Detective Comics #1000
Written By: Scott Snyder, Tom King, Kevin Smith, Paul Dini, Warren Ellis, Brian Michael Bendis, Peter J, Tomasi, James Tynion IV, Dennis O’Neil, Christopher Priest, Geoff Johns
Art By: Neal Adams, Greg Capullo, Kelley Jones, Doug Mahnke, Jim Lee, Tony S. Daniel, Joelle Jones, Dustin Nguyen, Alex Maleev, Steve Epting, Alvaro Martinez
Published By: DC Comics
Release Date: 3/27/2019
80 years ago this week, comic book readers were introduced to a character that would be a champion and inspire generation after generation. Of course I am talking about Batman. The Dark Knight first appeared in the pages of Detective Comics #27. Now 80 years later, comic book readers celebrate his legacy with Detective Comics #1000.
Much like Action Comics #1000 from last year, Detective #1000 features multiple short stories that highlight various decades throughout the 80-year run. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo team up for the first tale of the book which sees Batman trying to solve a mystery that has been plaguing him ever since he first took on the mantle. His investigation leads him all over the world until the final clue brings him back to Gotham. The answers to his investigation are revealed but in a very unexpected way. Another story, written by Tom King with art by Clay Mann and Joelle Jones, features Bruce visiting his parent’s grave while the rest of the Bat-family assembles. The family starts to question why each member is there only to find out via a unique twist. I could go on and on with what each story is about but I don’t want to spoil things.
The writing in this book is top notch and everyone brings their “A” game. This is a celebration of Batman and his rich history in comics and every writer shows that in their stories. Each story in these pages has a different tone and deals with a different subject matter. Some are dark and brooding, some are driven by pure emotion and others are just plain fun. As I continued to read this giant 1000th issue, I kept getting more and more invested in not just Batman but his family and his rogues gallery. Batman has arguably the greatest rogues in the history of comics and a lot of them are on display in major ways. There is a wonderful story that is told by multiple Batman villains about a legendary henchman for hire. It features Harley, Ivy and the Mad Hatter and provides a lot of great laughs.
The Bat-family is also used well and are celebrated in many different ways. There are great character meet ups that highlight this book including one between Damian and Dick. As a fan of Batman, I really missed the relationship between Dick and Damian. They have great chemistry and they play off of each other really well. In fact, I would read another series that is just the two of them teaming up like they did when Dick became Batman. It’s through these aspects of writing that this book really shines.
The art that is on display in the 96 page giant issue is absolutely breathtaking. Like the writers, the artists bring so much to the table. Every single story has an artist that does an amazing job to not only fit the tone of the story but to drive its impact home. My favorite panels come from the first story, where Greg Capullo captures the noir feel while also putting a distinct spin on it. The panels are just stunning and I found myself going back to them over and over again as I was reading. There is so much to love about the art and as I was reading I just found myself in awe of these amazing artists. They bring so much passion to the stories that they are helping to tell that I cannot help but applaud them.
This book is such a distinguished and fun way to celebrate 80 years of Batman and while it is almost flawless, there was one negative takeaway. The Joker and Ra’s al Ghul are barely in it and Bane is really nowhere to be found. The three biggest threats to Batman aren’t used the way they should be, or they aren’t in it at all, and that is very frustrating. I would have loved to have seen a story that flashes back to when Bruce was being trained by Ra’s. It would have been interesting to see what was going through Bane’s mind when he Broke The Bat. I also would have liked to see more of the Joker, especially while he was the original Red Hood. DC had so many opportunities here and it feels like they missed out on them.
With that being said, I absolutely love this book and I had a big smile on my face while reading it.
4 Shining Bat Signals out of 5