Robert Venditti Talks His Story in the Upcoming 'Detective Comics' #1000 Hardcover

Today, DC will announce the release of a hardcover edition of Detective Comics #1000. The issue, which hit the stands yesterday, is the symbolic marker of 80 years of Batman stories, and while the paperback weighed in at 96 pages already, June's hardcover will in fact bring even more content. Like the Deluxe Edition hardcovers of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 or Action Comics #1000, Detective Comics will feature a gallery of variant covers, like some new commentary, and in this case, a new story from Hawkman and Freedom Fighters scribe Robert Venditti. Featuring art by Steven Segovia, the 12-page story will be the first time Venditti has written the Dark Knight in a solo story.

"DC asked me if I wanted to Batman story, and there were certain things that they wanted the story to accomplish," Venditti explained during a recent conversation with ComicBook.com. "They wanted it to be obviously something that would stand alone, and gave you everything you needed to know about Batman all in one chunk. Only 12 pages or whatever, but fit in as much as you could as far as 'this is who Batman is,' 'this is who Bruce Wayne is.' Really have it be like an introduction to the character, and asked me if I wanted to do it. And of course, I was very excited about it. I've never really written Batman before. I've had him come through a comic here and there, and have a couple lines of dialogue, but I've never done a story where Batman was the lead. There's so much about the character that's appealing, and obviously he's one of the most recognizable heroes on the planet, so it was a story that I was very interested in doing."

Called “Table for Two,” Venditti and Segovia's story pits Batman against a Gotham City gauntlet of his most dangerous rogues, as Two-Face unites half of the Gotham underworld to eradicate the Dark Knight once and for all. This is the first Batman story ever written by Venditti, best known for his fan-favorite run on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps and most recently Hawkman, Freedom Fighters, and the soon-to-be-released Six Days. Segovia's DC work includes chapters from the best-selling first arc of Rebirth's Action Comics run as well as Convergence and Red Hood and the Outlaws.

"Twelve pages doesn't seem like a lot of space, but I remember when I turned in the story to Jamie Rich, who is the editor I worked with on the project, I'm paraphrasing here, but he said something to the effect of, 'You wrote this like this was gonna be your one chance at a Batman story, and you really swung for the fences,'" Venditti said. "I mean, in this one story, you've got the Batmobile, the Batplane, the Batcycle, the Batboat. You've to five different villains all interacting with Batman individually. You've got Alfred, you've got an interaction with the police department, you've got a mystery, you've got him exercising his detective skills, you've got Wayne Manor, you got the Batcave, and it's all in 12 pages. But it all hopefully, when you read it, flows and doesn't read like a mishmash. It's a very fluid story, where Batman is swept up in these events, and he's carried through a series of things all in one night. And there's a larger plan behind it, which is the mystery that he's using his detective skills to try to solve. Because above all things, Batman is the world's greatest detective, and you want to get that in there as well. And hats off to the artist, Stephen Segovia, who came in and drew all these things. With that much content in such a small space, it could very easily have become unwieldy and difficult to follow visually, but he's able to execute it so amazingly and especially some certain scenes in the way he shot a scene through a window and you had a view through a window, or something like that, it's all just so beautifully done. I could not be happier with how the story turned out."

The Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition will include tribute art celebrating Batman from popular artists Jason Fabok, Mikel Janin, as well as Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts; a gallery of 32 unique retailer-exclusive variants drawn by some of the biggest names in comics and art, plus the nine decade-themed variant covers from artists such as Steve Rude, Michael Cho, Jim Steranko, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Tim Sale, Jock and Greg Capullo; and a wraparound cover from the Detective Comics #1000 comic book by Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair. Fans can expect the 168-page book to be released to comic shops on June 12 and bookstores on June 18, carrying a price tag of $19.99.

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