Detective Comics #974 spoilers
Credit: DC Comics

Spoilers ahead for this week's Detective Comics #974.

For fans of Clayface, the cliffhanger in Detective Comics #973 was worrisome. Sure, characters come back from the dead all the time, but with the cover of this week's Detective Comics #974 featuring what appeared to be Basil's dead body - and warnings from the future Tim Drake hinting about this incident - things didn't look good.

This week's issue spells it out - Clayface really is dead.

And Batwoman really did kill him.

Whether some writer in the future decides to revive him or not, for now, the Bat-family is being torn apart by what appears to be one Bat-family member killing another one.


Credit: DC Comics

What Happened

After it's confirmed that Basil's not coming back from this, the team joins Batwoman on the rooftop where she took the shot. Readers learn that - even though Batwoman's actions arguably saved lives - Batman's upset with Kate because… you know … no killing allowed.

Tim's even more ticked off (wishing his future self didn't turn out to be right), and Cass is straight-up freaking out (being the most emotionally attached to Basil).

Kate claims she did the right thing - that she knows the rules of engagement, and it was time to engage. She says she'd do it again, given the same choice, and believes she saved Cass' life.

Cass isn't buying it and rips the Bat-symbol off Kate's chest, saying that symbol means to never kill. She believes Clayface could have been saved. Tim also thinks there is "always" a "better way" than killing.

Credit: DC Comics

Team Split

Batman asks Kate to take a "break" from active duty on the team. "We'll deal with what you've done later," he says as he comforts the still-distraught Cassandra.

Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

Batwing and Azrael show up and they're siding with Batwoman. As Batwing put it, "Batwoman just saved the city from King Clayface over there, and you're dismissing her?"

Azrael is a little more calm about it, saying it's inappropriate for Batman to "pick apart" the team right now.

"If you want to leave with her," Batman replies, "you are welcome to do so."


Three days later at Arkham, Basil's wish to see Mudface restored to being Glory Griffin again are realized. Dr. October isn't exactly happy about doing it - and about the prospect that Glory is probably going to be freed - but she reminds Glory that she's been given a second chance and should "make it worthwhile."

Credit: DC Comics

Ugly But Interesting Aftermath

Meanwhile, at the Robin's Nest, Stephanie confronts Tim about his "war" with Batwoman. She declares that she's leaving the city to figure things out - without costumes or supervillains. "I love you, Tim Drake," she says. "I believe you can do great things, but I can't watch you do this to yourself."

Credit: DC Comics

And she's gone.

Batman and Tim have a heart-to-heart, as tears roll down Tim's face. He's starting to realize that maybe he can't stop himself from becoming that bitter, brutal, future Batman he met in Oz's prison.

At the same time, Kate's nursing her wounds as her father praises her actions and makes a proposition. He brings out the Colony Batwoman suit that was seen previously in the Batwoman series. "What do you say, soldier?" he asks. "Are you ready for the real mission to begin?"

Then as the issue ends, it's revealed that Ulysses Armstrong is watching the team, still working with the version of Brother Eye that he activated. He's pleased with events, and he's planning a "dark future" for the heroes.

Credit: DC Comics

So let's see … Steph is gone, Batwoman's fired (and possibly changing allegiances), Azrael and Batwing are divided from the team, Clayface is dead, Tim's freaking out about his future, Cass is grieving, and Ulysses Armstrong is on the attack.

The final page teases, "Next: The Trial of Batwoman," in February 28's Detective Comics #975.

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