Detective Comics Annual #3
Written by Peter J Tomasi
Art by Sumit Kumar and Eduardo Risso
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr and Eduardo Risso
Letters by Tom Napolitano
The Story: A grieving Bruce Wayne is invited to finish Alfred’s last mission from his spy days. A letter from Alfred to an old friend reveals a week in the life of the man and his charge.
In a small city in Ukraine, Alfred Pennyworth’s cover is blown by Russian spies and the MI-6 agent must rely on an old friend for extraction out of the dangerous territory. Back in the present, Batman continues to go out into the night and keep the citizens of Gotham safe. Unfortunately, his home life is in disarray. Both the Batcave and the mansion are in dire straits and a mystery woman with access to the premises and an uncanny knowledge of Bruce suddenly arrives with a mission.
Intrigued by both the woman and her history with Alfred, Batman travels abroad to confront a former double agent who’s betrayal haunted Alfred until his death.
In a second story, Alfred writes to an old friend about his week with a young Bruce Wayne. As his letter dryly lays out the events of what sound like a boring week, the reality of preparing Bruce Wayne to take on the mantle of the Batman promises more lively activities in the days and weeks to come.
The Story: Tomasi uses the death of Alfred Pennyworth to showcase his impact on Bruce, but also to show the complexity of the man himself. The first story does a great job of showing the vibrant, adventurous man Alfred was and the plot is laid out with reverence, humor and a respect for the character and his impact. The other story showcases that there was always more to Alfred than being a servant and what made him unique is what makes his absence palpable.
The Art: Kumar and Risso bring some great visuals to this issue. Both stories have a unique style and the contrast in art styles is well executed. Kumar’s contemporary story is filled with sharp, focused lines while Risso’s story is softer and more introspective in its art. A great looking issue.