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‘Detective Comics’ #19 celebrates 900 issues — is it worth $7.99?


If the DC Comics New 52 reboot hadn’t happened, Detective Comics would have reached its 900th issue this month. That wasn’t lost on DC, which celebrated the milestone this week with the release of an 80-page, $7.99 anniversary issue. The issue sports the New 52 debut of an old favorite, and a tribute to the number 900 in a story that ties into the larger ‘Emperor Penguin’ arc running through the comic. It also features back-up tales starring Bane, Man-Bat and the Gotham City Police Department, as well as a gallery of art by various artists.

So does this oversized issue do justice to its 900-issue legacy? Here are a few opinions from around the web …

Greg McElhatton, Comic Book Resources: “Featuring the return of Man-Bat to the re-launched DC universe (despite them already appearing in Batman Incorporated, a fact that Layman works into the story), Detective Comics #19’s lead story is exactly the sort of comic I’ve quickly grown to expect from Layman and Fabok. It uses classic Batman villains in a story that can be read as a one-off, but at the same time integrates it into their larger ‘Emperor Penguin’ story arc. It’s a clever way to keep building up a big story, but at the same time keep it from feeling overly long or drawn out.” (4/5)

Andrew Asberry, Batman News: “The first of the short stories, ‘Birth of a Family’ feels like the typical back-up we see at the end of any issue of Detective Comics. It’s a quieter, more villain-centric short written again by John Layman and drawn by Andy Clarke, who is an amazing artist (except when it comes to drawing open-mouth smiles, they always look creepy) that I would like to see on a bat-title full time. Here we see how Langstrom’s research began, how he met his wife, and how she is dealing with the aftermath of what occurred in “The 900.” Clarke got to draw some rather disturbing imagery in this one and it looks great. The nasty monsters you see will really stick with you for a while.” (8.5/10)

Brett Schenker, Graphic Policy: “Bane is the next focus, in the story War Council, that sees him training a bunch of juiced up freaks as he talks about how his latest plot was foiled and connects Bane with the Court of Owls. It feels a bit of a stretch, but it clearly is there to set up what comes next. While a nice teaser story, his army seems unnecessary and almost diminishes Bane as a character. It’s a little out of place. James Tynion IV is the writer with art by Mikel Jamin.”

Detective #900

Detective #900

Zach Wilkerson, Multiversity Comics: “‘Through a Blue Lens’ is perhaps the most unique of the stories featured. In the fallout of ‘The 900,’ a GCPD cop recovers from his Man-Bat transformation in the company of his fellow servicemen. The crux of the story revolves around the perception of the Batman among the GCPD. Layman handles this well-worn concept with care, and while it may be wishful thing, the writer perfectly sets the stage for a new Gotham Central series. This would be a fantastic use of Layman’s talents, should DC choose to pursue something of the sort. Jason Masters, who has recently filled in for Chris Burnham in Batman Incorporated, is the weakest artistic link of the issue.” (2.5/10)

Aaron Long, Comicosity: “Readers of Layman & Fabok’s Detective Comics will find some solid content in this 80 page issue, but other than the references to the 900 block of Gotham this issue has little in the way of Batman fanfare for people who aren’t looking for content related to the current storyline. There may be some interesting storylines that come from this comic and the Layman/Fabok story is of extremely high quality, but sadly the rest of the issue left much to be desired.” (6.5/10)

Wayne, Hall, Major Spoilers: This was a good celebration of 900 issues of Detective Comics! Of course, it would have been nice to see that numbering restored, but I’m okay with this kind of recognition. It literally drives me batty to see a comic go on for 10-20 issues, then get renumbered when a company thinks they can sell more copies by leaping back to the numbering they just left a few months back! Other than that, it’s a powerful issue with connections to previous ones and to other events taking place in the Batman universe. Hey, this comic had to celebrate 900 issues, be part of ‘WTF’ and also move us forward in other stories. I think ya done good, folks!” (8/10)



If it was in the ORIGINAL numbering, I would get this issue.

Feel free to wait for the next 900 then… oh wait….

Let me tell you that I was a huge batman collector in the pre and post crisis era.
Now…I didn’t buy an issue of Bats since War Games probably…

But I had to pick this issue…. the number 900 of a superhero comic!
So, I returned to the bat world. Just in time to know that things are SO AWFUL BAD

I don’t plan to bouy another bat book in a while…
IMO this is a waste of time and money, and a offensive way to celebrate the long live of this tittle.

The new 52 is like a deja vu of the worst 90’s image comics.

Charles J. Baserap

April 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm

The weirdest thing is that Batman appeared NOT to know who Langstrom was from their interactions, despite the mentioning of the serums and stuff from Batman, Inc., etc. It was written so oddly when they met, as if he had no clue.

Erech Overaker

April 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Think it’s been said that the Batman Inc./Morrison stuff exists in a continuity all of its own. Don’t stare too hard or none of the new continuity makes much sense. Why is there even a Kyle Rayner or Tim Drake comic at all is stuff that I can’t work my head around.


Charles J. Baserap

April 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm

The problem with the Batman, Inc stuff being its own continuity is that they’ve made repeated references to it, from the ManBats and Talia, to Jason going undercover for him with Damian, to, most importantly, Damian’s death IN an issue of Batman, Inc. that’s totally affected the rest of the line.

Jake Earlewine

April 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Is it worth $7.99?

If they were giving it away on Free Comic Book Day, I would still choose something else.

So let’s see… 900 = 19
19+27 = 46

The 75th anniversary of Batman is cover dated May 2014 (#30).
Of course, DC would capitalize on “Detective Comics #27″ in February 2014, leading into #30

Then starting with #46 (Detective #927), DC could run a five-issue arc celebrating that anniversary, possibly as a prologue to Detective #50 (and crossing over with the other remaining #50 issues from the New 52) in January 2016. Run that crossover through December, and you cover the 75th anniversaries of the major DC characters (Wonder Woman, December 1941).

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