SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for "Detective Comics" #935, on sale now.
When is a colony of bats in your belfry a good thing? When it's in "Detective Comics" #935. This second installment of "Rise of the Batmen," by James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas, continues to formalize the new Batman Family setup, both in terms of membership as well as technology and overall strategies.
The Belfry, With Mud Room Upgrade
The hottest new real estate in Gotham is the Belfry. Evoking the phrase of "bats in the belfry," this training facility for the team -- essentially a new, above-ground Batcave -- is situated in the center of Gotham City. Not only does its massive floor-to-ceiling window look out over downtown Gotham, it's got some new technology to aid the cast of "Detective Comics." Tim Drake/Red Robin has set up a computer system that is, "plugged into every line of law enforcement communication" and is able to "triangulate 911 calls faster and more effectively than the GCPD could." With a massive bell hanging over the heads of the heroes (with a literal belfry being a bell tower), this new setup evokes the headquarters Barbara Gordon used as Oracle in post-"Crisis" continuity. The bell replaces the clock face iconography, yes, but with the impressive view and the banks of computers, it's hard to think this is a coincidence.
What Do You Call a Group of Bats?
The villain behind the attack on Azrael in the last issue is still a mystery, even as the badly-injured Jean-Paul Valley is being questioned by Batman and Red Robin. It's worth noting, though, that either the villain, or the forces working for said villain, is named Colony. A colony is also a name for a group of bats, making the symbolism hard to ignore. Whatever Colony is, the motivation is almost certainly anti-Batman. Ironically, Colony is actually a great name for this training team, and could perhaps be re-appropriated for this new Batman Family when the dust settles.
With more still more information lurking within "Detective Comics" #935 (Tim Drake's genius grant at Ivy University; the news that one of the female members of the team is there for more than just training; the growth of Tim and Stephanie's relationship), there's a lot to unpack this week. Twice-a-month series often dole out information slowly, but that's doesn't seem to be the case here. With a slick new headquarters and all sorts of mysteries lurking around the corner, Tynion, Barrows, and company have quickly given this title a big facelift.