Detective Comics #999 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on February 27, 2019

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Doug Mahnke
Inking by Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin, and Jaime Mendoza
Colouring by David Baron
Lettering by Rob Leigh
It's the final three-digit issue of DETECTIVE COMICS. It's weird, isn't it? It is inevitable but more than last year's ACTION COMICS #999, this issue delves into the meaning of Batman and what the point of his mission is in the first place. It's melancholiac and supremely delivered by Doug Mahnke and his art team.
I will say that I haven't been a fan of this whole story. I liked the first couple of issues but there was a sense that Peter Tomasi was holding off on the plots, that he had to deliver a six issue story and thus had to meander a little bit. It's a shame, but this issue was pretty great so I've kind of already forgotten about it.
A story like this could easily be butchered under a different writer's hands. Luckily, Tomasi recognises the inherent potential of a conversation between Bruce Wayne and Bruce Wayne. He taps into the tragedy of the character, not in the adult Batman who spends all of his time fighting crime, but in the child who never got to have a childhood of his own, but also understands that it was a necessary sacrifice since Batman has saved so many different childhoods across the city. Mothers, fathers, and children alike are saved and these few pages concerning this theme are so expertly handled by Mahnke, whose collaborations with Tomasi always bring out the best in his storytelling sensibilities. He lets negative space factor into the panels, and simultaneously blends detail and emotion in a way I haven't really seen any other artist do quite as well as him.
The final few pages worked very well for me because I ascribe to the Grant Morrison philosophy concerning Batman. The man has a mission, but that doesn't mean he needs to brood at all times. He can be happy. He can have friends and have a social life. That's what Batman needs to represent more than ever, than people can't let their problems overtake any positive element of their lives.
This was pretty wonderful. The pace and execution of this arc has been problematic but this issue was very well-executed and has me excited for the future of Tomasi's run on the character.

Our Score:


A Look Inside