Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: The Victim Syndicate by James Tynion IV

Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: The Victim Syndicate

Innocent victims maimed or broken by Batman's greatest enemies band together, and they blame Batman and his fellow vigilantes for what happened to them just as much as they blame the psychopaths who hurt them. Batman and his newly trained team of allies must take on these troubled souls, but one of Batman's teammates can't help but think they might have a point... From wri...

Title:Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: The Victim Syndicate
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1401268919
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:168 pages

Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: The Victim Syndicate Reviews

  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
    Feb 21, 2017

    .

    James Tynion IV continues his unexpectedly entertaining run of Detective Comics with volume 2, The Victim Syndicate. Taking place directly after the unfortunate events in Detective Comics (Volume 1) Rise of the Batmen, the story starts off by serving us an aftermath assessment for each character in the newly formed squad under Batman and Batwoman’s wings. Inevitably, the events that lead to the loss of a comrade have taken a huge toll on every o

    .

    James Tynion IV continues his unexpectedly entertaining run of Detective Comics with volume 2, The Victim Syndicate. Taking place directly after the unfortunate events in Detective Comics (Volume 1) Rise of the Batmen, the story starts off by serving us an aftermath assessment for each character in the newly formed squad under Batman and Batwoman’s wings. Inevitably, the events that lead to the loss of a comrade have taken a huge toll on every one—some more than others—and things seem to be a lot more fragile for everyone. Questions about their purposes in life and their motivations on a daily basis are put through the blender and mixed in with a hefty amount of doubt. There’s nothing like a new group of freaky and shady characters to make matters a bit more dark and complicated. This story arc introduces fans to a brand new set of villains who have had a grudge for quite some time and are ready to react in order to see change in Gotham.

    The Victim Syndicate is definitely not your typical squad of villains as they have joined forces for one particular reason: they see Batman as the cause of their supernatural conditions. Being the collateral damage of an altercation between Batman and big-name villains, each of the Victims find solace in blaming Batman and his friends for their predicament. This alone can be seen as a brilliant premise to investigate the idea that their are innocent victims that get hurt or die while the focus of the action remains on Batman and his nemesis. By diving deeper in the psyche of those that never asked to be in the middle of a battlefield, the rise of the Victim Syndicate brings light to the ignored and the forgotten. But does it actually set things up for something extraordinary for this story arc? Yes and no.

    What was particularly well-done was the leader of the Victim Syndicate, the First Victim. His character remained mysterious throughout the whole story arc and his mere presence installed fear and demanded caution. His origin was kept a secret for the better part of the story, while every other member had a rapid-fire revelation on who and how they became who they are now. Even in the final showdown, everyone (except the First Victim) was dealt with in a quick and efficient manner. This style was quite effective as they always packed a punch and remained straight-forward. However, while some of these moments were quite powerful, some of them also fell short. I’d probably point my finger at the writing. With James Tynion IV, you get the most wordy dialogues ever, but they aren’t consistent in quality—their pertinence can sometimes be questioned. In fact, he sometimes overdoes it for my taste and deviates from the character’s personalities.

    plays a big part throughout this storyarc, especially because she’s the one who’s having the hardest time to deal with the loss of you-know-who from the past volume. Throughout the story she often serves as a cliff-hanger for a lot of moments; just when you think you know what’s going on, something else is delivered. I can definitely appreciate these plot twists and find them quite tantalizing. Two other characters are also newly introduced into this Rebirth series,

    . While the former gets a more prominent role in the narrative, the latter was teased. In fact, he was teased so hard that the transition from his cliff-hanger moment to his reveal in the next issue made no sense to me. I wish they had taken the time to build him; it honestly would’ve been quite a “rebirth” for that particular character.

    I believe it was the last issue of the storyarc regarding The Victim Syndicate that had me hesitant. For one, I wasn’t sure anymore what the First Victim’s powers/weapons were. One second he seems unbeatable, the next he’s just a wooden log ready for the next big round house kick. Second of all, the arrival of the “game-changer” character,

    , also sort of bothered me as well. While the story was obviously being built-up for this very moment, it’s the speech and the tactics used by said character that felt so underwhelming and unconvincing. However, I do understand the whole idea behind this move and what the volume as a whole was trying to tell us. After all, you’ll never see a more doubt-ridden and sad-faced (I’m not even kidding about this one; it really gets weird to look at sometimes) Batman anywhere else.

    Similar to Batman (Volume 2) I Am Suicide by Tom King, this volume also features a two-part story at the end, involving Batwoman however. Co-written with Marguerite Bennett in order to promote the Rebirth series of Batwoman that came out around the same time as the last issue, this story connects with the crossover event Night of the Monster Men and continues along the sub-plot regarding Batwoman and her dad who was mentioned earlier in The Victim Syndicate. This mini-story somehow managed to make the crossover event sound a lot more interesting than it actually was. The artwork is quite decent and the idea of tackling the purpose of Batwoman, compared to Batman, was also interesting. However, the way they conveyed her purpose felt wrong, but it’s quite hard to grasp the extent of it until you actually go ahead and read Batwoman’s Rebirth series. In fact, this two-part story simply sets things up for Batwoman Rebirth #1 and didn’t have anything more to offer regarding the Victim Syndicate. In the end, volume 2 continues in the right direction and James Tynion IV is definitely a great writer for this series. There are things that need work, but this is nonetheless entertaining.

    Yours truly,

    Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer

    Official blog:

  • James DeSantis
    Feb 15, 2017

    Don't be confused by the 3 star. The actual Victim Syndicate storyline is great. It's well told, powerful, and exciting. It's the Batwoman storyline I could have lived without. (Issue 948 and 949 which is what they say will be included in the volume on Amazon)

    The victim syndicate is all about the fallout of Robin and Batman dealing with a group of people who wants to prove how dangerous the bat is. How many lives he touches negatively. What I really enjoyed here is watching Batman doubt himself

    Don't be confused by the 3 star. The actual Victim Syndicate storyline is great. It's well told, powerful, and exciting. It's the Batwoman storyline I could have lived without. (Issue 948 and 949 which is what they say will be included in the volume on Amazon)

    The victim syndicate is all about the fallout of Robin and Batman dealing with a group of people who wants to prove how dangerous the bat is. How many lives he touches negatively. What I really enjoyed here is watching Batman doubt himself. Wondering if he even remembers names or faces of the people he hurt indirectly in dealing with villains. The snydicate isn't just the regular "bad guys" they def have some true and good motive. It's just their approach that is wrong.

    Also we get to see the other character's deal with Tim's death. Especially Spoiler, who still won't forgive Bruce. Which is very understandable. I didn't love how quick her change was but I did like the fact she simply doesn't forgive him right away. It's called doubt, it's called emotion, and sometimes they trump logic. I really enjoyed that.

    The Batwoman storyline at the end was cool to get some background on her, but I just...I dunno didn't care. She's the least interesting member for me and I was having a hard time focusing or caring about her plot. It felt like a waste.

    So for here I'd go VS storyline - 4. Batwoman - 2 = 3 overall. Or 3.5. Either way another solid volume, much better than current Batman solo series.

  • Artemy Nizovtsev
    Jan 25, 2017

    Another solid volume of Detective Comics by James Tynion. The main storyline, The Victim Syndicate, started out a bit unexciting, but ended up being pretty good. Focused mostly around Spoiler, Clayface and Red Robin, it was a pretty interesting and emotional story, dragged down a bit by Tynion's clunky writing style. The second two-issue story about Batwoman was pretty bland, probably because it was a continuation of the Monster Men event, which I skipped. Still, I am pretty excited about the up

    Another solid volume of Detective Comics by James Tynion. The main storyline, The Victim Syndicate, started out a bit unexciting, but ended up being pretty good. Focused mostly around Spoiler, Clayface and Red Robin, it was a pretty interesting and emotional story, dragged down a bit by Tynion's clunky writing style. The second two-issue story about Batwoman was pretty bland, probably because it was a continuation of the Monster Men event, which I skipped. Still, I am pretty excited about the upcoming Batwoman Rebirth, and will definitely check it out. At least Detective Comics continues to be much better than the solo Batman series, so there's that.

  • Storm
    Apr 01, 2017

    For some reason I've been stocking up on these issues without reading them and I'm just now getting to it. And I forgot how much I like this series. I especially found the moments with Stephanie touching and I really appreciate the comic actually showing the results of Tim's death.

    As I predicted after volume 1, they are bringing some more light to Cass and Clayface. I liked their little moments in the book as well.

    I'm really intrigued by this whole "firs

    For some reason I've been stocking up on these issues without reading them and I'm just now getting to it. And I forgot how much I like this series. I especially found the moments with Stephanie touching and I really appreciate the comic actually showing the results of Tim's death.

    As I predicted after volume 1, they are bringing some more light to Cass and Clayface. I liked their little moments in the book as well.

    I'm really intrigued by this whole "first victim" thing. I think it's going to be a pretty cool story. I also enjoyed getting to know more about Batwing in this issue. I didn't read Batwing from the New 52, so I'm enjoying him so far.

    I can see something is building with Clayface and I can't wait to see where that goes.

    Such an amazing issue, with an excellent hook at the end.

    This was awesome! I can't begin to explain how much I love that they are paying off on the emotional affects of Tim's death.

    This issue, I think, is the conclusion of the Victim Syndicate storyline that has the first victim taken down. Except that already happened. This pits Spoiler against the Bat Family. She is done with the world as it is, and the destruction Batman has caused.

    I believe her and feel for her and hate that she is hurting. I almost lost it during the transition between Stephanie and Tim's funny photos towards the end of the issue. I can't wait for when Tim renters reality and I hope that pay off is AMAZING. It has to be this title that he comes back in, because it's the only Batman book I'm reading.

  • Jorge Lopez
    Mar 22, 2017

    I have a huge conflict rating this book/ series. From one side, everything is so out of character that I know I shouldn't be enjoy it: Batman creating a team, Clayface I (Basil Karlo) playing on the side of the good guys, Batwoman being part of the Batfamily, what happened during the first arc of the Rebirth series, the Red Robin situation and so on.

    But on the other side, it's too much fun to deny that it is a very entertaining read, even better than the main Batman series and even second to the

    I have a huge conflict rating this book/ series. From one side, everything is so out of character that I know I shouldn't be enjoy it: Batman creating a team, Clayface I (Basil Karlo) playing on the side of the good guys, Batwoman being part of the Batfamily, what happened during the first arc of the Rebirth series, the Red Robin situation and so on.

    But on the other side, it's too much fun to deny that it is a very entertaining read, even better than the main Batman series and even second to the Batfamily series that I have read after Nightwing.

  • Will Robinson Jr.
    Mar 24, 2017

    Quite possibly the best series currently being published in superhero comics period. I mean, WOW! One thing has not change about DC Comics and that is they know how to pick the best writers for Batman. It is tough saying if Detective Comics written by Tynion IV is the better Batman book when compared to Tom King's Batman title or even Snyder's All Star Batman. I will put it this way, Detective Comics by Tynion IV is the most entertaining of the currently written Batman series. King's Batman is m

    Quite possibly the best series currently being published in superhero comics period. I mean, WOW! One thing has not change about DC Comics and that is they know how to pick the best writers for Batman. It is tough saying if Detective Comics written by Tynion IV is the better Batman book when compared to Tom King's Batman title or even Snyder's All Star Batman. I will put it this way, Detective Comics by Tynion IV is the most entertaining of the currently written Batman series. King's Batman is more of a curiosity and has some intriguing ideas. All Star Batman is more of an examination of what makes the Batman villains tick and is still quite an enjoyable. What I have enjoyed most about this Batman series thus far is the more exposure of members of the Bat Family. Tynion does a great job balancing the focus on such a large cast of characters. In the last volume,

    , Batman put together a specialize team to combat an army of villains who would greatly destroy Gotham city. This team included Cassandra Cain aka Orphan, Stephanie Brown aka Spoiler, Tim Drake aka Red Robin, former Batman foe Clay face, and Batman's second in command Kathy Kane aka Bat woman. The group faced impossible odds and being untested found themselves faced with a monster epidemic caused by long time villain Hugo Strange and have to confront a militant group of Batman copycats led surprising by Bat woman's own father. This volume picks up after the lost of one of the Batman family's key members. I really enjoyed reading about how all the events the group has faced as effected each member, especially Spoiler. In this new volume entitled the Victim Syndicate our heroes do not get a chance to rebuild or heal as they faced with unexpected threat. A group of people greatly damaged in the past by several of the Batman's rouges gallery are hunting down anyone who has aided Batman in the past. They hoped to threaten Batman and his followers to quit their vigilantism. This was an amazing plot and I loved the philosophical arguments that Tynion is sharing in this story. Should Gotham need a hero like Batman at all? Is Batman really making a difference or is he without knowing causing more harm? This discussion comes to a head in this book as Spoiler is forced to rethink her place in Batman's never ending mission to save Gotham. The artwork is pretty good and I think the colors are fantastic. Tynion writes a story here with a lot of emotion and heart. Batwing returns here in good fashion as well. I can not wait to see where the story goes next.This definitely a must read for Batman fans.

  • Chelsea
    Jun 14, 2017

    I adore this series!

    Honestly, this is my favorite series to come out of DC Rebirth. I thought maybe I feel this way because, excluding Dick and Damian, this series has my favorite DC characters in it but the stories are great too! I love the team dynamic and the plots Tynion IV creates for them. I cannot get enough of this series! I wish I had started out collecting the single issues because now I have to wait for the trades.

    This picks up after Tim's sacrifice and everyone's dealing with that by

    I adore this series!

    Honestly, this is my favorite series to come out of DC Rebirth. I thought maybe I feel this way because, excluding Dick and Damian, this series has my favorite DC characters in it but the stories are great too! I love the team dynamic and the plots Tynion IV creates for them. I cannot get enough of this series! I wish I had started out collecting the single issues because now I have to wait for the trades.

    This picks up after Tim's sacrifice and everyone's dealing with that by not dealing. Stephanie has gone AWOL. Cass and Clayface continue to work. Batsy is avoiding everyone and talking about Tim at all, to Kate's annoyance. She tries to convince him to find someone for the team, especially Steph, to talk to about their loss. As this is happening, it becomes apparent that Tim's the only super,

    tech savvy member and they need someone who knows how to run the Belfry (I love that they call it that!) So, this is why they bring in Luke Fox!

    I loved this guy in the animated film Batman: Bad Blood. Full confession, that and this trade are the only times I've seen this character. Which is a shame because I find him really intriguing, sort of like a Gotham Iron Man, and I would like to read more about him. He's a super rich genius and Batsy wants his help with Tim's tech. Kate doesn't like him because she thinks he's like a vigilante tourist so his addition to the team isn't super smooth.

    The big bad in the first half is a group of bystanders called the Victim Syndicate. They were all, in some way, victims of being on the sidelines when someone tried to come after Batsy. So, they all hate Batsy. And not the people that really did this to them... for some reason. They crash Luke Fox's event unveiling non violent tech for the GCPD (This is such an awesome concept and I wish it was real!). Before it all went to hell, I got some really adorable shots of Cass, Harper and Steph. We get to see Harper Row again, who I adore and have a huge crush on, not gonna lie.

    The art changes about two issues in and I missed the earlier stuff, not gonna lie. The new stuff is great but I much preferred the earlier artist's way of drawing Cass in particular. She's probably my favorite DC character and while I'm still not super jazzed about the way they've regressed her since Batman & Robin Eternal, I like what they've done with her in this series. Granted, this book didn't do much with her at all but I like seeing her as a part of the team. She even comforts Clayface a little. I just don't understand why we went from Pre 52 Cass who could speak just fine after some time recovering from her father's poor treatment of her - to a Cass who can barely speak more than two words. It seems off.

    The conclusion of the Victim Syndicate arc left me concerned about where this story with Steph is gonna go. Admittedly, I think it's kind of refreshing that a male character was (seemingly) killed off to further a female character's storyline instead of the other way around, I'm not a fan of this storyline for Steph. I know she and Bruce haven't always got on but this just kind of makes me wonder if it's going to feel worth it in the end. This version of Steph isn't as close to Cass as Pre 52 Steph. She's not connected to anyone outside of Tim and Bruce (save maybe Harper? Who pops in every few issues) so I don't think I'll really feel the intensity of this conflict. Time will tell.

    Anyway, I really want more on what happened to Tim. I want more of this series period! This is definitely my favorite Rebirth series.

  • Blindzider
    Jun 17, 2017

    Another excellent volume in this series. The Victim Syndicate makes their move, pushing Batman and the new team to the breaking point.

    This story has really been about

    Batman and other superheroes exist in Gotham. What is the real reason they are doing this for? Sure it's been examined before but this had a slightly different angle. I really appreciate the analysis and characterization Tynion puts into his stories. Sure this isn't the level of Dark Knight Returns or Year One, but I thoroughl

    Another excellent volume in this series. The Victim Syndicate makes their move, pushing Batman and the new team to the breaking point.

    This story has really been about

    Batman and other superheroes exist in Gotham. What is the real reason they are doing this for? Sure it's been examined before but this had a slightly different angle. I really appreciate the analysis and characterization Tynion puts into his stories. Sure this isn't the level of Dark Knight Returns or Year One, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. Keep in mind this is the Rebirth Batman, meaning he's trying to be more open and understanding and less of a *@#$.

    Also, I don't normally like having a super-villain be turned into a hero, but Tynion gives a very rational explanation for Clayface and found myself being empathetic to him.

    An unfortunate minus for this volume is the rotating artists. I still think Barrows is the best but I guess he can't do the whole book on a monthly schedule.

    Amidst all of this there's a bigger threat in the plot and it's still building. Looking forward to seeing how it is resolved.


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