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The Dark Knight celebrates 75 years of crimefighting with Detective Comics #27

Cover art for Detective Comics #27.
Cover art for Detective Comics #27.
DC Comics

Detective Comics #27


What better to way to open up the 75th anniversary year for Batman than to start it off with a celebration of the 27th issue of Detective Comics through 27 tales taking up 96 pages? I'm sure many readers might know that the Dark Knight made his debut in the pages of Detective Comics in 1939. However, it never hurts to educate newer enthusiasts and that's exactly what the writers and artists do in this issue.

Writers featured in Detective Comics #27 include Brad Meltzer, Gregg Hurwitz, Peter J. Tomasi, Francesco Francavilla, Mike Barr, John Layman, and Scott Snyder. Each one uses their talents to spin a yarn which pays tribute to the Caped Crusader and his 75 year legacy of crimefighting. I found myself emotionally touched by certain of the more sentimental stories.

The big highlight of Detective Comics #27 is the re-telling of "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate." Writer Brad Meltzer tackles the duty of breathing new life into the first Batman adventure ever published way back in May of 1939. I must say I was very impressed with the care and affection he put into it. Artist Bryan Hitch lends his unique style to the updated adaptation. He even goes so far as to use the same panel count as the original 1939 story.

The second most talked-about tale in Detective Comics #27 is the first chapter in writer John Layman and artist Jason Fabok's "Gothtopia" story arc. When delving into the story, a feeling of disappointment welled up in me. It was looking like we were going to get another alternate reality plotline. Thankfully, things turned around and I left the first chapter interested in what would come next. The big letdown for me was the alternate names chosen for all of Batman's sidekicks and allies. Many of them are just plain corny.

Each story is split up by variant covers and pin-up art beautifully crafted by many of the biggest names in the comic book industry. Chris Burnham, Nathan Fairbairn, Tony S. Daniel, Jim Lee, and Frank Miller all provide variant covers. Pat Gleason, Kelley Jones, Jock, Graham Nolan, and Mike Allred give us pin-up art suitable for framing. It would've been nice to see new work from Norm Breyfogle for this issue, but I guess we can't have everything.

Detective Comics #27 is a heartwarming and exciting tribute to one of the most important characters ever created. Each tale found in this mega-sized issue reflects everything the Batman has stood for over the past 75 years. You can tell how much admiration and love each artist and writer has for the Dark Knight by their work on every page.

Detective Comics #27 is available now in paperback and Kindle editions.