The Wednesday Run – August 10, 2011

Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!


Detective Comics #881

Written by: Scott Snyder

Illustrated by: Jock and Francesco Francavilla

DC Comics

There’s only one comic book to buy this week.

On a shelf of over one hundred new releases, only Detective Comics #881 has the power and scope and history that demands purchase.

 After nearly seventy-five years of publication history, an era has come to an end. The last issue of Detective Comics, the series that publisher DC Comics took its name from, the longest running series in comic book history, serves up a double sized conclusion to a remarkable story, brought to us from a writer and two illustrators working at the top of their art form.

 Detective Comics, featuring Batman, was always the more…well, hard-boiled version of the Dark Knight. The stories found within its pages were mysterious and psychological in tone, where the main character had to use his brains and wits more than his muscle – although that kind of action was always present too. Gotham City, it seemed, was as important a character as Bruce Wayne was and the city’s Police Department was always a standing feature. Detective Comics was Batman in a Conan Doyle, Ellroy, Hammett or Leonard novel – a superhero using his distinctly human gifts to solve crime and defeat dastardly villains. Of the regular, monthly publications featuring Batman (and there are many), Detective was my favourite.

 For the better part of a year, Snyder and company have been unravelling a mystery that centers around the family of Commissioner Gordon, a character as central to this tale as Batman. It’s this focus on humanity and relationships and character history that has made the most recent storyline one of the finest Batman stories ever published. High praise, I know, but the creators here deserve the highest of accolades.

 The fact that we close a chapter on comic book history with the publication of this final issue is simply an interesting footnote – but not one that should be discounted.

 So, whether you’re a gatherer of final chapters or a collector of final issues or simply a lover of amazing detective, character-driven fiction, make the run today and pick up the double-sized Detective Comics #881. Elate in its long-standing history that you are now a part of.

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