Detective Comics writer Mariko Tamaki talks about Psycho-Pirate's return and Team Batman without a Batman

Detective Comics #1051 excerpt
Detective Comics #1051 excerpt (Image credit: DC)

Fresh of his stint as a failed Darkseid minion in Infinite Frontier limited series, the metaversal misfit Psycho-Pirate has made himself known to the DC Universe once again, revealing himself to be one of the evil masterminds behind Arkham Tower - the twisted replacement to the iconic Arkham Asylum. But that's just the beginning of the story writer Mariko Tamaki is telling currently in DC's Detective Comics ongoing series.

Detective Comics #1052 cover (Image credit: DC)

Tamaki and a team of artists are in the early stages of a 12-part storyline called 'Shadows of the Bat' running through Detective Comics in the wake of Batman leaving Gotham City. While the main Batman series follows Bruce into international waters, Tamaki's Detective Comics has stayed centered in Gotham on 'Team Batman' as she calls it.

In February 1's Detective Comics #1051, the truth behind Arkham Tower began to be revealed, and as Psycho-Pirate begins to lose his grip so loosens the seeming cures he gave to the criminals-turned-patients of the mental health facility. And with those cures turning out to be quick temporary fixes, the patients of Arkham Tower are now reverting back to their past criminal ways. Batwoman is undercover on the inside, with Huntress and Nightwing on the outside doing what they can. But this is the point in the plan to save Arkham Tower where everything goes sideways.

"I wanted this to feel a little messy and chaotic," Tamaki tells Newsarama. "In this story, Batwoman and Huntress are really all part of a massive team of heroes trying to control this massive beast of moving parts. If it WASN'T for this team, the whole building would just be on fire." 

Psycho-Pirate and the recently-introduced Dr. Wear have been revealed as the co-conspirators behind Arkham Tower - each with their own agenda.

Tamaki says that "in a lot of ways, Psycho-Pirate IS Arkham Tower." says the writer. "He's also a mess and living 24/7 in a room piled high with empty cans of energy drinks and caffeine pills. He's trying to hold this whole thing together but it was always an impossible task."

On the flip side, the medical expert Dr. Wear has been revealed to have sold Gotham a bad bill of goods for how Arkham Tower could help the city.

Detective Comics #1053 cover (Image credit: DC)

"Wear is a con artist and a liar. And lies always require more lies to back them up," says Tamaki. "And as we move into Detective Comics #1052 we're just watching all these unpaid Wear bills come due. It's kind of like a car accident in a snowstorm, we're just sort of watching Wear slide into the back of a semi in slow motion."

As you might be able to tell, there are several moving parts in Detective Comics' 'Shadows of the Bat,' and it's something Tamaki tells Newsarama has been intense but rewarding.

"It's funny because the planning stages were so intense, now I'm just watching all this amazing art pour in from Max Raynor and Ivan Reis and Amancay Nahuelpan and everyone else working on colors and letters and inks, and it's kind of amazing to see it actually on the page," says the writer. "I'm so grateful to my editors and to everyone working on these books. This project really is a massive structure of moving parts and if it wasn't for my whole team 'Shadows of the Bat' would just be on fire."

'Shadows of the Bat' continues February 8 with Detective Comics #1052.

Keep track of this and all the new Batman comics, graphic novels, and collections in 2022 and beyond. 

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)

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