WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "Batman's Longest Case," the short story by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia and Tom Napolitano, featured in Detective Comics #1000, in stores now.
Detective Comics #1000 proved to be quite a moving tribute to the Batman mythos, celebrating the title where the Dark Knight debuted in 1939's Issue #27. 80 years later, DC brought in a plethora of creators, both the new guard and the old, to map out stories paying homage to the Caped Crusader's past, present and future.
After toying with Batman and having the Joker take him through the emotional wringer in an extensive run on Batman, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo reunite here and do what they do best: confront the Dark Knight with a brand-new secret society, one which changes everything he knows about being a detective.
Snyder and Capullo's story, "Batman's Longest Case," opens up the landmark issue and deals with Batman investigating a mystery that's taken him years to decipher. It's dragged him across the globe -- from Japan to Brazil to Egypt -- as he tries to figure out why certain clues were left for him in the wake of the murder of a business magnate years ago. Eventually, the trail leads him to the place Bruce Wayne calls home: Gotham City.
In a shady apartment, the Bat finds a typewriter and realizes that "x" does indeed mark the spot. After hitting the key, he finds a tunnel that takes him to a group of individuals not even the World's Greatest Detective expected to meet; a group of detectives calling themselves the Guild of Detection. It consists of familiar faces such as Hawkman, Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders), Detective Chimp (aka Bobo), Martian Manhunter, the Question (Vic Sage) Ralph Dibny (Elongated Man), Sue Dibny and last, but not least, Slam Bradley.
This is a gathering of some of the most intuitive and astute heroes in the DCU, including Slam who was prominent in the first issue of Detective Comics, and who's appeared throughout decades of books. It's worth noting, though, that Batman doesn't recognize Slam here, showing that this is the first time he's crossed paths with Bradley in Rebirth continuity.
Snyder is clearly shaping the Guild up as something important to the DCU, which is interesting given that he and Capullo detailed Bruce's battle with another society, albeit an evil one: the Court of Owls. This time, however, Batman is amongst friends, as he learns the Guild has been solving the world's longest-standing mysteries for eons. Or, at least, they've been trying to.
Kendra reveals there are sections in their library for cosmic cases, while Bobo tells Bruce of the cases steeped in the supernatural realm at the basement of their lair. It's here that the Bat realizes the Guild, apart from trying to solve things on their own, have been seeding out clues for other heroes to unlock mysteries on their own. Lo and behold, while it may have taken a while, Bruce finds himself finally worthy of joining the club.
Making this "team" even more intriguing is Bobo's hint that there are even more Guild members, other cases and detectives that they don't even fully know about, and that they may be watching the Guild from the shadows. In essence, this story acts as a building block for the Guild to seek out these individuals to see who's friend and who's foe, while uncovering the history and legacy of what they're now entrenched in. Snyder and Capullo have challenged Bruce, and as the short story ends with Batman fascinated by a new case, there's obviously plans for someone to detail his adventures with this unique collective.