Well well well. Where is the time lost? That’s right, Batman turns 80 this month and Detective Comics topped the number 1000. Awesome. I’ll say this, if there’s a hero worth the party, Batman and Detective Comics are sure to throw him in trouble this week.
Much like a party, there are a lot of different things going on in this case, some great (the area around the grill), some good (the kitchen) and some very poor (the crying guest who vomited and had locked themselves in the bathroom). I won’t delve into every story, the issue is about a hundred pages long and I’ll show my hand now, and it’s well worth the price of admission. I will save two of my favourites until the end.
Of course, there’s a story by Scott Snyder and Greg Capolo that’s just what we all wanted after that legendary race on the new Batman 52. He’s pretty good, and he plays the full “Batman Doesn’t Know Everything” angle that Snyder loves so much. I enjoyed it more for the guest stars than anything else. Then we get a Jim Lee story drawn, a story written by Kevin Smith that I could have picked up or left. I love Smith’s work (and I’m still waiting for him to finish his Batman trilogy) but this story seemed a bit tacky and Jim Lee’s art either felt rushed or his heart wasn’t really in it. Warren Ellis and Christopher Priest have also cast two stories, and Neil Adams has contributed some great pencil work. James Tynion IV and Tony S Daniel also had stories in the book, and they were fine but your life wouldn’t change after reading it. The Jeff Jones story (illustrated by Kelly Jones) was fun and futuristic.
The problem has reached a very low level in the story “Back to Crime Alley” by Denny O’Neill and Steve Epting, where there is Batman, Dr. Leslie Tompkins in Crime Alley and a bunch of serial killers trying to rob them. Naturally, Batman puts down the hammer and Tompkins goes to his bleeding heart about the situation and yells at Batman. She was trying to make him feel guilty about his choices. This whole story should have been omitted from the case, and I would have expected better from a guy like Denny O’Neill, who has had some great Batman stories in the past.
The two best stories were by Paul Dini (don’t expect anything less from the man who wrote Arkham Asylum and City) and Brian Michael Bendis. Denny’s story follows the path of the worst henchmen in Gotham City history. It’s a great read and most importantly a lot of fun. He stole the show in my opinion.
Bendis takes us into the future with Penguin’s story that shows no matter his age, Batman is always three steps ahead of the competition. Alex Maliev’s art complements the mood of the story (it’s also done with color) and proves that an artist and writer who understand each other can make magic. This story really made me want Bendis to get his hands on the Batman book full time after showing that he understands Batman as well as any other writer around.
One of the biggest things I was looking forward to for this issue was the introduction of Arkham Knight. I love the jockey and have rebooted the video game a few times just to see it in action. The Knight is the last story in the book and was anti-climax because it’s pretty much just an inner Knight dialogue telling us how he’s going to drive Batman out. Reminds me of the scene in [easyazon_link identifier=”B01A7J8JGU” locale=”US” tag=”boundingintocomics-20″]true lies[/easyazon_link] Where Arnold translates to Jamie Lee Curtis “We’re cool, we’re badass, blah blah blah.” I understand that the next story is supposed to start, but I would have liked a little more. I’m not a big fan of Peter Tomasi, but if he handles this bow correctly he will win me over. Time will tell.
In general, this is a big problem. You get a lot of stories and it’s great to look at the general art in the book. For its $10 price tag, you won’t find a much better deal. The covers all look pretty solid (I’ve heard they number over sixty of them now, so I can’t guarantee them all) and there’s a Batman story here that almost everyone will like, no matter what era you’re in. Start reading The Adventures of the Headed Crusader. Having been in the game since 1989, I can gladly give this book a big thumbs up and hopefully be around for a thousand more problems!
Comic Book Review: Detective Comics #1000
- Some great stories
- Some cool art too
- Enough good stuff to justify the price
- Back to the smelly crime alley
- More Arkham Knight Wanted (But That May Come)