Detective Comics #27 Review

By: Rob Neil Gruszecki

For the second time in the 75 years of the Batman there will be a Detective Comics #27 and within it this time around we will be treated to updated, modernized tales, new adventures and a series of short stories that honor the legacy of Bill Finger and Bob Kane as well as continue to build the mountain of story that comprise the behemoth of modern pop culture and one of the pinnacle achievements in adventure storytelling and entertainment. The character of the Batman has, since its creation, become an icon and establishment so grandiose and timeless that its cultural significance is almost insurmountable. The contents of this 80+ collection have been eagerly anticipated and are finally available on the shelves.

Compiling the massive bundle are such creative giants as Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis, Justice League of America), Bryan Hitch (Age of Ultron, The Authority), Neal Adams (Superman vs Muhammad Ali, pretty much everything else you can think of), Gregg Hurwitz (Batman: The Dark Knight), Scott Snyder (Superman Unchained, The Wake), Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus, American Vampire), Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie, The Black Beetle), John Layman (Chew) and Jason Fabok who currently make up the creative team behind the ongoing Detective series for the New 52 and many more. Their contributions to the landmark issue are momentous and have a lot to live up to.

When it comes to reviewing each individual story in the collection my reactions were mostly ‘immensely’ positive while others that I may not have been equally as enthusiastic about were still enjoyable and had their message presented loud and clear.

One that really stuck out was of course the short story Twenty-Seven by Snyder and Murphy which made the entire collection worth picking up. A look into the far future where Batmen are being called upon each generation to carry on the cowl and fight the sewage that threatens Gotham. Twenty-Seven features some mind blowing artwork from Murphy and exactly the kind of storytelling you would expect from one of the most important voices in modern comics today with Snyder. His handle on the character is currently untouchable and he continues to deliver with this 12 page short.

Amongst the others worth mentioning are the reimagining of the Case of the Chemical Syndicate (the first adventure of the Batman which was featured in the original Detective 27) by Meltzer and Hitch which features a very powerful narrative that flows throughout each panel and a very interesting update to the original case that introduced so many to the character all those years ago.

Subsequently Old School from writer Gregg Hurwitz and comic’s legend Neal Adams is an absolutely beautiful journey through the ages of the Batman as he battles alongside the Boy Wonder Robin in the old days of the pulps and over time sheds his image to evolve slowly into the Dark Knight he has become until a conclusion that melts your heart and pays homage to the greatest talents that have come before.

Hero by the always astounding Francesco Francavilla is a real gem in the centre of the book and is an even better bit of gold for those who have read Snyder, Jock and Francavilla’s Black Mirror which ran in the pages of Detective before the new 52 reboot.

In a full sized issue from Layman and Fabok we are introduced in the upcoming New 52 arc, Gothopia, which will run in the titles of Batwing, Batgirl, Catwoman and Birds of Prey. Featuring a utopian world that is presented to the Batman and his family at the hands of his biggest enemies, Gothopia kicks of what already promises to be a fan service assemblage of villains and fun reimaginings of classic characters (even though some have cringe worthy names like Catbird…). This issue is actually a great way to get yourself interested in the Layman, Fabok run on the book and go back to pick up their back issues as their work together is a really great product for any Bat fan.

Better Days and the Sacrifice from Peter Tomasi, Ian Bertram, Mike Burr and Guillem March are great additions in their own right and feature some excellent artwork from Bertram and March respectively which is only complimented further in between pinups and posters from the likes of Jock, Mike Allred, Kelley Jones and many more. The staggering talent that graces the entire compilation credit page is enormous and highlights names such as Greg Capullo doing the main cover and others like Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Chris Burnham and even more gracing the fronts of variants all worth checking out.

Batman Detective Comics #27 for the New 52 is an absolute must buy for any Batman fan and features some fantastic work from some of the biggest names in comics who will continue to be pulled along on the timeless journey that is the adventures of the Batman.

Rob Neil Gruszecki is a Writer, Musician and Wednesday Warrior

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