Ricky Church reviews Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition…
Earlier this year marked a pretty special occasion for Batman as DC’s resident Dark Knight not only celebrated 80 years of publication, but reached a milestone 1000th issue of Detective Comics, the very comic he was introduced in. Now the celebration continues with DC’s release of Detective Comics #1000: The Deluxe Edition, a hardcover version containing the issue itself along with some extra stories and other goodies. The question is, is this deluxe edition worth it for anyone who bought the original single issue?
I already gave a full review of Detective Comics‘ landmark issue at the time of its release so I won’t go into full detail here except to say the book is an excellent anniversary for Batman and how far he has come both in the comics and pop culture. Beginning as a lone hero to having a large team helping him fight a vast assortment of rogues, Batman has certainly come a long way since his introduction in 1939. Detective Comics #1000 does a great job balancing the more lighter fare stories with the serious ones that examine Batman and the things that drive him to fight crime. Out of all the stories within the issue, the best ones are Kevin Smith’s ‘Manufactured for Use’, Paul Dini’s ‘The Legend of Knute Brody’, Denny O’Neil’s ‘Return to Crime Alley’ and Warren Elliss’ ‘The Batman’s Design’. These stories get to the heart of who Batman is and the many facets of his personality, from his zealous drive for justice, his reliance on fear and ability to plan several steps ahead of his enemies, in some pretty interesting ways. The look forward to Peter Tomasi’s current run on Detective Comics is also a great tease for the future of the title, if a little too familiar to his Action Comics #1000 story in its style.
The two new stories included are ‘Table for Two’ from writer Robert Venditti and artist Stephen Segovia and ‘Through the Keyhole’ from writer Alan Grant and artist Scott McDaniel. Venditti writes a nice case of Batman following several clues to Two-Face’s current whereabouts and focuses a good deal on the old friendship between Batman and Harvey Dent as well as the similarities between the pair now. It’s a nice, quick story with an interesting theme and some fun nods to other Batman media (like Penguin’s infamous rocket-packed penguins) and the art from Segovia shows a lot of detail in his work. Whether its with the action scenes or the gruesomeness of Two-Face’s appearance, Segovia’s art is well done. Alan Grant uses ‘Through the Keyhole’ to tell a story of his co-creation Anarky on a mission while Batman fights the Ventriloquist in two stories that tie together. His use of a villain like Ventriloquist adds some variety to the stories presented in the book by focusing so heavily one of Batman’s more eccentric, and often considered lower-tier, foes. The art from McDaniel looks influenced by the 90’s, but he shows a good display of action and detail on the characters and their movements.
In addition to Venditti and Grant’s stories is the entire collection of variant covers for Detective #1000. With artists like Greg Capullo, Jock, Tim Sale and Bruce Timm, the decades covers are gorgeous, but the book also includes the special limited retail variant covers from Nicola Scott, Alex Ross, Jason Fabok and more. All the covers show just how varied and wild Batman’s 80-year history has been with nods to previous events as well as homages to previous Detective Comics and Batman artists. The deluxe format really helps you to glean over the fantastic artwork from superstars like Jim Lee, Capullo, Steve Epting, Kelly Jones, Patrick Gleason, Joëlle Jones and more, making you appreciate the amount of care they each put into their stories. It also helps that it is quite a vibrant looking book thanks to colourists Alex Sinclair, FCO Plascencia, Jordie Bellaire, Brad Anderson, Elizabeth Breitweiser and others. There’s never a dull image and each story showcases a lot of variety that keeps the book feeling fresh and engaging even just to look at.
Detective Comics #1000: The Deluxe Edition is a great celebration of everything Batman. From the likes of Geoff Johns, Kevin Smith, Scott Snyder, Jim Lee and many more, the book just pours out love for the Dark Knight. Those who bought the single issue and are on the fence about double-dipping needn’t worry as the extra stories, full collection of variant covers and deluxe format make this collected edition well worth the additional purchase. Some stories aren’t as good as others, but many of them do a fine examination of why Batman has been such a monumental figure in pop culture and the comic book industry.
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for movie news and nerd talk.