DC celebrates 80 years of their most treasured icon…
Written by: Scott Snyder, Brian Michael Bendis, Tom King, Denny O’Neil, Kevin Smith and more / art by: Greg Capullo, Alex Maleev, Tony S. Daniel, Steve Epting, Jim Lee and more / colours by: various
What’s it about?
An anthology of short stories to mark the 80th anniversary of Batman as Detective Comics reaches one thousand issues…
Following Superman’s landmark 80th birthday last year, DC presents the 1,000th issue of Detective Comics (more accurately going by the full title of Batman: Detective Comics in contemporary times) in celebration of 80 years of Batman, the comic book publisher’s most treasured (and lucrative) character and one of the world’s most popular and beloved fictional icons. This behemoth 96-page issue enlists some of the greatest comics talent to produce a truly special and memorable collection of short stories.
There are numerous tales in Detective Comics #1000 and it would be exhaustive to provide a detailed overview of each one but needless to say there are many highlights. Perhaps fittingly, the book opens with the fan favourite creative team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (whose character work is, pleasingly, a little less rough and cartoonish than in his previous collaborations with Snyder) and intriguingly as they deal with Batman’s longest and most mysterious investigation. Current Batman writer Tom King with artists Tony S. Daniel and Joelle Jones present “Batman’s Greatest Case” an expectedly strong contribution that involves the whole Bat-Family and some fun interplay between the various players, particularly Dick Grayson and Damien. Geoff Johns and Kelley Jones team-up in a creepy story dealing with a copycat criminal. Jones’ art is the only real ‘blip’ here as there’s a diminished, muddied quality to his visuals in comparison to his work in the nineties.
Superman and Action Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis reunites with Alex Maleev for “I Know“, a stark and gritty tale where an elderly and bitter Oswald Cobblepot laments that he always knew what Batman’s other foes never knew – the true identity of the man beneath the cowl. It’s a reminder of Bendis and Maleev’s monumental Daredevil run that will only make readers yearn for a full Batman mini-series from the (dynamic?) duo.
A real treat is the return of the legendary Denny O’Neil (whose most celebrated collaborator, Neal Adams appears elsewhere with a story written by Christopher Priest) who together with the sublime Steve Epting presents an appropriately sombre and moody sequel to the popular “There is No Hope in Crime Alley!“. O’Neil’s tenure as a Batman writer in the 1970s helped to bring the character back to his darker crime fiction roots after the camp and zany 1960s and revisiting one of his most beloved stories is a perfect addition to this anthology.
The pick of the bunch though has to be “Manufacture For Sale“ by Kevin Smith (geek icon and writer of Batman: Cacophony and Batman: The Widening Gyre) and Jim Lee (DC art god who also pencils the main wrap-around cover for this issue), a heartfelt and poignant story which sees Bruce Wayne’s search for a specific item that ties to his past and turn it from something used for an evil deed and utilise it as an object of hope. It’s beautifully crafted and bound to be cited in the years to come as a classic moment in Batman history.
Whilst much of the content of Detective Comics #1000 is self-contained it does close out with the title’s regular writer Peter Tomasi and rotating artist Doug Mahnke as they set-up the upcoming Arkham Knight arc that kicks off fully in issue #1001 which brings the popular video game character into DC Universe continuity and leaves the reader ready and waiting for many more issues of Detective Comics.
The bottom line: Essential for even the most casual of comic book readers and Batman fans, Detective Comics #1000 is a perfect celebration of 80 years of the Dark Knight Detective, boasting some of the very best comics talent.
Detective Comics #1000 is published by DC and is available in print and digital formats now. A Deluxe Edition hardcover containing extra material is slated for release in June.
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