Detective Comics

For the predecessor company of DC Comics called "Detective Comics, Inc.", see National Comics Publications.
Detective Comics

Detective Comics #1 (March 1937).
Cover art by Vin Sullivan.
Publication information
Publisher Detective Comics, Inc. #1–119
National Comics Publications #120–296
National Periodical Publications #297–467
DC Comics #468–current
Format Ongoing series
Publication date
Number of issues
Main character(s)
Creative team

Detective Comics is the title of an American comic book series published by DC Comics. The first volume, 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 but in 2016 reverted to the original volume numbering. The 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 series published 881 issues between 1937 and 2011 and is the longest continuously published comic book in the United States.[1][Note 1]

Publication history

House ad for Detective Comics #1 with an originally planned cover date of Dec. 1936.

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.[2] 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).[3]


Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) featured the first appearance of Batman.[4] 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.[5]

Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), the debut of Batman. Cover art by Bob Kane.

Batman's origin is first revealed in a two-page story in issue #33 (Nov. 1939).[6] Batman became the main cover feature of the title beginning with issue #35 (Jan. 1940).[7] 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".[8] 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,[9] Two-Face in issue #66,[10] and the Riddler in issue #140.[11]

Batwoman first appeared in Detective Comics #233 (July 1956)[12] 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.[13] Writer Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff introduced Bat-Mite in issue #267 (May 1959)[14] and Clayface in #298 (Dec. 1961).[15]

In 1964, Julius Schwartz was made responsible for reviving the faded Batman titles.[16] 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).[17] 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).[18] Mike Friedrich wrote the 30th anniversary Batman story in Detective Comics #387 (May 1969) which was drawn by Bob Brown.[19]

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).[20] The duo, under the direction of Schwartz,[21] 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.[22] 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."[23] Adams introduced Man-Bat with writer Frank Robbins in Detective Comics #400 (June 1970).[24] O'Neil and artist Bob Brown crafted Batman's first encounter with the League of Assassins in Detective Comics #405 (Nov. 1970)[25] and created Talia al Ghul in issue #411 (May 1971).[26]

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.[27] 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).[28] Writer Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers produced an acclaimed run of Batman stories in Detective Comics #471-476 (Aug. 1977 - April 1978),[29] and provided one of the definitive interpretations that influenced the 1989 Batman movie and would be adapted for the 1990s animated series.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] Writer Len Wein and Rogers co-created the third version of the supervillain Clayface in Detective Comics #478 (July-Aug. 1978).[33] 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,[34] 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)[16] The original Batwoman was killed in the lead story in issue #485 (Aug.–Sept. 1979) by the League of Assassins.[35]

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.[36][37] 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).[38] Noted author Harlan Ellison wrote the Batman story in issue #567.[39]

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".[40] Writer Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle introduced the Ventriloquist in their first Batman story together[41] and the Ratcatcher in their third (#585).[42] Sam Hamm, who wrote the screenplay for Tim Burton's Batman, wrote the "Blind Justice" story in Detective Comics issues #598-600.[43] Chuck Dixon became the writer of the series with issue #644 (May 1992).[44] He and Tom Lyle co-created the Electrocutioner in Detective Comics #644 (May 1992)[45] and Stephanie Brown in Detective Comics #647 (August 1992).[46]

The "Batman: Legacy" storyline began in issue #700 (August 1996).[47] 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)[48] and created the Sasha Bordeaux character is #751 (Dec. 2000).[49] Issue #800 (Jan. 2005) was written by Andersen Gabrych and drawn by Pete Woods.[50] Paul Dini became the writer of the series as of issue #821 (Sept. 2006)[51] and created a new version of the Ventriloquist in #827 (March 2007).[52] Scott Snyder became the writer of Detective Comics with issue #871 (Jan. 2011).[53]

Backup features

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.[54] The character Roy Raymond first appeared in issue #153 (Nov. 1949).[55] 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).[56] 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.[57] Manhunter was resurrected in a story by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson in issue #437 (Oct.-Nov. 1973).[58][59] 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)[60] and running until #567 (Oct. 1986).[61] Black Canary received a new costume in the back-up story in issue #554 (Sept. 1985).[62] DC Comics Bonus Books were included in issues #589 (August 1988)[63] and #595 (Jan. 1989).[64]

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.


Main article: Batwoman: Elegy

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.[65] 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.[66] 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.[67][68]

The first issue of the relaunched Detective Comics has received six printings, second only to the relaunched Justice League which had seven printings.[69] The series seventh issue was also DC Comic's sixth highest selling digital comic, ranking above many other series in the Batman category.[70] Scott West of 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."[71] The relaunched Detective Comics received the award for "Best Series" at the 2012 Stan Lee Awards.[72] 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".[73]

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.[74][75] 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.[76] Daniel left the series with issue #12 being his last as writer and the "0" issue his last as penciller.[77]

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.[78] Gregg Hurwitz wrote the "0" issue.[79] Hurwitz was approached by Daniel to write the "0" issue due to Daniel's busy schedule.[80][81] 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.[82]

Following Daniel's tenure on the series, John Layman became the new writer and Jason Fabok the new artist[83] 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.[84]

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.[85]

For the 75th anniversary of Batman, issue #27 was a larger-sized issue featuring new stories by Brad Meltzer and Bryan Hitch,[86] 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.

DC Rebirth

In February 2016, DC Comics announced that as part of the company's continuity relaunch called DC Rebirth, Detective Comics would resume its original numbering system with June 2016's #934. Before the New 52, Detective Comics volume 1 had 881 issues, and the New 52's 52 issues, which ran from 2011 until 2016, were then added back into volume one, making Detective Comics #934 the premier issue following the events of 2016's DC Rebirth. The New 52 volume 2 would be added into volume 1.[87] Writer James Tynion IV and artists Eddy Barrows and Alvaro Martinez are the creative team on the series which is published twice monthly.[88] The series features a team consisting of Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and Clayface, led by Batman and Batwoman.

Character debuts

Character Issue Publication date
Slam Bradley #1 March 1937
Crimson Avenger #20 October 1938
Batman #27 May 1939
Commissioner Gordon #27 May 1939
Doctor Death #29 July 1939
The Monk #31 Sept. 1939
Julie Madison #31 Sept. 1939
Dala #32 Oct. 1939
Joe Chill #33 Nov. 1939
Hugo Strange #36 Feb. 1940
Robin #38 April 1940
Clayface (Basil Karlo) #40 June 1940
Penguin #58 December 1941
Mr. Baffle #63 May 1942
Boy Commandos #64 June 1942
Two-Face #66 Aug. 1942
Tweedledum and Tweedledee #74 April 1943
Cavalier #81 Nov. 1943
Riddler #140 October 1948
Pow Wow Smith #151 Sept. 1949
Roy Raymond #153 Nov. 1949
Red Hood #168 Feb. 1951
Firefly #184 June 1952
Mirror Man #213 Nov. 1954
Batmen of All Nations #215 Jan. 1955
Martian Manhunter #225 Nov. 1955
Mad Hatter #230 April 1956
Batwoman #233 July 1956
Diane Meade #246 Aug. 1957
Terrible Trio #253 March 1958
Calendar Man #259 Sept. 1958
Dr. Double X #261 Nov. 1958
Bat-Mite #267 May 1959
Clayface (Matt Hagen) #298 Dec. 1961
Catman #311 Jan. 1963
Idol Head of Diabolu #326 April 1964
The Outsider #334 Dec. 1964
Blockbuster #345 Nov. 1965
Cluemaster #351 May 1966
Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) #359 Jan. 1967
Jason Bard #392 Oct. 1969
Man-Bat #400 June 1970
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
Onyx #546 Jan. 1985
Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker) #583 Feb. 1988
Ratcatcher #585 April 1988
Anarky (Lonnie Machin) #608 Nov. 1989
Renee Montoya #642 March 1992
Stephanie Brown #647 Aug. 1992
Cypher #657 March 1993
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


  1. 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.
  2. There was a shadowy cameo in Detective Comics #523 (Feb. 1983)[38] and his first full appearance is credited to Batman #357 (March 1983)

Collected editions

Volume One

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

Batman Chronicles

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

Showcase Presents

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

Volume Two

Millennium Editions

In 2000 and 2001, DC reprinted several of its most notable issues in the Millennium Edition series. Seven issues of Detective Comics were reprinted in this format.[89]


  1. "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.
  2. 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.
  3. Wallace "1930s" in Dolan, p. 21: "Alongside more typical fare...came the debut of the Crimson Avenger, the first masked crime fighter in comics."
  4. 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."
  5. 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.
  6. 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."
  7. 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, New York: Artabras. p. 11. ISBN 0896600467. Gotham City's most famous detective ultimately usurped the coveted cover position with issue 35.
  8. 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."
  9. 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."
  10. 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."
  11. 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."
  12. 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."
  13. Daniels, Les (2004). Batman: The Complete History. San Francisco, California: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-4232-0.
  14. 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."
  15. 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."
  16. 1 2 "Julius Schwartz' run on Detective Comics". Grand Comics Database.
  17. 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."
  18. 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!'"
  19. 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].
  20. 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."
  21. Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 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.
  22. Goulart, Ron, Ron Goulart's Great History of Comic books (Contemporary Books, Chicago, 1986) ISBN 978-0-8092-5045-5, p. 297
  23. 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, New York: Bulfinch Press. p. 157. ISBN 0821220764.
  24. 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."
  25. 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."
  26. 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."
  27. Eury, Michael (July 2015). "A Look at DC's Super Specs". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (81): 23–24.
  28. 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'."
  29. McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 174: "...first-time collaborators Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers firmly entrenched Batman in his dark, pulp roots."
  30. "Batman Artist Rogers is Dead". SciFi Wire, 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.
  31. 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."
  32. 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."
  33. McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 179: "Writer Len Wein and artist Marshall Rogers vividly depicted Batman's battle with a third Clayface."
  34. Romero, Max (July 2012). "I'll Buy That For a Dollar! DC Comics' Dollar Comics". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (57): 39–41.
  35. 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."
  36. 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."
  37. Greenberger, Robert (December 2013). "Memories of Detective Comics #500". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (69): 54–57.
  38. 1 2 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."
  39. Ellison, Harlan (w), Colan, Gene (p), Smith, Bob (i). "The Night of Thanks, But No Thanks!" Detective Comics 567 (October 1986)
  40. 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."
  41. Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 235: "In February [1988], the Batman crossed paths with Scarface and the Ventriloquist in Detective Comics #583 by writer John Wagner and Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle."
  42. Manning "1980s" in Dougall, p. 171: "Writers John Wagner and Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle introduced the Ratcatcher in this two-part story."
  43. 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."
  44. 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."
  45. Manning "1990s" in Dougall, p. 195
  46. Manning "1990s" in Dougall, p. 196
  47. 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."
  48. 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."
  49. 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."
  50. 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."
  51. Manning "2000s" in Dougall, p. 290: "Paul Dini came aboard Detective Comics as its new ongoing writer as of this issue."
  52. Manning "2000s" in Dougall, p. 293: "Paul Dini and artist Don Kramer introduced a new Ventriloquist in this self-contained issue."
  53. 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.
  54. 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."
  55. 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!'"
  56. 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."
  57. Wells, John (May 2013). "The Master Crime-File of Jason Bard". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 39–43.
  58. 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."
  59. Boney, Alex (May 2013). "Hunting the Hunters: Manhunter and the Most Dangerous Game". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 44–50.
  60. 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."
  61. Kingman, Jim (May 2013). "The Ballad of Ollie and Dinah". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 10–21.
  62. 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."
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  87. White, Brett (February 18, 2016). "Action, Detective Comics Return To Original Numbering For Rebirth". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on November 7, 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.
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