If DC never did the 'New 52' relaunch, this issue would have been 'Detective Comics # 900. Thus, the 900 theme. Sad... I would have loved a real #900.
First of all I typically hate the '80 Page Spectacular' for one simple reason... they end up being '60 Page Filler'. But 'Detective Comics # 19' did an amazing job at making me forget I spent eight bucks for it.
This book features five stories; four of them written by John Layman and one by James Tynion IV (which ties into his current 'Talion' series). The first story (The 900) continues the current story running through 'Tec and features beautiful art by Jason Fabok. Not sure if i mentioned this before, but Jason is my favorite artist currently on the scene.
Up next, Man-Bat is featured in 'Birth Of A Family'. The art in this one by Andy Clarke and is an incredible story about how trying to help children can kinda backfire. And by backfire, I mean fall apart in a big way!
'War Council' written by Tynion IV and drawn by Mikel Janin follows Bane as he prepares to bring his war to Gotham and is to be continued in 'Talon # 7'.
'Birdwatching' by Layman and artists Henrik Jonsson and Sandu Florea goes back to the Penguin story as he tries to recapture his lost empire. Featuring a cool new villain Mr. Combustible, who is a cross between Gentlemen Ghost and a light bulb. I want more of this guy!
The story I really loved was Layman's 'Through A Blue Lens'. Here we see 4 GCPD hanging around discussing the merits or need for Batman as one of them recovers from being a 'man bat'. The graphics by Jason Masters really took me back and made me think "why isn't he drawing (fill in any current comic title)".
The book features the usual pin ups; like every good anniversary issue. Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Francesco Frankavilla, Cameron Stewart and others bring their takes on the Dark Knight.
This was an anniversary / special issue like I remember them as a kid. Chock full of great stories and art, 'Detective Comics # 19' was well worth the money. Holy cow, did I just type that?
Matman Rating: 5 out of 5 light bulbs in tuxedos