Monday, September 21, 2020

Bullet Review: Detective Comics #1027

Detective Comics #1027 came out this week, a jumbo issue with a heavy $9.99 price tag, another major anniversary issue just 2 plus years after the mammoth Detective Comics #1000. Of course, this is the 1000th issue with Batman starring in Detective and so I suppose it deserves a bit of accolades.

I think the last Batman book that I collected monthly was Batman Incorporated. (Folks who come here know my love of Grant Morrison ... more on that later.)  I honestly don't know what is happening in the main Batman continuity and even when I hear snippets, I don't think I am missing out.

As a collector though, I love anniversary issues. And I find issues like this, a sort of anthology of short stories by terrific creative teams, to be joyous celebrations. Usually these stories are sort of touch points on themes of the character, a sort of primer on concepts and philosophies. And this issue was no different. 

I wasn't sure if I was going to bullet review this but there is 'blink and you'll miss her' Supergirl sighting and since those aren't common these days I felt compelled. But almost every story in this book is fun. I'll cover just my favorites here but if you have an extra ten bucks, this book is worth it, thick enough to be on you trade shelf.

With a ton of covers to choose from, I picked the Jim Lee 'World's Finest' cover. Hey, in my mind, these two are good friends.

'As Always' was written by Scott Snyder with art by Ivan Reis. It is a look at the Bat Signal and also a peek into the Comissioner Gordon/Batman relationship. But the part I liked best was in the middle.

Gordon narrates starting out by relaying a story where Batman stops a gang of crooks disguised as animated gargoyle statues. I love how Gordon describes the battle-weary Batman as "simultaneously destroyed and indestructible". That is a great line.

On the PD roof, they discuss the Bat Signal. It isn't a warning or a call to arms. It is a beacon of light and hope. The sun will rise ... and if it doesn't, Gotham will make a light for people to see. The city will make it to morning.

Until morning doesn't happen. The sun is gone. 

Batman streaks off.

Gordon talks about all the super-heroes with massive powers trying to save the world. The Green Lanterns try to will a new sun into being. The magicians try to reignite or recreate the sun. Superman (and Supergirl!) consider bottling the planet to save it.

And in the midst of these gods is Batman. I like how Gordon wonders how Batman ... just a man ... feels in the crowd. It is this aspect of Batman which is the one big draw for me to the character.

Of course, Reis draws a great Supergirl!

In the end, a machine is designed and built to recreate the sun. It is heavily implied that Batman designed it.

With the Earth saved, he returns to Gotham and chats with Gordon. He smiles and shows Gordon the machine which would get people through this night and Batman smiles and lights the signal.

For me, I love the smile. Gordon and Batman should smile together. They are comrades in arms. After this stressful experience, Batman should feel like he can let his guard down a bit.

I also really liked 'The Master Class' by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez. All the ex- and current sidekicks as well as Batman run across a dead body and together the solve the mystery of who killed this man.

Bendis always has a great handle on dialogue so it was fun to read him get the voice of all these Robins and Batgirls. From Jason's paranoia to Dick's cool demeanor, everyone sounded like who they are. It was fun to see how all these partners, while all trained the Bat-Way, have their own personality and approach.

And again, we see a Bat-smile, the proud papa saying that everyone is a great detective. 

That's the Batman and Batman Family I want to see!  Fabulous story!

But my favorite story was 'Detective #26' by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham. 

In it, a new vigilante prowls the roofs of Gotham. The Silver Ghost, in his dapper suit and fedora and armed with machine guns, is the 26th detective to try and get control of Gotham.

But on his first night out, The Silver Ghost runs into Batman (drawn in the style of Detective #27) and to hang up his suit before he even gets started. He knows Batman is what the city needs.

And thus, no other detective appears in Detective since #27. Clever.

There are other great stories in this issue (in particular Many Happy Returns by Fraction/Zdarsky) but I don't have the stamina to review the whole thing like Mart Gray. So head to his site for more snippets. But I liked this issue a ton. And nice to see Supergirl even briefly!

Overall grade: A


Martin Gray said...

Great review, and many thanks for the link. Bendis is definitely better at capturing different voices than he was in his Avengers and X-Men days, I hope he sticks at DC.

And yes, Superman and Batman should always be pals. I’m still not over the final issue of the original World’s Finest Comics.

Professor Feetlebaum said...

It sounds like Grant Morrison took his Silver Ghost from The Grey Ghost who appeared on an episode of Batman the Animated Series. The Grey Ghost was a TV hero of young Bruce Wayne. Adam West provided the voice.

I remember that final issue of World's Finest, with Batman lecturing Superman and Superman standing there silent before flying off. Not a good way for the book featuring "your two favorite heroes" to end.