Comics Review: ‘Detective Comics’ #1000

DC celebrates 80 years of their most treasured icon…

Detective Comics 1000.png

Main cover art by Jim Lee for the milestone ‘Detective Comics’ #1000 (c. DC Entertainment).

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…

In review

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.

Images used herein are utilised for illustrative purposes only and remain the property of the copyright owner(s).

10 thoughts on “Comics Review: ‘Detective Comics’ #1000

  1. I enjoyed Detective Comics #1000 as well. It was a great anniversary and milestone issue, with lots of really good stories. A fine way to celebrate the Dark Knight’s legacy 🙂

  2. Great write up. I cannot decide which cover to get for this monumental issue! Some of the stories in the comic book sound intriguing, especially the one with the elderly Penguin, and I cannot wait to pick it up in a couple of days. It also seems like the issue has a better selection of stories compared to Action Comics #1000.

  3. Wonderful review of this historical issue. I picked up my copy on Thursday too and I look forward to diving into it. I do have to admit that I have been stacking up my Detective Comics issues since the day James Tynion IV left the series. I need to binge a couple of volumes before reading #1000 now hahah I do love the creative teams they’ve invited to write this one. And from the sound of it, they all sound pretty decent!

    It’s nice to hear that they’re sort of making the Arkham Knight a “canonical” character now. I do wonder how it’ll work with that other iconic character (I think you know who I speak of since you’ve played the games).

    By the way, have you heard of Bendis’ Leviathan story to come? Do you plan on checking it out?

    • Thank you sir! It’s a great celebratory release and more consistent than Action Comics #1000 I thought. The only drawback is that they are short stories and some of them could have been longer – or at least I wanted them to be!

      Tomasi’s work on Detective has been a bit hit and miss so far but I’m looking forward to what he does with the Arkham Knight arc.

      I’m certainly following the build up to Leviathan (the prelude arc is currently underway in Action Comics) and looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. I’m hoping to review some Action Comics in the coming months so stay tuned.

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