Detective Comics #999 // Review
The first arc of this run closes in spectacular fashion, setting the stage for the landmark issue debuting next month. Peter J Tomasi and Doug Mahnke deliver a modern day classic and create a memorable tale for the ages. This dynamic duo bring this story to a close with an fantastically bittersweet twist ending, leaving issue #1000 as the perfect jumping on point for any reader. With an unforgettable twist and stunning art, this issue is a must read.
After the jarring finale of the previous chapter, this issue finally unveils who had been behind Bruce’s torment from the beginning of Tomasi’s new run. It is revealed these events are actually taking place as a yearly event in “celebration” of Batman’s birthday. With an unforgettable twist ending to wrap this first arc up neatly, the landmark issue will kick off Tomasi’s next arc on the title. While still action packed, this issue serves more as a cathartic reminder to readers of what Batman has overcome while always remaining the ever determined and headstrong detective. With the 80th year of Batman right around the corner, the question still remains; who is the Arkham Knight?
Peter J Tomasi delivers one of the best single issues the Caped Crusader has seen in years. No matter the odds he faces or the torment he must bare, Batman is always able to overcome anything and be better than he was before. This issue, and arc as a whole, serve as a character study on why the Dark Knight garners so much affinity and the measures of how truly driven he is in order to make himself even better. Tomasi completely understands this character and is able to play with him rather than simply project himself into the role.
Continuing with the absolute brutal power he brings to the pages, Doug Mahnke displays an unmatched and unrelenting Batman in the heat of battle while still maintaining the heart in the closer character moments. Mahnke's signature style compliments this first arc perfectly, elevating the constant horrific threats facing against Bruce. Accompanied by a host of inkers, David Baron’s layer of grimacing color work fits the horrific splendor of Mahnke’s art exceptionally well. Legendary artist John Byrne also makes an appearance with a very classic rendition of the Dark Knight for the B variant cover for this issue.
With a home run finish, Tomasi and Mahnke deliver an absolutely spectacular lead up as readers countdown to issue #1000. Managing to create a one-off story arc to bring in newer readers and still giving it importance and mystery enough to earn its own place in the overall mythos, stands as a testament to the creators and their ability to conceive an ambitious and gripping story for all Bat-fans alike.