“Detective Comics” #47 is a typical middle chapter in a longer storyline. It has one purpose — to get characters from point A to B — so that the larger story can heat up with everyone in their new positions. The problem with “Detective Comics” #47, though, is that Ray Fawkes and Steve Pugh were handed a chapter with not enough material to warrant a full issue.
First and foremost, Pugh’s art here is great. It’s a delight to see him drawing a full comic instead of just a few pages in “Batman and Robin Eternal.” There’s a smooth, slick, almost oily look to his ink lines that is attractive and perfectly frames the characters he’s creating. One of the things I love about Pugh is how he draws all sorts of body types; Grayson is almost impossibly muscled, but Bullock looks overweight without coming across as overly so. Jim Gordon as Batman falls in between the two, and the glimpses we get of the various imprisoned Robins do as well. It’s nice to have them all shapes and sizes here.
Fawkes does the best he can with “Detective Comics” #47, considering that he doesn’t have room to deviate from the start or end points that were determined for this chapter of “Robin War.” The problem is that the Robins hanging out in their cages isn’t terribly interesting, and he wisely understands that he can’t focus too much on the Grayson/Batman fight because there’s only so long it can go before it would seem like a stalling technique. Fawkes does a good job with Damian Wayne’s voice — coming across as annoyed and angry without being over the top — and his setup of the conclusion to the issue is also strong. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the middle of “Detective Comics” #47 feels like it could be trimmed down a lot, especially after the first two main chapters in “Robin War” and “Grayson” felt so much stronger.
“Detective Comics” #47 is a slight stumble for “Robin War,” with the problem being that ultimately there just isn’t enough plot to fill this issue. Fawkes and Pugh do the best they can under this restriction, but — in the end — they’re as caged as the horde of Robins captured by the GCPD. Hopefully, the main storyline will kick back into high gear shortly.