When Detective Comics turned 80 the whole world was watching. We know this since the #1000 issue sold over half a million copies. Prepare your wallets for more as DC Comics is releasing a Deluxe Edition this week in comic shops which features 80 more pages of Batman goodness.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Detective Comics #1000: The Deluxe Edition collects the much-lauded landmark issue Detective Comics#1000, as well as an uncollected Batman story by Robert Venditti and an original story from the legendary Batman writer Alan Grant. This edition also features a bonus gallery loaded with variant covers.
Why does this matter?
On top of this being longer it’s also a larger format giving you even more room to love the art. Plus, there are an additional two stories, one written by Robert Venditti and the other by Alan Grant. Oh, and how can you miss every variant cover reprinted in this collection?!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I reviewed the original #1000 issue already, but I will reiterate there are a couple of banger stories within. The book starts off great with a story by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (with inks by Jonathan Glapion, colors by FCO Plascencia) that runs 9 pages. It’s a memorable story not only because it has two of the most important Batman creators in the last decade writing it, but because it hits at the heart of Batman and his detective work. Snyder leads the character through clue after clue, heightening our interest and drawing our attention in. By the end, there’s a twist of sorts that is contemplative and interesting. There’s also a narrative style that puts you in Batman’s head quite well. Capullo gets to draw some fun montages and even a group shot that’ll make you wonder if we’ll get more from the big reveal in a future comic.
Another highlight is a story by Kevin Smith and Jim Lee (with inks by Scott Williams and colors by Alex Sinclair) introducing a clever idea concerning a man who deals in collectibles — guns Two-Face used and Penguin’s Umbrella, for instance. The story has an interesting ending that’s meaningful to Batman’s origin. I don’t know if it’s in canon, but it’s a clever concept that helps humanize Bruce Wayne a bit. Other excellent stories include a Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev story set in the future with an old Penguin and Bruce Wayne sparring.
This deluxe edition gives readers just enough to double dip with two great stories not reprinted until now. The first story titled “Table for Two” is by Robert Venditti with art by Stephen Segovia and colors by Ulises Arreola. It’s a fun done-in-one tale with Batman doing some detective work that leads him from one villain to another and finally figuring out what is really going on. It honors Batman and Two-Face’s legacy well. It’s also well drawn too and keeps the action ramped up. The second new addition to this collection is “Through the Keyhole” by Alan Grant and pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Rob Hunter, and colors by John Kalisz. This tale involves an often underused character created by Grant called Anarchy in a team-up of sorts between Anarchy and Batman against the Ventriloquist. It’s another solid tale that only enhances the value of the collection.
Capping everything off is 32 retailer-exclusive variants from some of the greatest Batman artists ever. Folks like Bruce Timm, Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Tim Sale, Jock, Steve Rude, Michael Cho, Jim Steranko, and Greg Capullo are featured here.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I wasn’t a fan of every story in this collection, especially by comparison to Action Comics #1000, which seemed to be stronger overall. Some of the stories here are about Batman being the greatest detective which suits the series, but others seem to be regular Batman tales. The final Arkham Knight teases lands in the latter category too.
Is it good?
All the new additions to the Deluxe Edition make this a high-value item well worth purchasing. In some cases collections like this are simple reprintings, but DC Comics had done a great job adding value and buy-in to double dip and enjoy these stories in a premiere format. I’m giving this a higher score than the actual #1000 since the additions and extra large format improves the reading experience.