Title: Batman Secret Files (2018) #1
Words: Tom King, Tom Taylor, Ram V, Cheryl Lynn Eaton, and Jordie Bellaire
Art: Elena Casagrande, Jorge Fornes, Mike Janin, Jill Thompson, and Brad Walker
Published: October 31, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: Delve into Batman’s case histories and discover brand-new stories by some of comics’ most exciting talents. The BATMAN team of Tom King and Mikel Janin provides a framing sequence, setting up our hand-picked teams of creators to take a look at Bat-mysteries past and present. Featuring a bevy of Batman villains, including a look at how the Scarecrow’s fear toxin affects the common man, and a special story written by Tom Taylor with art by Brad Walker that teams the Dark Knight Detective with Detective Chimp.
Batman Secret Files (2018) #1 collects five stories that feature the Dark Knight, and while there is one story in particular that works well and is deserving of its own mini-series, the rest fall short of expectations–some more than others–and ultimately, Batman Secret Files (2018) #1 feels like an experiment more than a well-curated collection of Batman stories.
When reading Batman Secret Files (2018) #1, it becomes clear that DC, as well as most of the writers who worked on this collection, are interested in continuing in the spirit of Tom King and further deconstructing the Dark Knight. While having light shared into some of the darker corners of Batman’s psyche is interesting, there comes a point in time when enough is enough; this Bat-fan just wants to read about the World’s Greatest Detective solving crimes for a while. Is that too much to ask?
Tom Taylor and Brad Walker’s story, that closes the collection, featuring Detective Chimp is not only one of the best stories featured in this book, but it is also the only one that I feel is worthy of continuation. Taylor does a fine job writing for both detectives, creating natural interactions, and generating interest for a one-off story that should be developed into something more.
The Bottom Line:
Batman Secret Files (2018) #1 feels like an experiment more than it does a cohesive collection of stories; however, Tom Taylor teams the Dark Knight with Detective Chimp in a tale worthy of its own mini-series. There’s not necessarily something here for everyone, but Bat-fans may enjoy a story or two.