A young Bruce Wayne was abruptly set on the path to becoming the vigilante Batman after his parents were shot and killed right in front of him in Gotham City. The tragic origin story is one that a vast majority of comic book fans know by now, even if they aren’t necessarily fans of the Dark Knight.
This is because Wayne’s origin story and how that bleak moment impacted the iconic hero has played out time and time again in movies, television shows and video games over the years. Now, the upcoming Detective Comics writer Peter J. Tomasi plans to revisit the death of the Thomas and Martha Wayne yet again, but he promises it won’t be an all too familiar tale for fans.
While talking with CBR at New York Comic Con, Tomasi was tight-lipped about plot details for Detective Comics, but he assured us that he and artist Doug Mahnke are taking a fresh approach to the upcoming new storyline about the late Waynes and the emotional impact their death has on Bruce. When asked about tackling the familiar and frequently addressed plot point, Tomasi replied he’s handling it in a “completely new and crazy way that you’ve never seen before.” He didn’t want to spoil any details, so he added, “I’ll leave it at that.”
The Adventures of the Super Sons writer doubled-down on needing to keep mostly quiet about his upcoming storyline, but he did tease a mystery foe and explained how he’s challenging the World’s Greatest Detective and honoring the name of the comic book series at the same time.
“I don’t want to say much,” said Tomasi. “We’re going to introduce a big surprise villain in Issue #1000 that’ll lead into our first arc after Issue #1000. And Issue #1000 is really a big mystery. It’s a true embracing of Detective Comics — the name of the book and just putting Batman through an incredible mystery box that is going to open his mind and his heart.”
DC’s solicitation for the first chapter promises the mystery will be one of the strangest cases Batman has ever encountered, as a murder at the Gotham City Aquarium is staged to look just like the Thomas and Martha Wayne crime scene, right down to Martha’s pearls and the playbill. The issue also teases a “shadowy monster” that targets Dr. Leslie Thompkins and “looks to wage a war on Batman” using Joker Gas.
A veteran DC writer, Tomasi has plenty of experience in crafting stories about the Caped Crusader and his supporting cast, most recently with his New 52 Batman and Robin series. However, this time around, Tomasi is enjoying the chance to focus on just Batman, Alfred Pennyworth and Commissioner James Gordon instead of bringing more Batman family characters into the spotlight.
“Now I’ve got Batman all by my lonesome in the suit, and I’m going to really play with having a solo Batman story for the first arc,” he said.
Tomasi and Mahnke’s storyline will begin with Detective Comics #994 and pave the way for Detective Comics #1000. Tomasi said it’s an honor to be on the title and knows it would mean the world to his younger self.
“It’s an emotional milestone,” he admitted. “To be a part of that legacy — to have written Action [Comics] #1000 and have now written the lead-in to Detective [Comics] #1000 — it’s going to mean a lot to this young, 10-year-old Petey Batman fan. I’m looking forward to it.”
Despite building up to the publisher’s landmark issue, Tomasi said he’s honestly feeling no pressure and he’s thrilled for fans to get their hands on the issues.
“I can’t wait for people to see it,” said Tomasi. “So happy to be proud of it and a part of it. It’s just great. The stars aligned and somehow I got a chance to do this. It’s been pretty great.”
Detective Comics #994 is scheduled to release on Dec. 12, with Detective Comics #1000 expected to go on sale in March.
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