Detective Comics 500 (March 1981)

For issue 500, DC went with something rather celebratory for Detective Comics–it’s very oversized (84 pages) and has many Detective Comics regulars–back to Slam Bradley–making appearances.

The opening Batman story, from Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano, is fantastic one about Batman going Earth-3 to save his parents. It’s a great, touching story. I love it. I’ve probably read it, in one place or another, like ten times.

The rest is mostly a mess. Len Wein’s Bradley story is atrociously written, the Mike W. Barr Elongated Man story is flat–the Hawkman story does have some beautiful Joe Kubert artwork and a nice Martian Manhunter cameo (he doesn’t appear otherwise).

The final story, by Cary Bates and Carmine Infantino, featuring Batman and Deadman, is a total mess.

I couldn’t get through Walter Gibson’s prose story.

But it’s worth it for the opener alone and it’s well-intentioned.


To Kill a Legend; writer, Alan Brennert; artist, Dick Giordano; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza. The “Too Many Cooks … ” Caper!; writer, Len Wein; artist, Jim Aparo; colorist, Tatjana Wood. The Final Mystery of Edgar Allen Poe!; writer, Mike W. Barr; artist, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez; colorist, Wood; letterer, Costanza. The Batman Encounters – Gray Face; writer, Walter Gibson; artist, Thomas Yeates. The Strange Death of Doctor Erdel; writer, Paul Levitz; artist, Joe Kubert; colorist, Wood; letterer, Adam Kubert. What Happens When a Batman Dies?; writer, Cary Bates; penciller, Carmine Infantino; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Roy; letterer, Costanza. Editor, Levitz; publisher, DC Comics.

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