Detective Comics #1 (March 1937).
Cover art by Vin Sullivan.
|Publisher||Detective Comics, Inc. #1–119
National Comics Publications #120–296
National Periodical Publications #297–467
DC Comics #468–current
|Number of issues|
Detective Comics is the title used for two American comic book series published by DC Comics. The first, published from 1937 to 2011, is best known for introducing the superhero Batman in Detective Comics #27 (cover dated May 1939). A second series of the same title was launched in the fall of 2011. The original series is the source of its publishing company's name, and — along with Action Comics, the series that launched with the debut of Superman — one of the medium's signature series. The original series published 881 issues between 1937 and 2011 and was the longest continuously published comic book in the United States.[Note 1]
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Issues
- 3 Character debuts
- 4 Notes
- 5 Collected editions
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Detective Comics was the final publication of the entrepreneur Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, whose comics company, National Allied Publications, would evolve into DC Comics, one of the world's two largest comic book publishers, though long after its founder had left it. Wheeler-Nicholson's first two titles were the landmark New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 (cover-dated Feb. 1935), colloquially called New Fun Comics #1 and the first such early comic book to contain all-original content, rather than a mix of newspaper comic strips and comic-strip-style new material. His second effort, New Comics #1, would be retitled twice to become Adventure Comics, another seminal series that ran for decades until issue #503 in 1983, and was later revived in 2009.
The third and final title published under his aegis would be Detective Comics, advertised with a cover illustration dated December 1936, but eventually premiering three months later, with a March 1937 cover date. Wheeler-Nicholson was in debt to printing-plant owner and magazine distributor Harry Donenfeld, who was as well a pulp-magazine publisher and a principal in the magazine distributorship Independent News. Wheeler-Nicholson took Donenfeld on as a partner in order to publish Detective Comics #1 through the newly formed Detective Comics, Inc., with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz, Donenfeld's accountant, listed as owners. Wheeler-Nicholson was forced out a year later.
Originally an anthology comic, in the manner of the times, Detective Comics #1 (March 1937) featured stories in the "hard-boiled detective" genre, with such stars as Ching Lung (a Fu Manchu-style "yellow peril" villain); Slam Bradley (created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster before their character Superman saw print two years later); and Speed Saunders, among others. Its first editor, Vin Sullivan, also drew the debut issue's cover. The Crimson Avenger debuted in issue #20 (October 1938).
Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) featured the first appearance of Batman. That superhero would eventually become the star of the title, the cover logo of which is often written as "Detective Comics featuring Batman". Because of its significance, issue #27 is widely considered one of the most valuable comic books in existence, with one copy selling for $1,075,000 in a February 2010 auction.
Batman's origin is first revealed in a two-page story in issue #33 (Nov. 1939). Batman became the main cover feature of the title beginning with issue #35 (Jan. 1940). Issue #38 (April 1940) introduced Batman's sidekick Robin, billed as "The Sensational Character Find of 1940" on the cover and the first of several characters that would make up the "Batman Family". Robin's appearance and the subsequent increase in sales of the book soon led to the trend of superheroes and young sidekicks that characterize the era fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books. Several of Batman's best known villains debuted in the pages of Detective Comics during this era including the Penguin in issue #58, Two-Face in issue #66, and the Riddler in issue #140.
Batwoman first appeared in Detective Comics #233 (July 1956) Since the family formula had proven very successful for the Superman franchise, editor Jack Schiff suggested to Batman creator, Bob Kane, that he create one for the Batman. A female was chosen first, to offset the charges made by Fredric Wertham that Batman and Robin were homosexual. Writer Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff introduced Bat-Mite in issue #267 (May 1959) and Clayface in #298 (Dec. 1961).
In 1964, Julius Schwartz was made responsible for reviving the faded Batman titles. Writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino jettisoned the sillier aspects that had crept into the franchise such as Ace the Bathound and Bat-Mite and gave the character a "New Look" that premiered in Detective Comics #327 (May 1964). Schwartz, Gardner Fox, and Infantino introduced Barbara Gordon as a new version of Batgirl in a story titled "The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!" in issue #359 (Jan. 1967). Mike Friedrich wrote the 30th anniversary Batman story in Detective Comics #387 (May 1969) which was drawn by Bob Brown.
Writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams had their first collaboration on Batman on the story "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" in issue #395 (Jan. 1970). The duo, under the direction of Schwartz, would revitalize the character with a series of noteworthy stories reestablishing Batman's dark, brooding nature and taking the books away from the campy look and feel of the 1966-68 ABC TV series. Comics historian Les Daniels observed that "O'Neil's interpretation of Batman as a vengeful obsessive-compulsive, which he modestly describes as a return to the roots, was actually an act of creative imagination that has influenced every subsequent version of the Dark Knight." Adams introduced Man-Bat with writer Frank Robbins in Detective Comics #400 (June 1970). O'Neil and artist Bob Brown crafted Batman's first encounter with the League of Assassins in Detective Comics #405 (Nov. 1970) and created Talia al Ghul in issue #411 (May 1971).
After publishing on a monthly schedule throughout its run, Detective Comics became a bi-monthly book from issues #435 (June–July 1973) to #445 (Feb.-March 1975). Issues #438 (Dec. 1973-Jan. 1974) to #445 (Feb.–March 1975) of the series were in the 100 Page Super Spectacular format. O'Neil and artist Dick Giordano created the Batman supporting character Leslie Thompkins in the story "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley" appearing in issue #457 (March 1976). Writer Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers produced an acclaimed run of Batman stories in Detective Comics #471-476 (Aug. 1977 - April 1978), and provided one of the definitive interpretations that influenced the 1989 Batman movie and would be adapted for the 1990s animated series. The Englehart and Rogers pairing, was described in 2009 by comics writer and historian Robert Greenberger as "one of the greatest" creative teams to work on the Batman character. In their story "The Laughing Fish", the Joker is brazen enough to disfigure fish with a rictus grin, then expects to be granted a federal trademark on them, only to start killing bureaucrats who try to explain that obtaining such a claim on a natural resource is legally impossible. Writer Len Wein and Rogers co-created the third version of the supervillain Clayface in Detective Comics #478 (July-Aug. 1978). From issue #481 (Dec. 1978 - Jan. 1979) through #495 (Oct. 1980), the magazine adopted the expanded Dollar Comics format used by the canceled Batman Family, adding solo features including "Robin: the Teen Wonder", "Batgirl", the "Human Target" and the anthology "Tales of Gotham City", which featured stories of the city's ordinary people. Julius Schwartz, who had edited the title for most of its run since 1964, left the series as of issue #484 (June–July 1979) The original Batwoman was killed in the lead story in issue #485 (Aug.–Sept. 1979) by the League of Assassins.
The title's 500th issue (March 1981) featured stories by several well-known creators including television writer Alan Brennert and Walter B. Gibson best known for his work on the pulp fiction character The Shadow. Also used during the 1980s was the use of serialization of the main Batman story, with stories from Detective Comics and Batman directly flowing from one book to another, with cliffhangers at the end of each book's monthly story that would be resolved in the other title of that month. A single writer handled both books during that time beginning with Gerry Conway and followed up by Doug Moench. The supervillain Killer Croc made a shadowy cameo in issue #523 (Feb. 1983). Noted author Harlan Ellison wrote the Batman story in issue #567.
Writer Mike W. Barr and artists Alan Davis and Todd McFarlane crafted the "Batman: Year Two" storyline in Detective Comics #575-578 which followed up on Frank Miller's "Batman: Year One". Writer Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle introduced the Ventriloquist in their first Batman story together and the Ratcatcher in their third (#585). Sam Hamm, who wrote the screenplay for Tim Burton's Batman, wrote the "Blind Justice" story in Detective Comics issues #598-600. Chuck Dixon became the writer of the series with issue #644 (May 1992). He and Tom Lyle co-created the Electrocutioner in Detective Comics #644 (May 1992) and Stephanie Brown in Detective Comics #647 (August 1992).
The "Batman: Legacy" storyline began in issue #700 (August 1996). The "No Man's Land" storyline crossed over into Detective Comics in issues #730-741. Writer Greg Rucka and artist Shawn Martinbrough became the creative team as of #742 (March 2000) and created the Sasha Bordeaux character is #751 (Dec. 2000). Issue #800 (Jan. 2005) was written by Andersen Gabrych and drawn by Pete Woods. Paul Dini became the writer of the series as of issue #821 (Sept. 2006) and created a new version of the Ventriloquist in #827 (March 2007). Scott Snyder became the writer of Detective Comics with issue #871 (Jan. 2011).
In addition to the Batman stories, the title has had numerous back-up strips. The Boy Commandos by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby debuted in Detective Comics #64 (June 1942) and were then soon spun off into their own title. The character Roy Raymond first appeared in issue #153 (Nov. 1949). The Martian Manhunter was created by writer Joseph Samachson and artist Joe Certa in the back-up story "The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel" in Detective Comics #225 (Nov. 1955). After issue #326 (April 1964), the Martian Manhunter was moved to House of Mystery and in #327 the Elongated Man and his wife, now remodeled after Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles, took over. The characters crossed over with Batman three times. The Elongated Man run lasted until #383 (Jan. 1969) and his feature returned sporadically 15 times until #572, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the title by teaming him up with Batman, Robin, Slam Bradley and Sherlock Holmes against Edgar Moriarty. After the Elongated Man backup feature ended, Batgirl held the role until #424. After moving her to Batman Family, she was returned from #481 to #519. Jason Bard appeared as the backup feature in the odd-numbered issues of Detective from #425 though #435. Manhunter was resurrected in a story by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson in issue #437 (Oct.-Nov. 1973). With the last episode of the series, Manhunter moved to the front of the book in a full-length team-up with Batman. Green Arrow became the backup feature starting with issue #521 (Dec. 1982) and running until #567 (Oct. 1986). Black Canary received a new costume in the back-up story in issue #554 (Sept. 1985). DC Comics Bonus Books were included in issues #589 (August 1988) and #595 (Jan. 1989).
The "Manhunter" series that ran as a backup in Detective Comics from 1973 to 1974 won the Shazam Award for "Best Individual Short Story (Dramatic)" in 1974 for the story "Cathedral Perilous" in issue #441, written by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson.
In 2009, as part of planned reorganization of the Batman universe due to the events shown in Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis, Detective Comics went on hiatus for three months while DC Comics published the Battle for the Cowl miniseries. Upon its return, the series featured the newly reintroduced (in 52) Batwoman as the new star of the book, as well as a 10-page back-up feature starring Renee Montoya as the new Question. The series returned Batman to a starring role in early 2010.
The New 52
DC Comics relaunched Detective Comics with issue #1 in September 2011, as part of The New 52. The series was written and drawn by Tony Daniel until the twelfth issue, with the team of John Layman and Jason Fabok beginning with issue #13.
The first issue of the relaunched Detective Comics has received six printings, second only to the relaunched Justice League which had seven printings. The series seventh issue was also DC Comic's sixth highest selling digital comic, ranking above many other series in the Batman category. Scott West of Sciencefiction.com gave the series' third arc a positive review, stating that "After last month’s disappointing ‘Night of the Owls’ tie-in issue, it’s nice to see ‘Detective Comics’ getting back to where it should be… good detective stories." The relaunched Detective Comics received the award for "Best Series" at the 2012 Stan Lee Awards. The series' first collected edition would reach the number one spot on The New York Times Best Seller list in the category of "Hardcover Graphic Books".
Daniel wrote and penciled the series until the Night of the Owls crossover, at which point Ed Benes, Julio Ferreira, and Eduardo Pansica began drawing the series for a three issue arc. The price of Detective Comics was increased due to the addition of a backup feature starring Batman villain Two-Face, which was written by Daniel and illustrated by Syzmon Kudranski, this followed a similar backup featuring Hugo Strange. Daniel left the series with issue #12 being his last as writer and the "0" issue his last as penciller.
DC celebrated the first anniversary of The New 52 in September 2012 by publishing a number "0" of each original New 52 title which act as prequels to the series and reveal previously unexplained plot elements. Gregg Hurwitz wrote the "0" issue. Hurwitz was approached by Daniel to write the "0" issue due to Daniel's busy schedule. To follow up on the Night of the Owls elements in Detective Comics, Daniel wrote Detective Comics Annual #1 which was pencilled by Romano Molenaar and inked by Sandu Florea.
Following Daniel's tenure on the series, John Layman became the new writer and Jason Fabok the new artist with James Tynion IV writing the backup features and Syzmon Kudranski remaining as artist for Tynion's first feature. With issue #19 of Detective Comics vol. 2, released on April 3, 2013, the series reached 900 issues as combined with the first volume of the series, and was a special oversized celebratory issue. Under Layman, the series featured its first crossover, Gothtopia after which Layman and Fabok moved to the Batman Eternal series and Detective Comics was taken over by Brain Buccalleto and Francis Manapul.
In commemoration of the second anniversary of the New 52, DC Comics announced "Villains Month" with Detective Comics getting four issues. The issues star Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, and Man-Bat, and respectively being numbered #23.1, #23.2, #23.3, and #23.4, by an ensemble of writers and artists.
For the 75th anniversary of Batman, issue #27 was a larger-sized issue featuring new stories by Brad Meltzer and Bryan Hitch, Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, Peter Tomasi and Ian Bertram, John Layman and Jason Fabok, Gregg Hurwitz and Neal Adams, Mike W. Barr and Guillem March, and one written and drawn by Francesco Francavilla. In addition, variant covers to the issue were by Greg Capullo, Frank Miller, Chris Burnham, Jim Lee, Jason Fabok, and Tony Daniel. Single page artwork included work by Kelley Jones, Mike Allred, Patrick Gleason, and Jock.
In February 2016, DC Comics announced that as part of the company's Rebirth event, Detective Comics would resume its original numbering system, with May's #934 with the New 52 vol. 2 being added into vol. 1.
- Vol 1 (1937-2011): 881
- Vol 2 (2011-2015): 52 + #0 & 4 Villains Month
- Vol 1 (2016-): Back to renumbered system starting with issue #934
|Slam Bradley||#1||March 1937|
|Crimson Avenger||#20||October 1938|
|Commissioner James Gordon||#27||May 1939|
|Doctor Death||#29||July 1939|
|The Monk||#31||Sept. 1939|
|Julie Madison||#31||Sept. 1939|
|Joe Chill||#33||Nov. 1939|
|Hugo Strange||#36||Feb. 1940|
|Clayface (Basil Karlo)||#40||June 1940|
|Mr. Baffle||#63||May 1942|
|Boy Commandos||#64||June 1942|
|Tweedledum and Tweedledee||#74||April 1943|
|Pow Wow Smith||#151||Sept. 1949|
|Roy Raymond||#153||Nov. 1949|
|Red Hood||#168||Feb. 1951|
|Mirror Man||#213||Nov. 1954|
|Batmen of All Nations||#215||Jan. 1955|
|Martian Manhunter||#225||Nov. 1955|
|Mad Hatter||#230||April 1956|
|Diane Meade||#246||Aug. 1957|
|Terrible Trio||#253||March 1958|
|Calendar Man||#259||Sept. 1958|
|Dr. Double X||#261||Nov. 1958|
|Clayface (Matt Hagen)||#298||Dec. 1961|
|Idol Head of Diabolu||#326||April 1964|
|The Outsider||#334||Dec. 1964|
|Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)||#359||Jan. 1967|
|Jason Bard||#392||Oct. 1969|
|Talia al Ghul||#411||May 1971|
|Harvey Bullock||#441||July 1974|
|Leslie Thompkins||#457||March 1976|
|The Calculator||#463||Sept. 1976|
|Rupert Thorne||#469||May 1977|
|Silver St. Cloud||#470||June 1977|
|Clayface (Preston Payne)||#478||July 1978|
|Maxie Zeus||#483||May 1979|
|The Swashbuckler||#493||March 1980|
|Killer Croc||#523[Note 2]||Feb. 1983|
|Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker)||#583||Feb. 1988|
|Anarky (Lonnie Machin)||#608||Nov. 1989|
|Renee Montoya||#642||March 1992|
|Stephanie Brown||#647||Aug. 1992|
|Crispus Allen||#742||March 2000|
|Sasha Bordeaux||#751||Dec. 2000|
|Nyssa Raatko||#783||Aug. 2003|
|Ventriloquist (Peyton Riley)||#827||March 2007|
|Dollmaker||Vol. 2, #01||Sept. 2011|
|Dollhouse||vol. 2, #02||Oct. 2011|
|Mister Toxic||vol. 2, #02||Oct. 2011|
|Eli Strange||vol. 2, #05||March 2012|
|Emperor Blackgate||vol. 2, #13||Nov. 2012|
|Merrymaker||vol. 2, #17||Feb. 2013|
|Anarky (Sam Young)||vol. 2, #37||Dec. 2014|
- Action Comics amassed more individual issues, 904 in total, despite launching a year after Detective due to 42 issues (#601-642) in 1988–89 that were published weekly, and because of Detective Comics' bimonthly run from 1973 to 1975. The American record-holder for most issues published is Dell Comics' Four Color series, which amassed more than 1,300 issues over a 23-year run.
- There was a shadowy cameo in Detective Comics #523 (Feb. 1983) and his first full appearance is credited to Batman #357 (March 1983)
The Detective Comics series has been collected into a number of trade paperbacks:
Batman Archive editions
All DC Archive Editions are hardback only and printed on high quality archival paper.
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|Batman Archives, Vol. 1||Stories from Detective Comics #27–50||November 1997||HC: 978-0930289607|
|Batman Archives, Vol. 2||Stories from Detective Comics #51–70||November 1997||HC: 978-1563890000|
|Batman Archives, Vol. 3||Stories from Detective Comics #71–86||November 1997||HC: 978-1563890994|
|Batman Archives, Vol. 4||Stories from Detective Comics #87–102||December 1998||HC: 978-1563894145|
|Batman Archives, Vol. 5||Stories from Detective Comics #103–119||April 2001||HC: 978-1563897252|
|Batman Archives, Vol. 6||Stories from Detective Comics #120–135||August 2005||HC: 978-1401204099|
|Batman Archives, Vol. 7||Stories from Detective Comics #136–154||November 2007||HC: 978-1401214937|
|Batman Archives, Vol. 8||Stories from Detective Comics #155–170||July 2012||HC: 978-1401233761|
|Batman: The Dynamic Duo Archives, Vol. 1||Batman #164–166; Detective Comics #327–333||March 2003||HC: 978-1563899324|
|Batman: The Dynamic Duo Archives, Vol. 2||Batman #168–171; Detective Comics #334–339||June 2006||HC: 978-1401207724|
The Batman Chronicles series plans to reprint every Batman adventure in color, in chronological order, in affordable trade paperbacks. It is not to be confused with the now finished series of the same name.
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 1||Detective Comics #27–38; Batman #1||April 2005||SC: 978-1401204457|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 2||Detective Comics #39–45; Batman #2–3; New York World's Fair Comics #2||September 2006||SC: 978-1401207908|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 3||Detective Comics #46–50; Batman #4–5; World's Best Comics #1||May 2007||SC: 978-1401213473|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 4||Detective Comics #51–56; World's Finest Comics #2–3; Batman #6–7||October 2007||SC: 978-1401214623|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 5||Detective Comics #57–61; World's Finest Comics #4; Batman #8–9||April 2008||SC: 978-1401216825|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 6||Detective Comics #62–66; World's Finest Comics #5–6; Batman #10–11||October 2008||SC: 978-1401219611|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 7||Detective Comics #67–70; World's Finest Comics #7; Batman #12–13||March 2009||SC: 978-1401221348|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 8||Detective Comics #71–74; World's Finest Comics #8–9; Batman #14–15||October 2009||SC: 978-1401224844|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 9||Detective Comics #75–77; World's Finest Comics #10; Batman #16–17||March 2010||SC: 978-1401226459|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 10||Detective Comics #78–81; World's Finest Comics #11; Batman #18–19||December 2010||SC: 978-1401228958|
|Batman Chronicles, Vol. 11||Detective Comics #82–85; World's Finest Comics #12; Batman #20–21||January 2013||SC: 978-1401237394|
All Showcase Presents collections are large (over 500 pages), softcover, black and white only reprints.
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|Showcase Presents: Batman, Vol. 1||Detective Comics #327–342; Batman #164–174||August 2006||SC: 978-1401210861|
|Showcase Presents: Batman, Vol. 2||Detective Comics #343–358; Batman #175, #177–181, #183–184, #188||June 2007||SC: 978-1401213626|
|Showcase Presents: Batman, Vol. 3||Detective Comics #359–375; Batman #189–192, #194–197, #199–201||July 2008||SC: 978-1401217198|
|Showcase Presents: Batman, Vol. 4||Detective Comics #376–390; Batman #202–215||July 2009||SC: 978-1401223144|
|Showcase Presents: Batman, Vol. 5||Detective Comics #391–404; Batman #216–228||December 2011||SC: 978-1401232368|
|Showcase Presents: Batman, Vol. 6||Detective Comics #408-426; Batman #229-244||January 2016||SC: 978-1401251536|
|Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter, Vol. 1||Detective Comics #225-304||July 2007||SC: 978-1401213688|
|Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter, Vol. 2||Detective Comics #305-326||May 2009||SC: 978-1401222567|
|Showcase Presents: Robin, the Boy Wonder, Vol. 1||Robin stories from Detective Comics #386, 390, 394-395, 398-403, 445, 447, 450-451||January 2008||SC: 978-1401216764|
|Showcase Presents: Batgirl, Vol. 1||Batgirl stories from Detective Comics #359, 363, 369, 371, 384-385, 388-389, 392-393, 396-397, 400-401, 404-424||July 2007||SC: 978-1401213671|
|Showcase Presents: Enemy Ace, Vol. 1||includes Enemy Ace story from Detective Comics #404||February 2008||SC: 978-1401217211|
- Manhunter: The Special Edition, collects Manhunter backup stories from #437–442 and the Batman/Manhunter crossover in #443, Manhunter #1, and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #100, June 1999, ISBN 978-1-56389-374-2
- Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin collects the Batman stories from #437-438 and 440-442, the Manhunter stories from #437-442, and the Batman/Manhunter team-up from #443; Detective Comics Annual #3; Showcase '95 #11; Batman Black and White #1 and 4; Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #132-136; and the Batman: Night Cries graphic novel, 480 pages, July 2013, ISBN 978-1401238292
- Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers, collects #468, 471-476, 478-479, 481; DC Special Series #15; Secret Origins #6; Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #132-136; and Batman: Dark Detective #1-6, 496 pages, November 2011, ISBN 978-1401232276
- Batman: Strange Apparitions, collects #469–476, #478–479, December 1999, ISBN 978-1-56389-500-5
- Tales of the Batman: Don Newton, collects #480, 483–497; Batman #305–306, 328; and The Brave and the Bold #153, 156 and 165, 360 pages, December 2011, ISBN 978-1401232948
- Tales of the Batman: Gene Colan, Volume One, collects #517, 520, 523, 528-529 and Batman #340, 343–345, 348–351, 288 pages, August 2011, ISBN 978-1401231019
- DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore, includes #549–550: "Night Olympics" by Alan Moore and Klaus Janson, featuring Green Arrow and Black Canary, January 2006, ISBN 978-1-4012-0927-8
- Batman: Year Two, collects #575–578, January 1990, ISBN 978-0-930289-49-2
- Batman: Blind Justice, collects #598–600, May 2005, ISBN 978-1-56389-047-5
- Batman: Anarky, collects #608–609, Batman Chronicles #1, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #40–41, and Anarky #1–4, February 1999, ISBN 978-1-56389-437-4
- Batman: Evolution, collects #743–750, August 2001, ISBN 978-1-56389-726-9
- Batman: The Man Who Laughs, collects #784–786 and Batman: The Man Who Laughs (one-shot), February 2009, ISBN 978-1-4012-1626-9, hardcover: January 2008, ISBN 978-1-4012-1622-1
- Batman: War Drums, collects #790–796 and Robin (vol. 2) #126–128, October 2004, ISBN 978-1-4012-0341-2
- Batman: City of Crime, collects #800–808, #811–814, July 2006, ISBN 978-1-4012-0897-4
- Batman: Face the Face, collects #817–820 and Batman #651–654, September 2006, ISBN 978-1-4012-0910-0
- Batman: Detective, collects #821–826, April 2007, ISBN 978-1-4012-1239-1
- Batman: Death and the City, collects #827–834, November 2007, ISBN 978-1-4012-1575-0
- Batman: Private Casebook, collects #840–845 and DC Infinite Halloween Special, November 2009, ISBN 978-1-4012-2015-0 hardcover: December 2008, ISBN 978-1-4012-2009-9
- Batman: Heart of Hush, collects #846–850, March 2010, ISBN 978-1-4012-2124-9 hardcover: April 2009, ISBN 978-1-4012-2123-2
- Batwoman: Elegy, collects #854–860, June 2011, ISBN 978-1-4012-3146-0 hardcover: July 2010, ISBN 978-1-4012-2692-3
- Batman: Impostors, collects #867–870, August 2011, ISBN 978-1-4012-3144-6
- Batman: The Black Mirror collects #871–881, November 2011, ISBN 978-1-4012-3206-1
- Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Faces of Death, hardcover, collects vol. 2 #1–7, June 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3466-6
- Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2: Scare Tactics, hardcover, collects vol. 2 #8–12, #0, Annual #1, April 2013, ISBN 1-4012-4265-0
- Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 3: Emperor Penguin, hardcover, collects vol. 2 #13-18, November 2013, ISBN 1-4012-4634-6
- Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 4: The Wrath, hardcover, collects vol. 2 #19–24, Annual #2, June 2014, ISBN 1-4012-4997-3
- Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 5: Gothtopia, hardcover, collects vol. 2 #25-29, November 2014, ISBN 1-4012-4998-1
- Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 6: Icarus, hardcover, collects vol. 2 #30-34, Annual #3, May 2015, ISBN 1-4012-5442-X
- Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 7: Anarky, hardcover, collects vol. 2 #35-40, January 2016, ISBN 1-4012-5749-6
- "Detective Comics recognized by Guinness World Records as longest-running comic book periodical". DC Comics. July 25, 2009. Archived from the original on April 22, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz accepted an award on behalf of DC from the Guinness World Records, recognizing Detective Comics as the longest-running comic book periodical in the United States of America.
- Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1930s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
The launch of Detective Comics defined [Malcolm] Wheeler-Nicholson's young comics company and set it on an ascendant path within the industry...His smart business decision to partner with businessmen Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz on Detective Comics guaranteed that his company's third title would at least be solvent.
- Wallace "1930s" in Dolan, p. 21: "Alongside more typical fare...came the debut of the Crimson Avenger, the first masked crime fighter in comics."
- Wallace "1930s" in Dolan, p. 24: "DC's second superstar debuted in the lead story of this issue, written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane, though the character was missing many of the elements that would make him a legend."
- Cavna, Michael (February 27, 2010). "Batman, Superman comic books set records for sale price". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- Wallace "1930s" in Dolan, p. 25: "In November's Detective Comics #33, a two-page story titled 'The Batman and How He Came to Be' recounted the Dark Knight's tragic and driven origin."
- Desris, Joe (1994). "Cops, Crooks, and Creeps". The Golden Age of Batman The Greatest Covers of Detective Comics From the '30s to the '50s. New York, NY: Artabras. p. 11. ISBN 0896600467.
Gotham City's most famous detective ultimately usurped the coveted cover position with issue 35.
- Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 31: "Writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane justified any hyperbole in this issue, for with the introduction of Robin, Batman's world changed forever."
- Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 37: "One of Batman's most peculiar foes first appeared in this issue, and naturally he brought his trademark umbrella with him. The Penguin was a squat dandy with a beaked nose and a tuxedo."
- Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 41: "The nightmarish Two-Face debuted as Batman's antagonist in this story by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane."
- Wallace, Daniel "1940s" in Dolan, p. 59: "The Riddler debuted as a perplexing foe of Batman in a story by writer Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang."
- Irvine, Alex "1950s" in Dolan, p. 80: "In the story 'The Batwoman' by writer Edmond Hamilton and penciller Sheldon Moldoff (as Bob Kane), Bruce Wayne took notice of a young admirer who...was fighting crime while wearing a bat-costume."
- Daniels, Les (2004). Batman: The Complete History. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-4232-0.
- Irvine "1950s" in Dolan, p. 94: "The impish Bat-Mite made his first appearance in Detective Comics #267, care of writer Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff."
- McAvennie, Michael "1960s" in Dolan, p. 103: "Scribe Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff reshaped the face of evil with the second - and perhaps most recognized - Clayface ever to challenge the Dark Knight."
- "Julius Schwartz' run on Detective Comics". Grand Comics Database.
- McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 110: "The Dark Knight received a much-needed facelift from new Batman editor Julius Schwartz, writer John Broome, and artist Carmine Infantino. With sales at an all-time low and threatening the cancelation of one of DC's flagship titles, their overhaul was a lifesaving success for DC and its beloved Batman."
- McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 122 "Nine months before making her debut on Batman, a new Batgirl appeared in the pages of Detective Comics...Yet the idea for the debut of Barbara Gordon, according to editor Julius Schwartz, was attributed to the television series executives' desire to have a character that would appeal to a female audience and for this character to originate in the comics. Hence, writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino collaborated on 'The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!'"
- Forbeck, Matt; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1960s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 101. ISBN 978-1465424563.
The main story, written by Mike Friedrich and drawn by Bob Brown, celebrated Batman's 30th anniversary by updating the first Batman story [from Detective Comics #27].
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 143: "Artist Neal Adams and writer Denny O'Neil rescued Batman from the cozy, campy cul-de-sac he had been consigned to in the 1960s and returned the Dark Knight to his roots as a haunted crime fighter. The cover of their first collaboration, "The Secret of the Waiting Graves", was typical of Adams' edgy, spooky style."
- Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Philadelphia, PA: Running Press. p. 26. ISBN 0-7624-3663-8.
Editor Julius Schwartz had decided to darken the character's world to further distance him from the camp environment created by the 1966 ABC show. Bringing in the talented O'Neil as well as the innovative Frank Robbins and showcasing the art of rising star Neal Adams...Schwartz pointed Batman in a new and darker direction, a path the character still continues on to this day.
- Goulart, Ron, Ron Goulart's Great History of Comic books (Contemporary Books, Chicago, 1986) ISBN 978-0-8092-5045-5, p. 297
- Daniels, Les (1995). "Revamping the Classics The Old Guard Gets a New Look". DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. New York, NY: Bulfinch Press. p. 157. ISBN 0821220764.
- Greenberger and Manning, p. 177 "Adams helped darken Gotham City in the 1970s [and] the scene was set for a new host of major villains. One of the first was Man-Bat, who debuted in the pages of 1970's Detective Comics #400."
- Manning, Matthew K. "1970s" in Dougall, p. 109: "Batman had his first brush with the mysterious League of Assassins in this issue written by Dennis O'Neil and illustrated by Bob Brown."
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 145 "Before Batman first encountered one of his greatest adversaries, Ra's al Ghul, he met his daughter, the lovely but lethal Talia [in a story by] writer Denny O'Neil and artist Bob Brown."
- Eury, Michael (July 2015). "A Look at DC's Super Specs". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (81): 23–24.
- Greenberger and Manning, p. 30: "It was Dick Giordano who, among many other similar feats, drew the March 1976 fan-favorite issue #457 of Detective Comics to illustrate the fabled Denny O'Neil yarn 'There is No Hope in Crime Alley'."
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 174: "...first-time collaborators Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers firmly entrenched Batman in his dark, pulp roots."
- "Batman Artist Rogers is Dead". SciFi Wire, Syfy.com. March 28, 2007. Archived from the original on July 9, 2007.
Even though their Batman run was only six issues, the three laid the foundation for later Batman comics. Their stories include the classic 'Laughing Fish' (in which the Joker's face appeared on fish); they were adapted for Batman: The Animated Series in the 1990s. Earlier drafts of the 1989 Batman movie with Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight were based heavily on their work.
- Greenberger and Manning, p. 27: "Batman was now a true creature of the night, and every artist and writer team worth their creative salt wanted a piece of him. One of the greatest of such pairs consisted of writer Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers...when Rogers joined Englehart in Detective Comics issue #471 (August 1977), their styles meshed with such ease that the result gave the impresssion of years' worth of collaboration."
- Greenberger and Manning, p. 163: "In this fondly remembered tale that was later adapted into an episode of the 1990s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series, the Joker poisoned the harbors of Gotham so that the fish would all bear his signature grin, a look the Joker then tried to trademark in order to collect royalties."
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 179: "Writer Len Wein and artist Marshall Rogers vividly depicted Batman's battle with a third Clayface."
- Romero, Max (July 2012). "I'll Buy That For a Dollar! DC Comics' Dollar Comics". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (57): 39–41.
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 183: "September's Detective Comics #485 featured...the League of Assassins' murder of Kathy (Batwoman) Kane [an event] that sent Batman out for revenge in a story by scripter Denny O'Neil and artist Don Newton."
- Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 193: "The comic responsible for DC's name reached its 500th issue with the help of a variety of talented comic book icons...In a dimension-spanning story by writer Alan Brennert and fan-favorite artist Dick Giordano, Batman traveled to an alternate Earth to save the parents of a young Bruce Wayne...Writer of pulp icon the Shadow, Walter Gibson, spun a prose story of the Dark Knight, illustrated by Tom Yeates."
- Greenberger, Robert (December 2013). "Memories of Detective Comics #500". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (69): 54–57.
- Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 200: "Killer Croc made his mysterious debut in the pages of Detective Comics #523, written by Gerry Conway, with art by Gene Colan...Croc would soon become a major player in Gotham's underworld."
- Ellison, Harlan (w), Colan, Gene (p), Smith, Bob (i). "The Night of Thanks, But No Thanks!" Detective Comics 567 (October 1986)
- Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 229: "In 'Year Two', a four-part sequel [to "Batman: Year One"] set in Batman's second year as a crime fighter, writer Mike W. Barr and artists Alan Davis and Todd McFarlane challenged the Caped Crusader with the threat of the Reaper."
- Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 235: "In February , the Batman crossed paths with Scarface and the Ventriloquist in Detective Comics #583 by writer John Wagner and Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle."
- Manning "1980s" in Dougall, p. 171: "Writers John Wagner and Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle introduced the Ratcatcher in this two-part story."
- Greenberger and Manning, p. 41: "In the pages of Detective Comics, Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm took advantage of that year's ongoing writers' strike to write a three-issue story entitled "Blind Justice", which culminated in that title's 600th issue."
- Manning "1990s" in Dougall, p. 195: "Chuck Dixon became the new writer on Detective Comics, starting with this issue with the help of the pencils of Tom Lyle and the inks of Scott Hanna."
- Manning "1990s" in Dougall, p. 195
- Manning "1990s" in Dougall, p. 196
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 274: "['Legacy'] kicked into full speed in the anniversary issue of Detective Comics (#700), which came with a unique envelope wrapping."
- Manning "2000s" in Dougall, p. 246: "Greg Rucka was handed the reins of Detective Comics, alongside artist Shawn Martinbrough...To visually distinguish the title from other Batman books, Martinbrough employed a minimal color palette, using shades of only one or two colors per issue."
- Manning "2000s" in Dougall, p. 252: "Greg Rucka and artist Shawn Martinbrough debuted a major new character and love interest into the life of Batman: Sasha Bordeaux."
- Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 318: "'Detective Comics 800th issue was extra large to celebrate the comic's anniversary and set up a new direction for the Dark Knight...Scripted by Andersen Gabrych and pencilled by Pet Woods, the issue took Batman back to basics."
- Manning "2000s" in Dougall, p. 290: "Paul Dini came aboard Detective Comics as its new ongoing writer as of this issue."
- Manning "2000s" in Dougall, p. 293: "Paul Dini and artist Don Kramer introduced a new Ventriloquist in this self-contained issue."
- Phegley, Kiel (July 14, 2012). "Snyder Goes Exclusive With Detective Comics". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 18, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 41: "The inaugural issue of Boy Commandos represented Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's first original title since they started at DC though the characters had debuted earlier that year in Detective Comics #64."
- Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 61: "Television was a new medium in 1949, and this issue saw the debut of Roy Raymond, adventurer and star of the fictional TV program 'Impossible _ But True!'"
- Irvine "1950s" in Dolan, p. 77: "The Martian called J'onn J'onzz debuted as a regular feature in Detective Comics #225. 'The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel', by writer Joe Samachson and artist Joe Certa, gave the origin for the lonely Martian Manhunter."
- Wells, John (May 2013). "The Master Crime-File of Jason Bard". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 39–43.
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 157: "Together with exciting new artist Walt Simonson, [Archie] Goodwin executed seven flawless tales that chronicled Paul Kirk's hunt for the world's deadliest game...Manhunter's award-winning revival earned undying acclaim for its talented storytellers."
- Boney, Alex (May 2013). "Hunting the Hunters: Manhunter and the Most Dangerous Game". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 44–50.
- Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 199: "Green Arrow netted the coveted position as backup story to the Dark Knight's adventures in Detective Comics. Written by Joey Cavalieri, with art by Trevor Von Eeden, the new feature saw Star City's renowned archer renew his war on crime."
- Kingman, Jim (May 2013). "The Ballad of Ollie and Dinah". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 10–21.
- Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 214: "Dinah Lance adopted a new costume tailor-made for the 1980s in the pages of this issue's 'Green Arrow' back-up feature."
- Detective Comics #589 at the Grand Comics Database
- Detective Comics #595 at the Grand Comics Database
- "Batwoman takes over Detective". ICv2. February 9, 2009. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- Manning "2010s" in Dougall, p. 319: "For the first time, Batman starred in a first issue of Detective Comics as the title was restarted to reflect the revised continuity of DC Comics' New 52 universe."
- Khouri, Andy (June 6, 2011). "Batman Relaunch: New #1s for Batgirl, Batman, Detective, Catwoman, Birds of Prey". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
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- Johnston, Rich (April 19, 2012). "DC Comics To Launch Zero Issues For The New 52 In September". BleedingCool.com. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
I understand that for one month all the original new 52 books will be numbered #0 instead of being #13. And that their #13s will run in October instead.
- "DC's September 2012 Solicits Preview: Batman". Newsarama. June 11, 2012. Archived from the original on June 15, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Rogers, Vaneta (June 26, 2012). "Origin, Early Years Expanded In Detective, Dark Knight #0's". Newsarama. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
Tony was so busy on so many different fronts that we thought it could be really fun for us to collaborate, with him handling the art and me handling the story on this one. And so we just jumped in.
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- Rogers, Vaneta (January 6, 2014). "Brad Meltzer Honors, Modernizes Batman's First Appearance in Detective Comics #27". Newsarama.com. Archived from the original on May 21, 2014.
Perhaps the most daunting task was given to Brad Meltzer and Bryan Hitch, who have created what DC is calling a 'modern-day retelling' of the first Batman story – the one in the original Detective Comics #27.
- ""Action," "Detective Comics" Return To Original Numbering For "Rebirth"". ComicBookResources.com. February 18, 2016.
"Action Comics'" numbering will pick up with #957 and "Detective" will be at #934. Both series will be released on a twice-monthly schedule, at a $2.99 price.
- Millennium Edition: Detective Comics at the Grand Comics Database
- Jones, Gerard (2004). Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book. New York, NY: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-03657-0.