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Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina

(Detective Comics (2016) #4)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  684 ratings  ·  97 reviews
The Dark Knight teams with his fellow Gotham City vigilantes to protect their hometown in the newest volume of this hit graphic novel series in BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 4!

The next big DETECTIVE arc is here! Stephanie Brown wants nothing more than to save Gotham City from the epidemic of costumed vigilantes and madmen who regularly tear the city apart. But before she c
Paperback, 144 pages
Published December 19th 2017 by DC Comics
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  684 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

After a slightly messy and tumultuous story arc, James Tynion IV comes back strong with Batman: Detective Comics (Volume 4) Deus Ex Machina. Collecting issues #957 to #961, this volume kicks things off with a quick reminder of Spoiler’s solo adventure and then dives into a solid and well-executed story around Jean-Paul Valley, also know as Azrael, as well as Zatanna. While there has yet to be an update on the subject, issue #962 is actually the
James DeSantis
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This is probably the weakest arc in detective comics so far.

Saying that this isn't all bad.

The first issue starts with Spoiler. Stephanie is not taking Tim's death well. She decides to be a hero without being a "superhero". Meaning she'll save people but give the cops full credit and act like she was never there. The rest of the volume focuses mostly on Azurla (or however spell his dumbass name) and also Batman and Zatanna going to the past and speaking of how they were once friends and the se
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
While the book mainly focuses on Azrael and the Rebirth version of the Order of St. Dumas, there are a lot of great character moments which I think are the strength of the book. The scenes between Batman and Zatanna are gold, I'd love to see more. Cassandra and Clayface reciting Shakespeare was very interesting, especially so since Cassandra barely talks. Clayface is quickly turning into one of my favorite characters in the book. I hope he doesn't revert to his former villainous self anytime soo ...more
Chelsea 🏳️‍🌈
Wow! This volume was truly wonderful!

Surprisingly, I really liked the storyline between Ascalon and Azrael. Jean Paul has really grown on me as a character and his relationship with Luke is awesome! I can't believe Luke made him a suit without telling Jean Paul about it! I really love how supporting they are of each other.

I also enjoyed Zatanna in this one! She's a character I haven't read much of but I always love when she shows up. She was even more powerful than I expected and this volume su
Stephen Hamilton
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The majority of this volume is taken up with an exploration of Azrael’s past and how it continues to shape his present. It features a cameo appearance from Zatanna, brought in by Batman to help him with another matter, with a few flashbacks to add texture to their relationship. For the most part, I enjoyed these issues, although I’m not overly fussed on either Azrael or Batwing, and Batwoman seemed poorly written in this volume. I do enjoy the evolving friendship between Clayface and Orphan thou ...more
Chris Lemmerman
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
[Read as single issues]
Seeded in issue #950, and even as far back as Batman & Robin Eternal, Azrael finally takes centre stage as the Order Of St. Dumas returns with a vengeance. Meanwhile, Batman and Zatanna look for proof about the fate of Red Robin, and what they find may shatter Bruce's world to pieces.

I've made it no secret that I love this run of Detective Comics, and this arc is no different. The character explorations, particularly those of Bruce and Zatanna, are really well done, an
Adam Spanos
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This book features a five-part arc and a solo story featuring Stephanie Brown.

The five-part arc has two elements. First is a story focusing on Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael), the cultic order of Saint Dumas is back to mess with him and perhaps introduce an AI version of Azrael who is not subject to doubts. The B plot of the story involves Bruce Wayne and Zatara reminiscing over old times while Bruce seeks access to all-knowing relic.

The B plot is the better plot by far. Zatara and her magical world a
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
While the book focuses on Azrael its still a fun read. Probably not as strong as the previous volumes though.
Ryan Stewart
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably a 3.5/5, but I have to round up for the cast of characters and the moment with Azrael that made the early-‘90s kid in me squeal with glee (you’ll know!).

I loved a lot about this. The Bruce-Zatanna dynamic is great. The supporting Bat-family cast takes a bit of a backseat compared to the first three volumes, but they all have good moments.

It’s not the best of Tynion’s run, but it might be the most ambitious, and there’s a nice twist at the end to get me fired up to continue. As is the
Rory Wilding
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Following three volumes that covered the initial year of the run, James Tynion IV’s Detective Comics started off great, but slowly became a product of diminishing returns. Since the beginning of the run, Tynion has been setting up an ongoing storyline around the Bat-family that looms in the background during the individual arcs.

Please click here for my full review.
Scott S.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Thus far, I've thought the Batman: Detective Comics series to be an adequate time-killer but not really much more. Then I get to Vol. 4, which I can describe in three magic words -

namtaB and annataZ!

Yes, the Dark Knight and the Princess of Prestidigitation (that's guest star Zatanna, for those not familiar with her) have a lot of scenes / flashbacks throughout in this one, and they were the absolute highlight of the volume. Additionally, the Clayface scenes with Cassandra Cain (practici
5 🌟

Nice to learn more about Azrael. Wonder what happened to his brother, Ascalon. Glad to see Zatanna. Also glad that the team finally learned that Tim is still alive. Is Mister Valley the one that kidnapped Tim? What is the organization? Hope Spoiler and Azrael will do well as partners.

Can't wait to read Batman: Detective Comics, volume 5: A Lonely Place of Living!!!!
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have problems with the never really dead of the Batman Comics Universe, especially when they are always the same. That said a good story where the Gotham Vigilantes have to defend from one of their friends.

Ho problemi quando i personaggi dell'universo di Batman non rimangono morti, e soprattutto il mio problema peggiora quando a "non morire" sono sempre gli stessi. Detto questo i Vigilanti di Gotham in questo numero devono difendersi da uno dei loro amici.

Will Robinson Jr.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Another fun romp into Gotham city. James Tynion IV continues to work some magic with the Detective comics series. Ironically this volume of the series finds the Bat family coming face to face with the supernatural and magic. This book features a guest appearance from the magic mistress of the DC Universe, Zatanna. I still have fond memories of her appearance on the Batman the Animated Series of the 90s. Tynion takes readers back to Bruce's early days of training to become Batman. In the book we ...more
Adam Graham
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This book features a five-part arc and a solo story featuring Stephanie Brown.

The five-part arc has two elements. First is a story focusing on Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael), the cultic order of Saint Dumas is back to mess with him and perhaps introduce an AI version of Azrael who is not subject to doubts. The B plot of the story involves Bruce Wayne and Zatara reminiscing over old times while Bruce seeks access to all-knowing relic.

The B plot is the better plot by far. Zatara and her magical world a
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This book is just on the verge of being 4 stars for me. Tynion has been building the supporting characters, while in the background a bigger threat is coming. Batman senses it but doesn't know what it is and this volume brings the reader one step closer, promising to reveal everything next.

The focus of this arc was Jean Paul Valley/Azrael, tying up his origin and redefining it for Rebirth. The story also features a wonderful and personal meeting between Bruce and Zatanna, solidifying their past
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
3,5/5 Stars
Wing Kee
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Hey so we get cross publisher pollination!

World: The art is fine. I like the darkness but as with the last arc I'm still not really feeling the character emotions come out of the art. The world building is solid, we get a new version of St. Dumas and it's different that's for sure. The pieces we get for this story are fairly self contained to John Paul until the end which I liked, the dive into character origins I mean. Solid.

Story: As I said for the last arc, I want this team book to take tur
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is volume four of Batman’s Detective Comics. The volume collects Detective Comics issues #957-962. In the past I have not really enjoyed Batman working as a team but I think either I am getting used to it or the story for volume four really helped me enjoy it. I must say though that this volume was enjoyable.

The bulk of the story in this volume is focus on how Batman and his team have to deal with a threat of a robotic being name Ascalon. Ascalon is sent to Gotham from a secretive group cal
Shannon Appelcline
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics-dc, comics
Intelligence (#957-961). Azrael fights against St. Dumas with a little help from his friends. The fight itself is overly long and dull, but the arc is saved by two character bits. First, we get Bruce and Zatanna, touching back on knowing each other in their teenage years. It's pretty wonderful (though I don't know how you have Zatanna and a backward-speaking memory theft without referring to Identity Crisis, but as ever, who knows what in the world is in DC continuity nowadays). Second, we get l ...more
Terry Mcginnis
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Forgettable. Time for the next arc. Hopefully vol. 5 is better. The dialogue between Bruce and Zatanna is the only good part of this book, as it provides some interesting backstory that is new to Batman canon. Not worth a read, though, not even for Batman purists.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This volume focuses on Azrael, who I'd honestly never heard of before he started showing up in Tynion's run of Batman Detective Comics... it's a good story, just didn't have a whole lot of context. Art is good as usual (but I am *still* not used to how many two-page spreads there are).
Michelle Cristiani
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love this team. It might be my fault because I think I skipped a volume, but I find this story just a little disjointed. I love all the elements, though.

I'm a fan of breaking the mold with paneling, but here I had trouble following the panels sometimes. I think this would have worked well with individual comics but doesn't translate as well to paperback form.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This series continues to be seriously enjoyable.
Diego López Ocón
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Batman: Detective Comics, Vol.4: Deus Ex Machina by James Tynion IV continues the theme in this series of telling tales that don't directly involve the Batman. In the prior tales they were the story of Batwoman and Red Robin and more recently Orphan. In Deus Ex Machina Tynion brings forth two very under used and under appreciated characters in the Batman and DC Universe at large/

Azrael and Zantana.

The death of Tim Drake has devastated the Batman team. With the Spoiler angry and petulant the team
Scott Lee
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tynion is getting a better feel for Batman and the family with each volume, and this Bat-team book is an intriguing new way of handling Detective Comics that I'm really enjoying. I still dig Bats most as a solo character, and so you can see by my ratings and reviews that Tom King's stellar work on the Flagship title is getting even better reviews from me, but this is good work.

I like that while the tone is the same the art style is completely independent of Batman. Too often families of comics
Zohar -
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit:

Batman: Detective Comics (Rebirth) Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina by James Tynion IV (Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez) continues the story centering around Batman training a team to fight with. This graphic novel collects Detective Comics #957-962.

Batman finds out that with more people on his team, there are more targets opportunities for his enemies. Together with Azrael, a former assassin, the team finds themselves as targets f
Adam Fisher
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Batwing, Batwoman, and Azrael are taking in a basketball game when Nomoz shows up injured and with a warning. (Nomoz is a friend of Jean Paul's and assisted with his St. Dumas deprogramming) The warning is that the Order of St Dumas has created a new "Azrael" and has sent him out to kill those who had left the Order. This new assassin, Ascalon, is a robot who is not only a killer, but also has an A.I. based on Jean Paul Sr.
Seeing the Bat-Crew needing some help, Zatanna join the team, first helpi
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
With the Rebirth comics coming from DC the world of the DC Universe is less likely to be a familiar one to longtime fans who wander in. Alliances have been made, characters reformed yet similar and past history mingles with new twists along the way. Such was the case I found while reading this collection.

Azrael is no longer under the influence of the Order of Dumas but there is a new danger in Gotham. Ascalon is similar to Azrael but is intent on seeing the entire Order destroyed with him the la
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Prior to his first professional work, Tynion was a student of Scott Snyder's at Sarah Lawrence College. A few years later, he worked as for Vertigo as Fables editor Shelly Bond's intern. In late 2011, with DC deciding to give Batman (written by Snyder) a back up feature, Tynion was brought in by request of Snyder to script the back ups he had plotted. Tynion would later do the same with the Batman ...more

Other books in the series

Detective Comics (2016) (10 books)
  • Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 1: Rise of the Batmen
  • Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 2: The Victim Syndicate
  • Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 3: League of Shadows
  • Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 5: A Lonely Place of Living
  • Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 6: Fall of the Batmen
  • Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 7: Batmen Eternal
  • Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 8: On the Outside
  • Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 9: Deface the Face
  • Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Arkham Knight