Arkham Knight to Make Batman Comics Debut in 'Detective Comics' #1000

DC Comics has announced plans for its Detective Comics #1000 release and celebration, including the introduction of video game villain the Arkham Knight into the DC Universe.

The main story in Detective Comics #1000 will be written by Peter Tomasi, who wrote the Batman: Arkham Knight prequel comic, and drawn by Batman: Under the Hood artist Doug Mahnke. No further details about the Arkham Knight’s introduction were revealed.

For those who missed out on the 2015 conclusion of Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham video game trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight revealed the titular villain to be Jason Todd, Batman’s second Robin, who was killed by the Joker. Jason got better and returned in his new persona to take over Gotham City with his army of mercenaries.

The entire story was a version of the "Under the Hood" storyline by Mahnke and writer Judd Winnick that ran in the pages of Batman from 2004 through 2006, which saw Jason resurrected. He returned as the Red Hood, the Joker’s original criminal persona. The switch to the Arkham Knight persona for the video game was presumably made to preserve the surprise reveal of Todd’s identity and to fit the naming convention of the game series.

It is unclear whether the DC Comics version of the Arkham Knight will be Jason Todd since Jason has become established as the brutal vigilante Red Hood in the DC Comics universe, even making amends with his mentor, Batman.

Like Action Comics #1000 earlier this year, Detective Comics #1000 will feature several stories written and drawn by important creators from Batman’s history as well as modern DC Comics stars. These include Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Dini, Christopher Priest, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Kelley Jones, Dustin Nguyen, Alex Maleev and more.

Here’s the complete summary released by DC Comics:

“DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 periodical commemorates the anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in DETECTIVE COMICS, the title from which the DC brand itself was born. The 96-page landmark issue will feature an original story written by New York Times best-selling author Peter J. Tomasi (BATMAN AND ROBIN, DETECTIVE COMICS, BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT) with stunning artwork by Doug Mahnke (BATMAN: THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, BLACKEST NIGHT). Paying tribute to the Caped Crusader’s 80-year legacy, the book will also include a series of supporting stories by top DC talent, including Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Dini, Christopher Priest, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Kelley Jones, Dustin Nguyen, Alex Maleev and more.

Marking eight decades of crime-fighting, the oversize 1,000th issue of DETECTIVE COMICS will reveal a never-before-seen iteration of the Arkham Knight, as well as original stories by some of the biggest names in comics. To further celebrate the cultural legacy of the iconic Super Hero, DC will present a special hardcover release, DETECTIVE COMICS: 80 YEARS OF BATMAN THE DELUXE EDITION, including new artwork, all-star contributors and thrilling untold stories.”

The Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman the Deluxe Edition hardcover release will include a retrospective on Batman, with essays by Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Glen David Gold, Denny O’Neil, and others, plus previously unpublished tales new and old, and republished issues featuring the first appearances of key Batman supporting characters such as Robin, Batwoman, Bat-Mite, and Batgirl, and villains Two-Face, the Riddler, Clayface and Man-Bat.

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Detective Comics #1000 goes on sale in March 2019.