involves Bruce Wayne and Zatara reminiscing over old times while Bruce seeks access to all-knowing relic. The B plot is the better plot by far. Zatara and her magical world a This book features a five-part arc and a solo story featuring Stephanie Brown. The five-part arc has two elements. First is a story focusing on Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael), the cultic order of Saint Dumas is back to mess with him and perhaps introduce an AI version of Azrael who is not subject to doubts. The B plot of the story involves Bruce Wayne and Zatara reminiscing over old times while Bruce seeks access to all-knowing relic. The B plot is the better plot by far. Zatara and her magical world are beautifully drawn and we get some insight into Bruce's character and past. It's nice to see. The Jean-Paul Valley plot is far less enjoyable. It's hard to get into him as a character. The story attempts profundity but mostly offers up cliches on issues of faith and philosophy. It's not horrible. There's some action that's not bad to look at, but this part didn't impress me. The one part story with Stephanie Brown is mixed for me. It's nice to see her in a solo adventure, and she does a good job taking on the criminal. But, I find her lack of self-awareness annoying. Vigilante Superheroes are problematic. She is not a superhero. She is dressing up in a costume to fight crime and is not an authorized agent of the law, but she is not a vigilante superhero. Nope. Nope. I get that her reaction is partially due to the apparent loss of Tim Drake in Vol. 1 but that doesn't make her much less annoying.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Stewart

    Probably a 3.5/5, but I have to round up for the cast of characters and the moment with Azrael that made the early-‘90s kid in me squeal with glee (you’ll know!). I loved a lot about this. The Bruce-Zatanna dynamic is great. The supporting Bat-family cast takes a bit of a backseat compared to the first three volumes, but they all have good moments. It’s not the best of Tynion’s run, but it might be the most ambitious, and there’s a nice twist at the end to get me fired up to continue. As is the Probably a 3.5/5, but I have to round up for the cast of characters and the moment with Azrael that made the early-‘90s kid in me squeal with glee (you’ll know!). I loved a lot about this. The Bruce-Zatanna dynamic is great. The supporting Bat-family cast takes a bit of a backseat compared to the first three volumes, but they all have good moments. It’s not the best of Tynion’s run, but it might be the most ambitious, and there’s a nice twist at the end to get me fired up to continue. As is the case with this run, it’s strong from top to bottom.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    Following three volumes that covered the initial year of the run, James Tynion IV’s Detective Comics started off great, but slowly became a product of diminishing returns. Since the beginning of the run, Tynion has been setting up an ongoing storyline around the Bat-family that looms in the background during the individual arcs. Please click here for my full review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scott S.

    3.5 stars Thus far, I've thought the Batman: Detective Comics series to be an adequate time-killer but not really much more. Then I get to Vol. 4, which I can describe in three magic words - namtaB and annataZ! Yes, the Dark Knight and the Princess of Prestidigitation (that's guest star Zatanna, for those not familiar with her) have a lot of scenes / flashbacks throughout in this one, and they were the absolute highlight of the volume. Additionally, the Clayface scenes with Cassandra Cain (practici 3.5 stars Thus far, I've thought the Batman: Detective Comics series to be an adequate time-killer but not really much more. Then I get to Vol. 4, which I can describe in three magic words - namtaB and annataZ! Yes, the Dark Knight and the Princess of Prestidigitation (that's guest star Zatanna, for those not familiar with her) have a lot of scenes / flashbacks throughout in this one, and they were the absolute highlight of the volume. Additionally, the Clayface scenes with Cassandra Cain (practicing Shakespeare!) and Dr. Victoria October (hinting of future possibilities?) were nearly as good. The volume concludes with an amusing and brisk 'Spoiler' short story also featuring Harvey Bullock.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    5 🌟 Nice to learn more about Azrael. Wonder what happened to his brother, Ascalon. Glad to see Zatanna. Also glad that the team finally learned that Tim is still alive. Is Mister Valley the one that kidnapped Tim? What is the organization? Hope Spoiler and Azrael will do well as partners. Can't wait to read Batman: Detective Comics, volume 5: A Lonely Place of Living!!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    GONZA

    I have problems with the never really dead of the Batman Comics Universe, especially when they are always the same. That said a good story where the Gotham Vigilantes have to defend from one of their friends. Ho problemi quando i personaggi dell'universo di Batman non rimangono morti, e soprattutto il mio problema peggiora quando a "non morire" sono sempre gli stessi. Detto questo i Vigilanti di Gotham in questo numero devono difendersi da uno dei loro amici. THANKS TO EDELWEISS FOR THE PREVIEW!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Will Robinson Jr.

    Another fun romp into Gotham city. James Tynion IV continues to work some magic with the Detective comics series. Ironically this volume of the series finds the Bat family coming face to face with the supernatural and magic. This book features a guest appearance from the magic mistress of the DC Universe, Zatanna. I still have fond memories of her appearance on the Batman the Animated Series of the 90s. Tynion takes readers back to Bruce's early days of training to become Batman. In the book we Another fun romp into Gotham city. James Tynion IV continues to work some magic with the Detective comics series. Ironically this volume of the series finds the Bat family coming face to face with the supernatural and magic. This book features a guest appearance from the magic mistress of the DC Universe, Zatanna. I still have fond memories of her appearance on the Batman the Animated Series of the 90s. Tynion takes readers back to Bruce's early days of training to become Batman. In the book we see a young Bruce & Zatanna were a couple learning about the dark worlds of magic. The other arc we follow here sees Azreal aka Jean Paul Valley being hunted by a new younger servant of his former church, Absalon. It was a great change of pace from the last volume and the focus on Jean Paul gives the creative team to dive into the supernatural. There is a great stinging surprise for our heroes at the end of the is arc that sets in motion our first steps towards the DC comics events Dark Nights:Metal and Doomsday Clock. The stakes are pretty high in this adventure and it is exciting to see how well Tynion and the other DC comics writers have planted the seeds for the exciting things to come for the larger DC universe. The artwork was consistently good and really love the cover pictures as well. This series continues to be a must read for all superhero comics readers.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adam Graham

    This book features a five-part arc and a solo story featuring Stephanie Brown. The five-part arc has two elements. First is a story focusing on Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael), the cultic order of Saint Dumas is back to mess with him and perhaps introduce an AI version of Azrael who is not subject to doubts. The B plot of the story involves Bruce Wayne and Zatara reminiscing over old times while Bruce seeks access to all-knowing relic. The B plot is the better plot by far. Zatara and her magical world a This book features a five-part arc and a solo story featuring Stephanie Brown. The five-part arc has two elements. First is a story focusing on Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael), the cultic order of Saint Dumas is back to mess with him and perhaps introduce an AI version of Azrael who is not subject to doubts. The B plot of the story involves Bruce Wayne and Zatara reminiscing over old times while Bruce seeks access to all-knowing relic. The B plot is the better plot by far. Zatara and her magical world are beautifully drawn and we get some insight into Bruce's character and past. It's nice to see. The Jean-Paul Valley plot is far less enjoyable. It's hard to get into him as a character. The story attempts profundity but mostly offers up cliches on issues of faith and philosophy. It's not horrible. There's some action that's not bad to look at. The one part story with Stephanie Brown is mixed for me. It's nice to see her in a solo adventure, and she does a good job taking on the criminal. But, I find her lack of self-awareness annoying. Vigilante Superheroes are problematic. She is not a superhero. She is dressing up in a costume to fight crime and is not an authorized agent of the law, but she is not a vigilante superhero. Nope. Nope. I get that her reaction is partially due to the apparent loss of Tim Drake in Vol. 1 but that doesn't make her much less annoying.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Blindzider

    This book is just on the verge of being 4 stars for me. Tynion has been building the supporting characters, while in the background a bigger threat is coming. Batman senses it but doesn't know what it is and this volume brings the reader one step closer, promising to reveal everything next. The focus of this arc was Jean Paul Valley/Azrael, tying up his origin and redefining it for Rebirth. The story also features a wonderful and personal meeting between Bruce and Zatanna, solidifying their past This book is just on the verge of being 4 stars for me. Tynion has been building the supporting characters, while in the background a bigger threat is coming. Batman senses it but doesn't know what it is and this volume brings the reader one step closer, promising to reveal everything next. The focus of this arc was Jean Paul Valley/Azrael, tying up his origin and redefining it for Rebirth. The story also features a wonderful and personal meeting between Bruce and Zatanna, solidifying their past relationship. That was really the highlight for me since Batman is rarely the focus of this book. Looking forward to seeing the "big picture".

  15. 5 out of 5

    Wing Kee

    Hey so we get cross publisher pollination! World: The art is fine. I like the darkness but as with the last arc I'm still not really feeling the character emotions come out of the art. The world building is solid, we get a new version of St. Dumas and it's different that's for sure. The pieces we get for this story are fairly self contained to John Paul until the end which I liked, the dive into character origins I mean. Solid. Story: As I said for the last arc, I want this team book to take tur Hey so we get cross publisher pollination! World: The art is fine. I like the darkness but as with the last arc I'm still not really feeling the character emotions come out of the art. The world building is solid, we get a new version of St. Dumas and it's different that's for sure. The pieces we get for this story are fairly self contained to John Paul until the end which I liked, the dive into character origins I mean. Solid. Story: As I said for the last arc, I want this team book to take turns and give each team member their time in the sun and this is what we get it's still very surface emotions but we do get it. The Spoiler story I enjoyed but still not feeling the character on this run and I'll talk about that below. The pacing for the main arc was good. I liked the dive into John Paul and the villain was a good idea, it got a bit wonky in the end and the magic stuff is still kinda sometimes used as a deus ex which annoys but overall I enjoyed it. Not memorable but it was enjoyable as I read it. The changes to the lore of St. Dumas is interesting... Characters: Spoiler first, I am at the same time annoyed and enjoying the character. I like her drive, not her wonky motivation. I like her skill but she's also not green enough to be Spoiler. Yeah I like this character a lot from the DCU of the past so I feel kinda off about this New52 version. Jean Paul is whatever, was never a big fan of him as Azbats before so this new take is better. The Mark Spektor thing is pollination from Marvel and I'm kinda okay with it cause this is suppose to be about Jean fighting his beliefs and a physical manifestation was kinda fun. And yes Rookie is Tony Starks robot in the films. It was enjoyable, good not great but I do like the character focus. Wish it was deeper and less actiony. Onward to the next book! *read individual issues*

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    This is volume four of Batman’s Detective Comics. The volume collects Detective Comics issues #957-962. In the past I have not really enjoyed Batman working as a team but I think either I am getting used to it or the story for volume four really helped me enjoy it. I must say though that this volume was enjoyable. The bulk of the story in this volume is focus on how Batman and his team have to deal with a threat of a robotic being name Ascalon. Ascalon is sent to Gotham from a secretive group cal This is volume four of Batman’s Detective Comics. The volume collects Detective Comics issues #957-962. In the past I have not really enjoyed Batman working as a team but I think either I am getting used to it or the story for volume four really helped me enjoy it. I must say though that this volume was enjoyable. The bulk of the story in this volume is focus on how Batman and his team have to deal with a threat of a robotic being name Ascalon. Ascalon is sent to Gotham from a secretive group called the Order of St. Dumas that is some kind of brainwashing religious fanatical cult. His mission is to kill members of the Order of St. Dumas which indicate that is some kind of power struggle has occurred within the group. What’s interesting is that among Batman’s team there is a guy name Jean-Paul who use to be a part of the Order of St. Dumas. Jean-Paul’s superhero name is Azreal. I don’t have as much previous background as other comic book fans but it seems Ascalon is replacement of Azreal’s previous role in the Order of St. Dumas. In terms of characters I thought the most interesting figure was Zatanna who is a lady magician that Bruce Wayne/Batman sought out for help and whose power and history with Bruce Wayne going back to their early adult years kind of added a human and feminine touch to the story. Now I know there is Batwoman and Cassandra in Batman’s team but with Zatanna it is different since she’s someone who was formerly interested in Bruce Wayne and has a longer history with him and presumably before Bruce Wayne became Batman. I thought the major theme in the story line for volume four was interesting. There’s the question that Zatanna poses of whether any human being can handle the knowledge of knowing what’s going to happen in the future and how that can change us negatively. I think seeking knowledge is great but omniscience is not something for man. Actually omniscience is best left as God’s unique attribute. While that’s not explicit I thought the theme of God in regards to the Order of St. Dumas warrants that implication. In fact I thought of the villain Azrael’s desire to search for the truth was also a foil and contrast with Zatanna. Overall I don’t think the book is trying to say we shouldn’t seek knowledge and the truth; the villain Azrael was far from noble in not wanting to know the truth and for suppressing it. But there’s a sense in which the book is trying to say there is a balance between the two but also to realize man’s finite limitation. The volume also had a brief story of a character name Spoiler. Spoiler use to be part of Batman’s team but took a turn of going at it alone in trying to stop the bad guys in a way that’s different than Batman. She’s driven by the fact that villains are drawn to Batman and she’s affected by the collateral damage that is the result of villains coming out for attention to fight Batman. Instead she wants an approach where the superheroes doesn’t get the credit. It’s a great cliffhanger for what seems to be a future storyline in upcoming issues with DC Comic’s Detective Comics! NOTE: This book was provided to me free by DC Comics and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Cristiani

    Love this team. It might be my fault because I think I skipped a volume, but I find this story just a little disjointed. I love all the elements, though. I'm a fan of breaking the mold with paneling, but here I had trouble following the panels sometimes. I think this would have worked well with individual comics but doesn't translate as well to paperback form.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Terry Mcginnis

    Forgettable. Time for the next arc. Hopefully vol. 5 is better. The dialogue between Bruce and Zatanna is the only good part of this book, as it provides some interesting backstory that is new to Batman canon. Not worth a read, though, not even for Batman purists.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    This volume focuses on Azrael, who I'd honestly never heard of before he started showing up in Tynion's run of Batman Detective Comics... it's a good story, just didn't have a whole lot of context. Art is good as usual (but I am *still* not used to how many two-page spreads there are).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mladen

    3,5/5 Stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    This series continues to be seriously enjoyable.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Debbi

    3,5/5 [ Review of volumes 1-7 ]

  23. 5 out of 5

    Albert

    Batman: Detective Comics, Vol.4: Deus Ex Machina by James Tynion IV continues the theme in this series of telling tales that don't directly involve the Batman. In the prior tales they were the story of Batwoman and Red Robin and more recently Orphan. In Deus Ex Machina Tynion brings forth two very under used and under appreciated characters in the Batman and DC Universe at large/ Azrael and Zantana. The death of Tim Drake has devastated the Batman team. With the Spoiler angry and petulant the team Batman: Detective Comics, Vol.4: Deus Ex Machina by James Tynion IV continues the theme in this series of telling tales that don't directly involve the Batman. In the prior tales they were the story of Batwoman and Red Robin and more recently Orphan. In Deus Ex Machina Tynion brings forth two very under used and under appreciated characters in the Batman and DC Universe at large/ Azrael and Zantana. The death of Tim Drake has devastated the Batman team. With the Spoiler angry and petulant the team is left with little recourse to face the upcoming threats. But one comes from a place they are not ready for. The avenging angel is back only this time it is not, Jean Paul Valley. Azrael is called back into action to face another with his same power. But can he do it alone and is the Bat team in any shape to deal with this in the face of Drake's death. Batman must call on an old friend and one time romantic interest to help the team. Zantana. But what will Zantana's magic and Azrael's mysticism unlock. What secret will they reveal? There has always been something of a sibling rivalry between Detective Comics and the Batman comics and now, with two different writers at the helm, the books seem to be going in a completely different direction from one another. The competition for readers may have ramped up but the stories are vastly different. With the new team created by Batman in Detective Comics, the supporting cast has actually taken a far greater role and that has come with mixed reviews. I however find it refreshing. I enjoyed the Orphan aka Batgirl aka Cassamdra Cain and I also loved the Batwoman aka Kate Kane storyline. But with the Catwoman and Batman storyline in the Batman comics, the Detective Comics line may be being overlooked and that is too bad. With Batman taking a backseat, we are seeing these characters take a stage, with good writing and really good stories, and being worthy of being headliners. Jean Paul Valley has been dealt a rather harsh hand in the Batman universe after he took the mantle and responsibility of being the Batman when Bane broke Bruce Wayne's back. He was quickly cast into the role of a bad guy. An overly violent vigilante in the Batman costume that Tim the wienie ass Drake had issues with. Of course we all thought the Cowl should have gone to Dick Grayson but for the moment Jean Paul was cast into the role and it was an unfair trial. But if we were honest about it, the team of Jean Paul as Batman and Damian as Robin would have kicked some serious ass in Gotham. Then there is Zatanna . Is she really a hero in the DC Universe to be taken seriously or is she a poor man's version of Marvel's Dr. Strange. For my part I never gave her much thought. To my knowledge DC certainly didn't invest much in the character for me to look into her. But in this storyline we see a character that is very much like Talia Ah Ghul without the blood lust. Just how powerful is she? And if she is capable of what this tale offers, DC you are seriously missing the boat here. Then there is the Spoiler and for my view, at this point, the best thing she did was die. Detective Comics is a very good read but if you were going to kill Tim Drake, who at this point is the fifth most likable Robin, seriously do the the math; keep him dead longer that two storylines.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Scott Lee

    Tynion is getting a better feel for Batman and the family with each volume, and this Bat-team book is an intriguing new way of handling Detective Comics that I'm really enjoying. I still dig Bats most as a solo character, and so you can see by my ratings and reviews that Tom King's stellar work on the Flagship title is getting even better reviews from me, but this is good work. I like that while the tone is the same the art style is completely independent of Batman. Too often families of comics Tynion is getting a better feel for Batman and the family with each volume, and this Bat-team book is an intriguing new way of handling Detective Comics that I'm really enjoying. I still dig Bats most as a solo character, and so you can see by my ratings and reviews that Tom King's stellar work on the Flagship title is getting even better reviews from me, but this is good work. I like that while the tone is the same the art style is completely independent of Batman. Too often families of comics develop a family style that doesn't serve all titles equally well and they've avoided doing that here. Martinez has a style all his own and it works great throughout capturing both action and character moments equally well. The primary story is about Jean-Paul having an Azrael relapse, as the Order of St. Dumas sends a new killing machine after the Bat family and Gotham. Meanwhile Batman as Bruce Wayne slips into an ultra high-stakes Poker Game at Penguin's Iceberg Casino in order to get a moment with the entertainment--none other than Zatanna. This current time-line Batman bit with Zatanna is paired with a flashback story about a not yet Batman Bruce who has approached Zatara as a part of his training to become the Batman, the character bits that come out of that for Zee and Batman are great. Meanwhile at least initially the team has to deal with the St. Dumas madness, and so they handle the action bits through the first few issues. By the time Batman and Zatanna join the fray, the situation has reached a point where it must be a team effort to resolve the problem so there's no Deus Ex Machina moment in which the two Justice League members ride in and save everyone else. Deftly done there by Tynion as that would be the typical easy out. A good story over all and one which plays to the strengths of the varied team members and allows them to grow and prove themselves while delivering character bits for the team member chosen for that development this time around. The final issue of the volume is a Spoiler solo story. Stephanie is more impressive than ever, and told from her perspective it's hard to argue with the points she's making, and given the results impossible to argue with her effectiveness. Still, I have to wonder, after finishing the issue if she doesn't see how her own argument (that Batman and co. cause more trouble than they're worth) is essentially debunked by the necessity of her own role as a more than average citizen in tackling the problems she chooses. An interesting conundrum.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com

    For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com Batman: Detective Comics (Rebirth) Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina by James Tynion IV (Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez) continues the story centering around Batman training a team to fight with. This graphic novel collects Detective Comics #957-962. Batman finds out that with more people on his team, there are more targets opportunities for his enemies. Together with Azrael, a former assassin, the team finds themselves as targets f For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com Batman: Detective Comics (Rebirth) Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina by James Tynion IV (Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez) continues the story centering around Batman training a team to fight with. This graphic novel collects Detective Comics #957-962. Batman finds out that with more people on his team, there are more targets opportunities for his enemies. Together with Azrael, a former assassin, the team finds themselves as targets for a deadly artificial intelligence known as Ascalon. In order to fight Ascalon, Bruce Wayne joins with Zatanna to find The God Machine. In their adventures they encounter Ra’s al Ghul and Azrael. Batman: Detective Comics (Rebirth) Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina by James Tynion, IV (Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez) is a solid book of the Detective Comics series. Batman (Bruce Wayne) teams up with Zatanna, the magician, and the reader gets to view a bit of their history. This graphic novel has two parallel story-lines, one dealing with Zatanna, the other with Azrael (Jean Paul). As one can see, this book was big on magic and the occult which frankly worked and I thought was an interesting addition to the Rebirth series. The art in this graphic novel was strong, I enjoyed it (not as much as the artist enjoyed working on Zatanna), and it certainly enhanced the story and did not distract. This is the first graphic novel which in found Zatanna interesting and would not be against seeing more of this incarnation in future DC books. This is another solid edition to the series. I find that every time I open one of these issues I’m afraid it’s going to ruin the series. Sadly this is from past experience. Not the Rebirth series though. Every issue is strong and addictive.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adam Fisher

    Batwing, Batwoman, and Azrael are taking in a basketball game when Nomoz shows up injured and with a warning. (Nomoz is a friend of Jean Paul's and assisted with his St. Dumas deprogramming) The warning is that the Order of St Dumas has created a new "Azrael" and has sent him out to kill those who had left the Order. This new assassin, Ascalon, is a robot who is not only a killer, but also has an A.I. based on Jean Paul Sr. Seeing the Bat-Crew needing some help, Zatanna join the team, first helpi Batwing, Batwoman, and Azrael are taking in a basketball game when Nomoz shows up injured and with a warning. (Nomoz is a friend of Jean Paul's and assisted with his St. Dumas deprogramming) The warning is that the Order of St Dumas has created a new "Azrael" and has sent him out to kill those who had left the Order. This new assassin, Ascalon, is a robot who is not only a killer, but also has an A.I. based on Jean Paul Sr. Seeing the Bat-Crew needing some help, Zatanna join the team, first helping to fight off Ascalon, and then discusses a past-history with Bruce. As teens, Bruce was receiving some magical instruction from Zatara, and Zee (nickname for Zatanna) showed him a powerful magical artifact known as the Gnosis Sphere, also called the God Machine, that could answer any question he had. Current day Batman wants to see it again to get a few questions answered. Meanwhile, Jean Paul is falling back into his programming as Azrael, and attacks the team. Lucas (Batwing) discovers that he can 'reprogram' Jean Paul, but he has to get him out of the Azrael armor and into the restored suit he used way back during the 90's 'Knightfall' storyline. The only way they are able to defeat Ascalon is by exposing him to pure answers and knowledge from giving him the Gnosis Sphere, which he uses to vanish to somewhere. Just before he leaves, he tells that Red Robin is still alive. We then get a side story about Spoiler causing havok by destroying the Bat Signal and playing both sides of the law. Surprise ending with the introduction of Anarky, which is cool to see him again. Overall, the flow on this story was very good and Detective Comics continues to be a solid title. Recommend.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    With the Rebirth comics coming from DC the world of the DC Universe is less likely to be a familiar one to longtime fans who wander in. Alliances have been made, characters reformed yet similar and past history mingles with new twists along the way. Such was the case I found while reading this collection. Azrael is no longer under the influence of the Order of Dumas but there is a new danger in Gotham. Ascalon is similar to Azrael but is intent on seeing the entire Order destroyed with him the la With the Rebirth comics coming from DC the world of the DC Universe is less likely to be a familiar one to longtime fans who wander in. Alliances have been made, characters reformed yet similar and past history mingles with new twists along the way. Such was the case I found while reading this collection. Azrael is no longer under the influence of the Order of Dumas but there is a new danger in Gotham. Ascalon is similar to Azrael but is intent on seeing the entire Order destroyed with him the last piece of the puzzle. Teamed with Clayface, Orphan, Batwoman and Nightwing, Azrael gets word of what’s happening from Nomoz the Dwarfling. Batman enters the fray as well trying to find out what’ going on and who is behind the conspiracy. The deeper they all dig into the cause while dealing with the effect the closer they come to finding out the truth. An old foes lies at the heart of it all mixing the old and new together here to form an interesting tale. As I said this is part of the whole DC Rebirth going on and as someone who isn’t there on a week to week basis keeping up with that’s going on there were moments when it was a bit confusing. Eventually I was able to follow along. I can’t say I’m a big fan though, not because of an attachment to the past but because nothing felt like it made me want to rush out and buy this on a monthly basis. It didn’t have the feel of pasts stories that grabbed my interests and made me want to carry on with the story. For fans of the rebirth though you’ll want to add this to your collection.

  28. 4 out of 5

    M

    James Tynion IV explores the mystery of Azrael in the DC Rebirth era with the fourth volume of Detective Comics. Batman and his assembled team encounter two different aspects of the Order of St. Dumas on the same night. Jean-Paul Valley, Luke Fox, and Kate Kane encounter the gnome-like Nomoz running for his life, while Bruce Wayne and Zatanna clash with a robotic assassin dubbed Ascalon. A second round of fisticuffs sees Jean-Paul manipulated and nearly killed by Ascalon, revealed as his purifie James Tynion IV explores the mystery of Azrael in the DC Rebirth era with the fourth volume of Detective Comics. Batman and his assembled team encounter two different aspects of the Order of St. Dumas on the same night. Jean-Paul Valley, Luke Fox, and Kate Kane encounter the gnome-like Nomoz running for his life, while Bruce Wayne and Zatanna clash with a robotic assassin dubbed Ascalon. A second round of fisticuffs sees Jean-Paul manipulated and nearly killed by Ascalon, revealed as his purified replacement. Desperate to stop the artificial intelligence from using Luke's Batwing shells to cleanse Gotham, Azrael is reborn with a new Batman-inspired armor. However, it is ultimately Zatanna's gift of mystical knowledge that finally ends the threat against the city. The book's coda sees Spoiler continuing to act on her own accord, as she foils Wrath's plot and ends up with a new ally in Anarky. Tynion attempts to merge past and present Bat-events into the new era with his focus on Azrael. The choppy storyline seems to gloss over the majority of the St. Dumas cult and its religious affectations and instead puts Valley into the 1990s armored Batsuit for pure nostalgia's sake. The same feels true of the Spoiler issue, tapping into the Anarky and Wrath icons to hearken back to an earlier time in DC Comics history. Detective Comics: Deus Ex Machina relies on the eponymous device to conclude its story, but cannot be absolved of its own sins.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    Atypical, thought-provoking addition to the Detective Comics series. Perfect for DaVinci Code fans. This 'comic' studies the nature of man and existence. It is truly philosophical and full of former religious beliefs like the Gnostics. Would man be better off omniscient? The author's answer appears to be no. Is an adversary that is completely robotic composed of AI worse than an android that still has a human component inside? Does the answer change if you are the android rather the hero fightin Atypical, thought-provoking addition to the Detective Comics series. Perfect for DaVinci Code fans. This 'comic' studies the nature of man and existence. It is truly philosophical and full of former religious beliefs like the Gnostics. Would man be better off omniscient? The author's answer appears to be no. Is an adversary that is completely robotic composed of AI worse than an android that still has a human component inside? Does the answer change if you are the android rather the hero fighting it? Batman: Detective Comics: Vol 4: Deus Ex Machina asks many questions that will encourage much thought even after the book is done. Re-reading is recommended to catch some of the more subtle nuances. There are many Easter eggs referencing classic anime and manga that are fun to find. The artwork is perfect especially some of the collages of different ideas captured in one pane. The hues move from brights to pastels depending on the mood of the scene. On a screen, it is sometimes difficult to see that panes continue across two pages so paper might be the better choice. This is not a typical Batman story, or even comic. However for readers looking for something new with a science fiction/religious vibe, this book is highly recommended. Thanks to the publisher, DC Comics, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Norman Cook

    Detective #957 (art by Carmen Carnero, et al) starts out this volume with a stand-alone story featuring Spoiler as she copes with recent traumatic events in the lives of the Bat-family. She uses her own special skills to prove as much to herself as to Batman and the Gotham City police that she is more than capable of fighting crime. I found the villain, Wrath, somewhat humorous in that his only real objective was to elevate himself into the pantheon of Batman's top rogues. The other five issues Detective #957 (art by Carmen Carnero, et al) starts out this volume with a stand-alone story featuring Spoiler as she copes with recent traumatic events in the lives of the Bat-family. She uses her own special skills to prove as much to herself as to Batman and the Gotham City police that she is more than capable of fighting crime. I found the villain, Wrath, somewhat humorous in that his only real objective was to elevate himself into the pantheon of Batman's top rogues. The other five issues that make up this volume (art by Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez) are an arc subtitled "Intelligence." Much of this arc focuses on Jean-Paul Valley, aka Azrael, and his origins in the St. Dumas cult. The arc also focuses on the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Zatanna, showing some flashbacks to when they were teenagers, Bruce studying magic from Zatanna's father, Zatara. This is one of the few times I've seen Zatanna imbued with more than a cursory personality, and I hope we see more of this in the future. There were some hints dropped about the upcoming Metal event, too. All in all, a good series with good artwork, foreshadowing some turning points, I'm sure, in the lives of the Bat-family. Note: I read this as individual comic book issues.

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