It has been 80 years since Batman first debuted in comic books. Since that debut in DETECTIVE COMICS #27, he has proven to be one of the most definitive, recognizable characters in pop culture history. Now, in DETECTIVE COMICS #1000, that iconic legacy is honored in the form of a giant-sized issue. There is a multitude of tales that comprise DETECTIVE COMICS #1000, tales written by some of Batman’s best writers, from Scott Snyder to Denny O’Neil.

Of course, each and every story varies in design. Holistically though, they provide distinct vignettes of Batman’s character over the years. Sure, his character can be dark and grim. Yet, at times, he can be quirky and light-hearted. Thus, DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 comprises tales that highlight the many facets of Batman. It comprises tales that remind us of aspects of Batman we don’t often see.

We witness Batman as a detective, as a father-figure, as a mourning son.

So, ultimately, though the stories within DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 vary in quality, they come together to provide an authentic and fitting tribute to the Dark Knight.

detective comics #1000
DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 variant cover by Alex Ross. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment

The Legend of The Dark Knight

As aforementioned, there is a multitude of stories that make up DETECTIVE COMICS #1000. These tales are brief in nature, though it is safe to say each one packs a punch to some degree. So, I believe it is worth emphasizing the stories that really stand out. First on that list is the tale written by Kevin Smith.

In that tale, Batman finds himself in disguise at an underground pawn shop that sells artifacts associated with some of Gotham City’s most heinous crimes. There, he purchases the very weapon that was used to kill his parents. Initially, it appears as though Batman plans on holding onto the weapon as a reminder of what transpired so many years ago. Instead, he melts the gun down into a plate that he places inside the Bat emblem of his Batsuit so that its significance can be displaced from a fateful weapon to a mode of protection against those who wish to hurt others.

It is truly amazing to see the poignancy Smith is capable of conveying in only a few pages. This poignancy is bolstered by the impeccable art of Jim Lee and colorist Alex Sinclair who literally brings light to a bittersweet work. So, collectively, “Manufacture for Use” is arguably the best vignette DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 has to offer.

detective comics #1000
DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 variant cover by Bill Sienkiewicz. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 in Motion

In regard to the artwork of this issue, Alex Maleev shines in his contributions to the tale entitled “I Know.” His pencilling and colors, in particular, provide the story with a dense grittiness that emphasizes the tension of the work. He implements tones of noir throughout the arc’s imagery, maintaining haunting and mysterious vibes throughout.

Now, the final story I want to point out is “The Legend of Knute Brody,” from writer Paul Dini, that highlights the adventures of a henchman who has worked for pretty much every big bad in Gotham. This story is so unexpected and just so weird, to put it simply, that it deserves a shout out. This specific story reminds us that Batman can be odd at times. The character can subvert his own grim stereotypes.

Thus, I am grateful for the inclusion of this story in DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 as it reminds us of the light side we don’t regularly see from Batman.

detective comics #1000
DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 variant cover by Jason Fabok. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

Honestly, each and every story in DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 is special in its own way. They are included in this conglomeration of stories for a reason. They each showcase a characteristic of Batman that is essential to his makeup. Therefore, this particular issue thrives in its diverse array of stories.

Some are unexpected and may not make much sense, others seem to dive deep into nostalgia.

Regardless of the tone or content, each story is quintessentially Batman, and that’s what makes DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 a truly epic and well-rounded tribute to Batman’s 80th birthday.

DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 by Various
DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 features a diverse array of stories, some better than others. Ultimately though, the issue proves to be a wonderfully fitting tribute to the legendary Dark Knight himself and the evolution of his character over 80 years.
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