Just as Action Comics #1000 happened not long ago, DC is building up for Detective Comics #1000, which is not very far away!
To prepare us for that big event, Peter Tomasi and company are looking at the Dark Knight’s life by sending someone to kill those who know him best—including past allies.
DETECTIVE COMICS #997
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Cover Artist: Jaime Mendoza
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 30, 2019
SOLICITATION:There’s no man on Earth more convinced that he knows what makes Batman tick than Dr. Hugo Strange! Which makes him a natural target for the thing that’s hunting Batman, unless Batman gets there first!
LOOKING BACKWARD BEFORE LOOKING FORWARD
It’s a great idea to look back at Batman’s past before Detective moves to #1000 and beyond. And Tomasi, who has written the Dark Knight before, has hit the ground running with a fascinating look into his past. Someone’s killing the people that have been training and helping Batman during his life. Boy, does that anger Bruce Wayne!
In this issue, we see a previous Mister Miracle, the one who taught Bruce how to escape from the worst traps imaginable. He’s much older now, of course, so when the two find themselves in serious trouble, it’s tougher for him to escape. Leave it to Batman to save the day!
One of the most interesting developments to me was how Batman’s “horns” come into play. I won’t spoil it here, but let’s just say that they’re not just for decoration!
One thing that Tomasi always does well is put the Dark Knight in situations that challenge him. This time, it’s sharks and piranhas and water (oh, my!), and it is something that seriously tests Batman and this version of Mister Miracle.
Then there’s a look at how Batman’s supporting cast work with him. Does he take them for granted? Does he protect them as he should? Themes like these are brought up, and the Dark Knight has to face his fears.
Then the aforementioned Dr. Hugo (not Stephen) Strange shows up. Of course, in years past, this Dr. Strange actually took the place of Batman, so he knows the Dark Knight as few others do. More on that in the next issue!
As always, Tomasi’s pacing is quick and fast-moving. We don’t get time to catch our breath at all (again), and the mystery as to just what’s really going on continues to slowly unfold before both Bruce’s and our eyes.
One other thing—Tomasi’s grasp of the characters is one of the best parts of his Bat-tales. There’s one great sequence where Batman is facing a version of himself that goes on and on about his fears and such. Finally, the Dark Knight has had enough and say, “You talk too much!” Now THAT’S a great Batman line for you!
Not to give the Man of Steel any attention during Batman’s time in the sun, but Mahnke’s art is “super,” ideal for this storyline. He displays both crazed sharks and older mentors extremely well.
I love his action sequences in particular, and they seem to fly by as if there were animated. His facial expressions are also well done, clearly showing us what the characters are feeling and thinking. “Superbly” done!
BOTTOM LINE: Let the Countdown Continue!
I have to admit that I’m a little perplexed as to just who is behind all this. I initially thought Hugo Strange would be the ideal antagonist in this story, but that’s clearly not the case now!
This story is the perfect build-up for issue #1000 since it explores just who Batman is and where he’s come from. There’s also lots of action and suspense, so it’s a read I can’t take it in fast enough!
This creative team is one of the great ones for Batman. The Dark Knight has been flying high with some of the best folks in comics telling his tales. I hope that keeps going for a long time to come!
I’m anxious to see #1000. I’ve seen some of the art for that landmark issue on Facebook, and it’s going to be great! If we follow the same pattern as, we’ll get #1001 and so on in the months ahead. That’s quite an accomplishment given that many comics out today don’t go past #50, if that much! So these countdown issues are just what we need to get us ready for the big event! Well done!
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Detective Comics #997
This creative team is one of the great ones for Batman. The Dark Knight has been flying high with some of the best folks in comics telling his tales.