Comic Review: Detective Comics #1027 (DC Comics)

This issue of Detective Comics is a biggie, both in number of pages and in symbolic significance. Because of course, (our great grandparents will recall) the first Batman story emerged […]

This issue of Detective Comics is a biggie, both in number of pages and in symbolic significance.

Because of course, (our great grandparents will recall) the first Batman story emerged from the hands of Bob Kane and Bill Finger in Detective Comics #27, wayyyy back in May 1939. So, this is sort of the ‘real’ 1000th issue of Batman in Detective.

It’s 144 pages for $10. Is it ‘Mega-Special’ money well spent, or will you have 1000th issue remorse for 27 days?

To summarize: 11 writers, with 13 artists. Full page pinups (large full-page drawings) and a main cover by Andy Kubert. Twelve, count ’em, 12 stories.

Of the 11 stories, there are a few really great ones, and several that (for me) miss the mark. Let’s look at that a little closer:

The stories that miss the mark for me, without delving into each and every one of them, seem to have a similar feel. They attempt to please fans, perhaps, by featuring cameos of heroes, snippets of significant moments in Batman history, reminiscences in passing, tributes to Years gone by. There’s certainly nothing wrong with us pausing at Detective issue 1027 to look back at its 80-year journey, of course. But when the cameos are just panels that stream by like an Oscar tribute, it’s a missed opportunity. it’s a Powerpoint deck, it’s a slide show, it’s your phone photos swiping past.

For that reason, the story “Detective #26”, written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Chris Burnham (Nathan Fairbairn colours) is a blast of fresh air, an alternate take, a reboot straight to the back of the head. “What if?” indeed, throws us back to the idea of a vigilante who wants to wear a costume, just BEFORE Batman dons his Bat costume. The storyline is captivating, the illustrations are fun. It’s like a crudely drawn 1939 story, remastered for 2020, now in 4K, full Surround, loads of pixels and the bandwidth of genius plotting.

Likewise, Generations: Fractured, written and drawn by Dan Jurgens, with Kevin Nowlan on finished art, coloured by Hi-Fi, brings a retro-looking-back-today feel to a Batman story. There’s punching, there’s several generations of Batmen from the past, and surprise crossover appearances. Plus, it’s continued in a stand-alone title of the same name!

There are three or four other stories of real note in this issue, so overall, it’s quite well worth your $10!

DC, Detective #1027, $9.99 for 144 pages of content

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!