Anarky recently made his New 52 debut in Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato’s Detective Comics, and his return has spelled very bad things for Gotham City. Following the complete deletion of electronic records by the masked antihero, the citizens of Gotham have the opportunity to take back control of the city from the wealthy that have flourished on the suffering of the weak, and chaos has overtaken the streets. Conditions have only gotten worse following the shooting of an unarmed young man, a crime perpetrated by a police officer, but blamed on Batman to save the G.C.P.D.’s image.
The current arc of Detective Comics has a lot of real-world resonance following the events of the last few months in Ferguson and New York City, and this preview of this week’s issue #39 shows that Manapul and Buccellato aren’t shying away from the narrative’s political connections. Harvey Bullock is distinctly aware of the current climate of anti-police sentiment, and the actions of the rioters reflect some of the more violent reactions of recent protestors—although considerably exaggerated for the superhero genre.
Manapul and Buccellato have also delivered some of the New 52’s finest visuals, and this preview spotlights the dynamic layouts and lush coloring that have made them one of DC’s strongest art teams. Manapul has become remarkably skilled at conveying large amounts of information through page designs that have intense graphic impact, and Buccellato embraces the full spectrum of color to reinforce the tonal shifts in Manapul’s artwork. It’s a gorgeous book, and the drama of the story matches the high quality of the visuals in this newest arc.