On May the 1st, 1939, Bob Kane and Bill Finger forever changed the world of comic books by... by... by... errr? I forgot what they did actually! Was it something to do with string? No. That doesn't sound right! Wait a minute! I got an idea! I can ask John Layman, Jason Fabok, Scott Snyder, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Gregg Hurwitz, Peter Tomasi, plus many-many more, what Bob and Bill did in February, 2014! And if not them, then maybe the Publisher: DC Comics, might have a good idea too.

To QUOTE Bruce Wayne: 'That's it. I shall become a bat!'.

In this mega-sized special edition of 'Detective Comics', we are presented with seven different tales, devised by seven different artists and writers, all relating to our ever loving Dark Knight.

  • Now the first tale is a revisionist version of the first Batman story ever told, entitled, 'The Case of The Chemical Syndicate'.
  • 'Old School' is the second story, and a rather surrealist escapade which transforms Batman from a forties vigilantly to a seventies caped crusader.
  • In the third adventure, entitled 'Better Days', we witness what a 75 year old Bruce Wayne gets up to on the eve of his birthday.
  • The forth tale, 'Rain', is a rather moody and atmospheric yarn, involving Batman saving James Gordon Junior from a car crash when he was a kid.
  • Now the fifth tale is a Phantom Stranger tale, and depicts how he unveils to Bruce Wayne his deepest hearts desires.
  • Penultimately, the sixth installment is the first part of a three part cross-over event, called 'Gothtopia', and it's about Batman living in the Utopian city of Gotham, until he finally realizes that everything isn't as it would appear.
  • And finally, the seventh tale, 'Twenty Seven', is basically an alternate take on why Batman as a character will never be able die.

Also, scattered throughout this issue are a number of pin-up posters drawn by the likes of Mike Allred, Graham Nolan, Kelly Jones, Jock, and Pat Gleason.

Bloody hell! How on earth can I praise this 'anniversary edition' within the year, whilst managing to get some sleep at the same time? Well, I suppose I could start off by telling you that there were some really great stories in this book. And I especially got a kick out of the updated version of 'The Chemical Syndicate', despite it not being as noir-like as the original.

Furthermore, I had a right blast reading those two tales chronicling an 'older' Bruce Wayne, plus that Phantom Stranger story, mainly because they presented us with a much more mature and grizzled perspective on an aged Batman character.  

Now that's not to say I didn't enjoy the rest of the tales included in this comic. No. Far from it. It's just that I thought 'Rain' could have been a lot better than it was if it was longer in length. Where as 'Old School' and 'Seventy Two' were both pretty snazzy to follow, even though they were rather weird due to their over-stylized narration. 

Oh! One second! I almost forgot to mention 'Gothtopia', didn't I? Tut-tut-tut! Silly-silly, me! Although in my defense I have to say that after reading this book in just a single sitting, it did play havoc with my already warped mind. Still, even in my translucent state I could tell that 'Goth' was a pretty decent story to plough through. And it did have a very cleaver way of making what was once old new again, hint-hint!

Also, as for those pin-ups -- wow! They say a picture can speak a thousand words, and boy-oh-boy, were they ever so right in this case.

OK. I know I've mentioned this point during numerous occasions in the past. But come off it! $7.99 for a single comic book! Why DC? Why do you keep on doing this to your fans? If you wanted this expedience to be 'extra special' for them, why don't you include the supplementary material at no extra cost! Or alternatively, publish a lower-cost version so that the less fortunate readers can afford to buy it too.

Well, it's not like you can't afford it, hey DC? Particularly when you take into consideration that you have the funds to move offices!

What better way to celebrate Batman's anniversary than to dance -- 'Batdance' of course -- performed by the artist formally known as Prince.

Hey! Wait a God damn minute. Before you start telling me off for comparing this comic book to alcohol, let me just say one thing and one thing only. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Correct?

Believe it or not, there have been a couple of occasions in the recent past where one of my mates have come up to me and said, 'How come you love Batman so much, when you always seem to act so much like the Joker?'. Now if truth be told I don't always have a pat answer for them. Sometimes I just laugh off their question as if I were the Joker himself. Whilst at other times I stop, pretend to think about something, before nudging the conversation in a completely different direction.  

Well, if I'm going to be honest with you, folks, I'm not entirely sure myself why I love Batman as a character so much! On the one hand I like the idea of an insane person trapped within the mind of a very cleaver self-made man. While on the other hand I've always liked the idea of an underdog who relies more on his skill and determination than you're every day super-feller. Most of all, though, I've always-always-always applauded anyone -- and I do mean anyone -- who has the guts and the determination to stand up for what he thinks is right, in spite of all the opposing forces posed against him. Know what I mean, Bruce?

Hmmm. I take that as a 'yes'. Nuff said.

DETECTIVE COMICS #27 DETECTIVE COMICS #27 Reviewed by David Andrews on January 22, 2014 Rating: 5
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