Detective Comics #998 // Review
Peter J Tomasi and Doug Mahnke continue to bring the premiere Batman title to store shelves as the countdown to #1000 nears its end. This dynamic duo weave their mysteries further as they push Bruce to the limit as he searches for answers and prove once and for all why he is the most dangerous man on planet Earth. With the milestone issue right around the corner, now is the time to jump into this modern classic and join the Bat-themed party.
After reaching another dead end with Hugo Strange, Batman is off to aid a long time friend, Jason Blood, from demonic forces. Left without option, he must dawn the Hellbat armor once again, putting his life on the line to save his ally and stop the creature at any cost. Following narrowly defeating the creature within inches of his own life, Batman continues to find even more clues leading directly back to his origins. Bruce makes contact with Silas Stone, Cyborg’s father, in his office only to be blindsided by technology and led into yet another trap by a mysterious adversary.
Putting the detective back into the comics, Tomasi continues to bless the scripts with his calculated and determined Caped Crusader, risking his own life for the betterment of others. The sheer will and power of Batman is on full display and true to form as he risks life and limb to save Jason Blood no matter the outcome. Playing in his own toy box at times while building off of the larger mythos, Tomasi undoubtedly understands the Dark Knight as well as what draws readers into his world. This modern classic is proving to stand head and shoulders above it’s current contemporaries with every new issue.
Doug Manhke absolutely excels with the high action and more gruesome nature of the series. Leaving his own stamp on the title with his signature style, Mahnke brings the heat between demon and Hellbat as Bruce fights for Jason’s life and his own. As he is truly able to deliver the intensity inherent with Batman, allowing for more weight to be felt throughout this hectic chapter. Even if Batman obviously won’t die in his own title, the stakes and tension are still both felt as Bruce pushes his limits and gambles on his own safety in a selfless act. Mahnke delivers the action packed horror ride through the larger DCU with the Dark Knight of Gotham. David Baron continue to accentuate Mahnke’s pencil work, accentuating the magnificent horror while Gary Frank takes a break from Doomsday Clock to deliver another magnificent variant cover.
Highly ambitious and entertaining, Tomasi and Mahnke leave their competition in the metaphorical dust as they deliver a true to form Caped Crusader for all readers. As the secrets behind Bruce’s assailant grow, so does the heavy anticipation for #1000 and newly canon villain, The Arkham Knight, leaving many to speculate on their identity as well as their connection to this first arc of the run. With only more more issue before the 80th anniversary of the Dark Knight, the wait is almost over.