2019 marks the 80th anniversary of Batman and DC plans to celebrate the occasion in style. While many of the publisher's plans for the Dark Knight's upcoming milestone haven't been revealed, they have announced two special releases set to hit shelves next year; Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman - The Deluxe Edition and Detective Comics # 1000. DC Comics Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio had this to say in a statement.
"The enduring popularity of Batman over the past 80 years speaks to the character's multi-generational appeal. We're proud to celebrate Batman's cultural impact with these special releases and look forward to a year of commemorating this milestone anniversary with fans across the globe."
First up is Detective Comics #1000. Batman first made his debut in the pages of the series in issue #27 back in 1939. This massive 96-page issue will feature a brand new, original story from writer Peter J. Tomasi and artwork by Doug Mahnke, the creative team who has been working on the title as of late. The big draw for DC fans is that the issue will reveal a new version of the Arkham Knight, a villain introduced in 2015's Batman: Arkham Knight video game. The release will also include stories from creators such as Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Dini, Christopher Priest, Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams, Kelley Jones, Dustin Nguyen, Alex Maleev and more.
Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman - The Deluxe Edition is a hardcover collection, putting together both new and old material from the character's long history. The massive collection comes with a brand new cover from artist Jim Lee, in addition to several previously unpublished works. These include stories highlighting a traumatic early moment in Bruce Wayne's life by writer Paul Levitz and artist Denys Cowan, as well as never-before-seen layouts by Batman creator Bob Kane's "ghost" artist Lew Sayre Schwartz for a story originally meant to appear in a 1953 issue of Detective Comics.
The book will also feature essays on Batman from Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Glen David Gold, Denny O'Neil, Shelley Zimmerman and Anthony Tollin. Previously published key moments being published in the book include Batman's debut, the first appearances of Robin, Batwoman, Bat-Mite, Batgirl, the debuts of villains like Two-Face, the Riddler, Clayface and Man-Bat. Plus, the collection includes the introduction for other characters such as Slam Bradley, Air Wave, the Boy Commandos and the Martian Manhunter.
Both of the titles are set to hit shelves in March 2019. The company also promises that these are just the first of many planned festivities for the Batman 80th anniversary celebration next year. Maybe we'll finally get a firm announcement regarding The Batman? Perhaps that's just wishful thinking, but these books are a good place to start. We also have Jim Lee's new cover for Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman - The Deluxe Edition below for you to check out. Keep an eye out on DCComics.com for more details on next year's Batman celebration.