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Detective Comics #1081

Comicscore Index
Mixed or average ratings

Based on 15 critic ratings.

Spirited away from a city that believes him dead, Batman has been brought far from Gotham and deposited in a desert of legend. Possessed by an Azmer demon and rapidly losing his own identity, he must now cross this mythic landscape on a vision quest. With no water, no supplies, and no one to save him, Batman is left with two choices: burn out the demon or be left as bones in the sand. Meanwhile, the Orghams’ master plan is finally fully enacted as they use the Reality Engine to make all of Gotham forget there ever was a Batman. Bear witness to Batman’s worst fears made manifest in “Elegy of Sand,” part one!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
33 pages
Amazon ASIN

15 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100


    It’s the beginning of the end as Batman finds himself on a perilous journey of discovery far from Gotham, as ‘Detective Comics’ #1081 continues the series stellar instant classic of a run. Three intertwined yet quite different stories fill the pages, with rich colorful gorgeous artwork and deep character beats. A reminder of why so many of us fell in love with this character, his world, and the medium.

  • 95

    Geek Dad

    Renee as the Question is a fascinating character, and I’m hoping this arc and her loss of faith is the beginning of the end of her time as Commissioner. But as good as this noir-accented segment is, the surreal dream-like quality of the Bruce story, drawn by Riccardo Federici, is one of the best stories of Ram V’s run. It keeps you guessing, with a trickster-like guide and some horrific visuals before an ending that looks to take us into a completely new world.

  • 94

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Ram V is developing an entertaining, intriguing and thought provoking arc for Bruce in this series. I love the metaphysical elements of the story and how it is bringing Bruce and Batman to a new and interesting crossroads for the character. I love how the Question storyline is being interwoven into Bruce’s story and how it showcases the dark changes in Gotham. I look forward to seeing how the character emerges from this journey.

    The Art: Federici and Raffaele deliver powerful art throughout the issue. Both visual styles work perfectly for the parts of the story being told and complement each other brilliantly.

  • 94

    Comic Watch

    As an entry in the Detective Comics series, this issue holds its own and is definitely worth picking up. The main story alone makes it worth checking out as readers will be pleased with the stunning visuals.

  • 90


    Expect to be satisfied with your read of Detective Comics #1081. This story features three different stories, each of which accomplishes something different. There is mystery, intrigue, and plenty of impressive visuals to satisfy your Batman fanaticism.

  • 88

    Graphic Policy

    Detective Comics still stands as one of the most fascinating titles out of the Batman office, where it still follows through on its intense atmosphere and tone with a primary focus on character psychology. Even with the run a year in, Ram and others demonstrate that there is still much more to be explored in the series while charting its course to the finale of its opera.

  • 85


    Detective Comics #1081 opens the new “Elegy of Sand” arc with a introspective look inside Bruce’s mind. It questions what his identity truly means to him and whether he controls it, or if it’s the other way around. Its presentation creates an almost etherealness as the narrative explores Bruce’s spiritual journey of discovery and recuperation. All of this is accompanied by Riccardo Federici and Lee Loughridge’s water color art that only further bolsters that same dreamlike atmosphere.

  • 70

    Detective Comics #1081 begins Batman’s figurative rebuilding. It’s a surreal issue illustrated by Riccardo Federici and Stefano Raffaele that ties directly to the Orgham’s origins, although it’s not quite clear how much of this is real. The inclusion of Doctor Hurt adds a bit of intrigue but it also feels like a bit of a third act wrinkle that so far feels out of place with the rest of the storyline. That doesn’t mean that it won’t make sense eventually, but I was left a little let down by the opening issue of Ram V’s final arc on Detective Comics.

  • 70

    Lyles Movie Files

    Gotham Nocturne might be ready for another snooze-inducing arc, but the back-up story might justify continuing to stick with this run.

  • 70

    Dark Knight News

    Detective Comics #1081 was a painful start to the year for Batman as he’s clawing his way back to life. Will one of his greatest foes help him, or is he just a part of the poison?

  • 70

    The Batman Universe

    Full of powerful imagery, poetic moments, and interesting setup, the vague foundations of the current situation still sap away some of Detective Comics #1081’s power.

  • 60


    While I enjoyed aspects of all three stories, I don’t know that the pieces of this comic all fit together as well as they could. Honestly, I would have preferred any one of them being fleshed out and given more room to breathe rather than the three incomplete stories we get here.

  • 60

    First Comics News

  • 50

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Detective Comics #1081 begins the countdown to the end of the Nocturne story and Ram V’s time on Detective Comics with a characteristically slow, plodding, directionless chapter that says a lot but communicates little. The art is fantastic, so the slow trip at least looks good.

  • 10

    Batman on Film

    Detective Comics has become a shell of itself. The long-standing legacy title gets outshined month after month embarrassingly. This is not just bad Batman; it is shit Batman. I have never been so frustrated by a writer I enjoy as much as V. His characterization of legacy characters can be brilliant, but he seems to get in his way more often than not. Combine that up with Watters, who attempts to sink the book every month in nine pages or less, and you get this disaster. A few people have told me this run reads better collected; I will try that later, not soon. This run and I will need some time apart before I revisit it. Overpriced, overstuffed, and not worth your time. This one is a pass.

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