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‘Detective Comics #994’ (review)

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrated by Doug Mahnke
Published by DC Comics


The first issue of the incoming creative team of Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke decide to start things off tense. They also don’t let up on the excitement. The two creators take the word “Detective” from the title literally, and it’s a great mystery they set up right from the get go.

They open their issue with the classic Batman origin shown over two pages. Seeing it drawn up through Mahnke’s keen pencils is a delight.

Then we get into the meat of the story. The story relates immediately to this two page beginning, so it’s not at all a throwaway. It’s there for a reason.

Commissioner Gordon and Batman come upon a double homicide. The pair of people are on ice in an aquarium.  In fact, they are done up to look exactly like Thomas an Martha Wayne.

They are spitting images of the Waynes. Batman even points out that their wedding rings are exact replicas.

Who would do something like this? Just what is going on here?

Of course, the security footage inside the aquarium has been erased or taken.

Batman then finds another clue on the duo’s bodies. It is an exact replica of the program of the Mark of Zorro film. Batman spends the  first part of the issue examining the bodies. And he can’t believe his eyes. He even finds a pearl in the throat of Thomas.

Tomasi writes an intriguing and taut story that really stands out. I started to wonder midway through if this is all going to lead up to the anniversary 1000th issue. It seems to be going that way and it’s a strong enough story to carry us all the way to that milestone.

Leslie Thompkins is then attacked by a crazy looking new creature. Is he the new villain? Or something else going on?

Mahnke draws an excellent chase scene and creature and it turns out Leslie was the bait! Bruce eventually saves her from this thing. But then at the end we get another twist that I just did not see coming!

This is one of the most exciting Batman related comics I’ve read in a long time and that’s saying something!

Tomasi and Mahnke hit all the right notes. And it’s just their first issue! Where can it go from here? I don’t know but I can’t wait to find out.



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