DC Comics has released Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's nine-page Detective Comics #1000 story in full ahead of the landmark issue's March release. In this 96-page anthology, iconic writers and artists collaborate to celebrate the Dark Knight's 80th anniversary. The issue takes inspiration from last year's Action Comics #1000 by featuring stories that celebrate Batman's past, present and -- in Bendis' and Maleev's case -- his future.
Set near the end of Bruce Wayne's life, the story shows a meeting between Bruce Wayne and an older Oswald Cobblepot, where the former Batman rogue reveals the events that allowed him to deduce Bruce and Batman were one and the same and what he chose to do with that information.
The full story is currently available to read on DCComics.com.
Both Bendis and Maleev hinted that there are plans for them to return to Gotham with a Batman-related project this summer. "This is just the beginning for us," Bendis told Entertainment Weekly. "This is kind of a palate cleanser. This is what it's gonna look and feel like. This is an artistic prelude."
The upcoming anniversary issue will also include collaborations between Kevin Smith and Jim Lee; Warren Ellis and Becky Cloonan; Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen; Denny O'Neil and Steve Epting; Christopher Priest and Neal Adams; Geoff Johns and Kelley Jones; Tom King, Tony Dainel and Joëlle Jones; Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez.
Detective Comics #1000 will also release variant covers for the book from the likes of Bill Sienkiewicz, Steve Rude, Michael Cho, Jim Steranko, Stanley "Artgerm" Lau, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Tim Sale, Jock, Greg Capullo and Bruce Timm. There's also a wraparound cover by Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair.
Detective Comics #1000 goes on sale March 27.