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Detective Comics #994 Review

An excellent start to the last story arc before the milestone 1,000th issue.

We are closing in on yet another milestone issue after a year of milestone issues be it Action Comics, Thor, or Daredevil. Detective Comics is at issue #994 this week and will soon reach 1000 issues, being the second book to reach such a high number. With a milestone coming it’s probably why writer Peter J. Tomasi is delivering a story that brings Batman back to his roots. More specifically, back to the day his parents died in a new mystery that should titillate even casual fans.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

Commissioner Gordon calls in the Dark Knight Detective when there’s a murder at the Gotham City Aquarium–staged to look exactly like Thomas and Martha Wayne’s crime scene, right down to the Playbill and pearls. How does this bizarre homicide tie into the shadowy monster that attacks Dr. Leslie Thompkins? This creature looks to wage a war on Batman–and it’s using Joker Gas to do it

Why does this matter?

This story involves a murder of two people made to look like Bruce’s parents, right down to the nail polish on his mom’s fingers. Who on earth could replicate every detail let alone kill people so perfectly? It’s a mystery that lives up to the name of this book’s title.

Batman does not skip abs day. Credit: DC Comics

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Tomasi writes a very good crime scene. This scene unfurls new details thanks to Batman’s detective skills, weaves in the emotions he’s facing while witnessing his parents’ death all over again, and builds up the mystery very well. I ask anyone to read these first few pages and not be totally captured by the mystery at hand. He then has the gall to thrust us into an action sequence that’s exciting and pulse pounding. This issue has it all and will get you very interested in what comes next.

The book is paced very well too. Just when you think you’ve got a grasp of things it switches everything. There are three big turns in the story with the third being a very surprising cliffhanger. I was on the edge of my seat every step of the way. The issue also captures Batman’s hyper focus by showing how he’s willing to help anyone in need even after seeing two people made to look like his dead parents.

The art by Doug Mahnke is quite good too. His style is detailed and very in tune with the camera angles. The crime scene early on is very good in part because Mahnke chooses many different angles to get us right there with Batman and Comissioner Gordon. You’ll feel like a fly on the wall. Later, when the action kicks in, the art opens up giving us an understanding of where predators and prey are but not forgetting about well timed closeups so we’re right there with the characters.

Is that a bat on his head? Credit: DC Comics

It can’t be perfect, can it?

It’s damn near close! The only thing that threw me off is how Batman knew where a victim is via phone. She tells him where she’s going, but at one point he somehow knows what way she’s pointing so as to give her directions. Can he see through the phone or something?

Is it good?

An excellent first issue in the “Mythology Raze” storyline. You’ll be on the edge of your seat begging for more.

Detective Comics #994
Is it good?
An excellent first issue in the “Mythology Raze” storyline. You’ll be on the edge of your seat begging for more.
A comic in two scenes with twists turns and an excellent mystery kickstarted
Great, detailed art throughout
Not sure how Batman knows where a woman calling him for help is locationally
10
Fantastic
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