In 1939, a masked vigilante known only as “The Bat-Man” made his first appearance in the pulp pages of “Detective Comics” #27.
Seventy-five years later, Batman fans are getting a second “Detective Comics” issue #27 thanks to DC Comics’ New 52 relaunch — and it’s a big one: The January-releasing issue will be a special giant-sized anthology.
The first time around, issue #27 of the comic that would go on to give the publisher its name introduced not only playboy/masked vigilante Bruce Wayne/Batman, but also staples of the Batman mythos such as Commissioner Gordon, Batman’s utility belt and the crime-plagued city of Gotham. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Batman proved to be instantly popular, becoming the main cover feature in 1940. While other Batman titles would spin out of it, “Detective Comics” stories went on to establish much of the Gotham corner of the DCU, including Batman’s tragic origins and many of Batman’s villains and sidekicks such as Penguin, Two-Face, Robin and Batgirl.
With an all-new “Detective Comics” #27 hitting shelves in January, and the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman kicking later in the year, Batman group editor Mike Marts plans to give fans an issue that serves both as a “retrospective” and looks to the future of Batman in the New 52. Speaking more about the announcement, Marts gave CBR the details on who fans should expect to see headlining the anthology issue, the focus of the stories and the special creative team who plans to commemorate the original Batman appearance in a new way for the New 52.
CBR News: As most die-hard Batman fans know, the original 1939 “Detective Comics” #27 is the issue that introduced Batman to the world. How will the New 52 “Detective Comics” #27 help commemorate the original?
Mike Marts: “Detective” #27 is intended to be a celebration of Batman, a special retrospective look at the great stories that have come before, as well as a special glimpse into what the future holds for the Dark Knight — all brought to you by an amazing collection of the industry’s best writers and artists.
Scott Snyder, Paul Dini and John Layman are contributing stories to the issue — are there other writers working on this anniversary anthology? What can you tell us anything about the individual stories these creators are contributing?
Yes, Paul Dini is in, and current Bat-scribes Scott Snyder, Peter Tomasi, John Layman and Gregg Hurwitz are all contributing to this special 96-page issue. And we’re fortunate enough to have New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer joining the party!
Right — Bryan Hitch is working with Brad Meltzer to retell the story in the original “Detective” #27. What can you say about that story? Was this an idea Meltzer and Hitch brought to you?
This was actually an idea that co-publisher Dan DiDio had been kicking around in his head for a while — and now we finally had the opportunity to carry through with it. We were super lucky that both Brad And Bryan were interested in working on this story.
On the visual side, who are the artists working on this commemorative issue?
Current “Detective” [and upcoming “Batman: Eternal”] artist Jason Fabok is involved, of course. Then we have Sean Murphy joining his “Wake” partner Scott Snyder, Dustin Nguyen is once again teamed with Paul Dini, legendary Batman artist Neal Adams is paired with Gregg Hurwitz — oh, and we also happen to have an artistic contribution from none other then Frank Miller!
That’s quite a lineup! As the editor overseeing the Batman creative teams, how did you decide on what writers and artists you wanted to pen and draw stories for “Detective Comics” #27?
With 96-pages to play with, it was fairly easy. We cast our net out wide and invited as many as we could to the party.
What will be the focus of the stories in the issue? Will they all touch on different parts of Batman’s mythos and history?
Each story tackles a different aspect of Batman’s history. It’s really amazing to see how several different talented writers all approached the same endpoint from very different directions. Readers are in for a treat. I’m jealous of anyone who will be reading this for the first time!
“Detective Comics” #27 hits stores January 2014.