Detective Comics #994

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi Artist: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: December 12, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 21 User Reviews: 50
8.5Critic Rating
8.9User Rating

+ Pull List

Batman's strangest case begins as the new creative team of writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Doug Mahnke take over DETECTIVE COMICS!
Commissioner Gordon calls in the Dark Knight Detective when there's a murder at the Gotham City Aquarium-staged to look exactly like Thomas and Martha Wayne's crime scene, right down to the Playbill and pearls. How does this bizarre homicide tie into the shadowy monster that attacks Dr. Leslie Thompkins? This creature looks to wage a war on Batman-and it's using Joker Gas to do it!

  • 10
    DC Comics News - Shean Mohammed Dec 14, 2018

    The story by Tomasi is engaging and introspective enough for readers to get a better understanding of the character. The art by Mahnke is alluring and gives the book a nice uplift from the last few artists. Overall, a great issue that makes the book exciting again in a way that makes you love reading Batman. Read Full Review

  • 10
    AIPT - David Brooke Dec 12, 2018

    An excellent first issue in the "Mythology Raze" storyline. You'll be on the edge of your seat begging for more. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Kabooooom - Matt Morrison Dec 14, 2018

    A solid book for those who like a good ripping yard that is equal parts horror movie and murder mystery. Read Full Review

  • 9.6
    Forces Of Geek - Lenny Schwartz Dec 14, 2018

    Tomasi and Mahnke hit all the right notes. And it's just their first issue! Where can it go from here? I don't know but I can't wait to find out. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Lyles Movie Files - Jeffrey Lyles Dec 12, 2018

    This is a strong start to the new creative team's run on Detective Comics. They've got a lot of possible directions they can take it and I'm excited to see where they go. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Comic Watch - Nicholas Osborn Dec 14, 2018

    Detective Comics #994 is a remarkable issue from a new creative team featuring the reunion of Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke. The story draws on Batmans core emotional struggles to strike a near-perfect balance between mystery and action, delivering one of the best Detective Comics experiences this year. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Weird Science - Jim Werner Dec 12, 2018

    I can't recommend this issue enough.  If you are a Batman fan turned off by what we've been getting lately in this or the solo Bat-title, this may be a ticket back to your favorite character.  It is so nice to like Batman again! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    GWW - Deron Generally Dec 12, 2018

    The art by Doug Mahnke is brilliant and beautiful. I loved every panel from the dramatic reveal of the bodies in the aquarium to the brilliant closing page. Great artwork throughout. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Dark Knight News - Steve J Ray Dec 12, 2018

    Batman's secret is out. Are his family and friends safe? How did the killer discover the truth? There are five more before issue#1000, and if they're all this good I'm going to be camping outside by LCBS! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comic Book Corps - Tom Zimm Dec 13, 2018

    This issue felt like a return to form for Detective Comics and Batman. The story drilled down into some of the qualities that make Batman loved by many. The art showed in great detail the evidence as Batman and Gordon pursued a mysterious new threat to Gotham City. This is a wonderful time for Batman and a great time to jump on board Detective Comics because of the new art team that will lead this property toward issue #1000! Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    Black Nerd Problems - Mikkel Snyder Dec 12, 2018

    It's hard to predict the exact direction this latest arc will take given how hard it pivoted in the back half of the issue. There are a lot of interesting seeds and while it's hard to see how they're going to connect, I'm 100% ready to see Batman persevere against the strange confluence of conditions. Tomasi's writing and Mahnke's artwork combine to create quite the opener to this latest arc, and it's going to be one hell of a ride to #1000. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Batman-News - Elena Carrillo Dec 12, 2018

    Peter J. Tomasi delivers what I think so many Batfans have been hoping for: a book that throws all the angst out the window and gets back to basics: Batman fighting crime, dealing with Gotham's craziest, and a supporting cast we've grown to love over the years. This arc-opener is a mixed bag of mysteries for our Dark Knight to puzzle through, but for the first time in too long, they feel like the exciting kind of perplexities for which you're dying to know the answers! And with Doug Mahnke rendering every panel with thrilling urgency, this truly feels like a return to the glory days of Gotham. Read Full Review

  • 8.0 - Matthew Mueller Dec 12, 2018

    A new run arrives on Detective, and Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke are off to one heck of a start. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Razorfine - Alan Rapp Dec 20, 2018

    I haven't been keeping up with Detective Comics much over the past few months, but the bizarre murder scene offers a tease to deeper mystery while Doug Mahnke provides some nice art of our hero in action. Worth a look. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Monkeys Fighting Robots - David DeCorte Dec 13, 2018

    DETECTIVE COMICS #994 is a great way to kick-off Tomasi's run on the series. The story offers intriguing mystery in the first half, followed by a great action sequence, all beautifully illustrated and colored. Definitely pick this up. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Geek Dad - Ray Goldfield Dec 12, 2018

    Detective Comics #994 sets up a solid run, bringing the title back to its roots as a detective comic, but it also suffers from its proximity to The Batman Who Laughs #1 " both featuring a very specific story involving a body designed to mimic someone very close to Batman. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    The Batman Universe - Tony Hammack Dec 12, 2018

    I can actually look forward to and enjoy Detective Comics again. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Comic Book Revolution - Kevin Lainez Dec 14, 2018

    Detective Comics #994 was a great start to Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke's run on this series. Tomasi did an excellent job highlighting Batman's detective abilities while providing a personal connection to what is going on for Bruce Wayne. It is all wonderfully brought to life by Doug Mahnke delivering his always stellar artwork. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Book Bin - Philip Schweier Dec 12, 2018

    This issue reunites Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke, one of the most able of creative teams to work on the Caped Crusader in recent years. As such, it promises a strong narrative without a lot of hype to over-sell the story. Just good, capable storytelling. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Major Spoilers - Robert Mammone Dec 13, 2018

    Detective Comics #994 is not only a very good issue of an iconic character, but a good jumping on point for new readers, and for those who may have drifted away (cough). It has everything you expect from Batman " detective skills, a remorseless will to win, and plenty of mayhem and action. The artwork is phenomenal, as is the coloring. There is a real cinematic feel to the art, which helps drive the story forward to its stunning last page. And while you would expect this particular villain to feature at this celebratory point in the comic's history, it still makes for a compelling reveal. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Multiversity Comics - Michael Mazzacane Dec 13, 2018

    Peter Tomasi's start on "Detective Comics" was not a very effective or enticing one. Read Full Review

  • 10
    ohhaimark Dec 12, 2018


    -Doug Mahnke's art was pitch perfect. Every character is drawn to perfection. Even the f***ing bat signal looks cooler than before!

    -Just the entire concept of the reenactment of Bruce's parents murder was amazing. I don't know if it's ever been done before, but it was executed brilliantly here.

    -Much like the art, the writing feels spot-on for every character. No joke. Every character.

    -This series finally lives up to its title, making Batman a detective. This is my favorite depiction or angle on the Batman character. I'd take a clever, mystery-investigating Batman over a typical bad-guy-punching Batman any day. This issue extremely satisfied in that area. It is the first time in a wh more

    + LikeComments (11)
  • 9.5
    myconius Dec 12, 2018


    i held my expectations going into this one, but i was very pleasantly surprised.
    Detective Comics was really dragging through the mud for a while there, and now Peter Tomasi has come with a mop and a bucket to do some much needed course correcting. thankfully so! it's about time we finally had a decent Batman title out there.

    this was a fully charged strong issue to start off Tomasi's run.
    characters act the way they should act, talk the way they should talk. the story had my full interest, took a few surprising turns, and the art was really great as well. the cliffhanger was a real shocker! a really great start and i can't wait to see where the story goes from here.
    Doug Mahnke' more

  • 9.5
    bucswin611 Dec 12, 2018

    Wow! Not only is Mahnke making Gary Frank/Dave Gibbons classic-style epicness, but Tomasi brought his A-game. Save for one syllable ("my...Martha" I guess the idea is Bruce is so thrown off he is imperfect in the moment?), this is pretty much a perfect issue. Batman detective-ing. Batman hero-ing. Flashbacks that aren't tiresome. I can't wait for the rest of this arc.

  • 8.0
    Darkseid24 Dec 12, 2018

    Tomasi‘s Arkham Knight run was underwhelming& a waste of great potential. Arkham War also was mediocre, so I wasn’t really excited for his take on Detective Comics. However his new Detective Comics story started quite good. Bruce is finally acting like Batman& does some detective work. Tomasi also manages to portray Bruce’s relationship to Gordon& Leslie right. It was great to see these two work together like in the old days. The only thing I didn’t really like was the ending, since it seems to be a Joker story again. Joker seems to be everywhere lately.

    + LikeComments (13)
  • 10
    Linkush Dec 12, 2018

    Damn, tomasi did not disappoint.

    The detective stuff were really well done. Art is great and this was one of the best issues of batman I read in a while.
    And that ending! I can't express how much I want the next issue already. If you are looking for
    a batman comic other than the main series, than this one seems to be the best one (at least according to this issue).

  • 9.0
    Nihilist Dec 12, 2018

    Tomasi came and did what we've all wanted him to - saved Detective Comics. And exceeded my expectations at that - the issue is stellar, and super tense. The setup is interesting, and very personal to Bruce, action is relentlessly fast paced, and the art looks definitely okay.
    There's not a bad word I can say about Tomasi's introduction to Detective Comics. Welcome aboard, you have my attention!

  • 9.0
    SONOFBATMANN Dec 12, 2018

    Finally, the long awaited return to a competent Batman written by a competent writer! Wonderful dialogue. Wonderful art. Tomasi and Mahnke at their best.

    Definitely will be buying next issue.

    Love the fact that Batman does actual detective work in the book.


    Death of Leslie Thompkins is pretty sad, but it doesn't seem cheap. Wonder what the giant red-demon thing is and what it has to do with the fake Thomas and Martha Wayne. Commissioner showing up and not getting punched is also great.

    + LikeComments (3)
  • 9.0
    waltgator93 Dec 12, 2018

    Well I will give him this, this issue definitely spark my interest! Have a feeling they’re some clues in this issue and will probably read it a few more times. The art is very good god though lately in Rebirth Batman has more of an ass voice but here he seems more soft. That cliffhanger definitely has me excited for next issue!

  • 9.0
    YourGreenMuse Dec 14, 2018

    Really enjoyed this issue. It felt like Batman, like nothing else he's in nowadays seems to. I'm excited to see where this goes, even if it's Joker.

  • 8.5
    Simon DelMonte Dec 12, 2018

    That was a gut punch. No, two gut punches. But Tomasi writes Batman better than almost anyone, and Mahnke is never less than great. So glad to have two the best back on the Bat.

  • 8.5
    ComickerPerson Dec 12, 2018

    Good back-to-basics street level mystery.

  • 8.5
    thecomiccookebook Dec 12, 2018

    I thought this was great until the last page reveal. I kind of wish this had nothing to do with Joker for he's getting over used in every Bat title. Regardless, I'm happy and excited that Detective Comics is a detective book again with emotional stakes for Batman. Mahnke is great except for his design on the new creature in this book; very dark and uninspired which might be on purpose but still distracting. Overall, worth a read and I'm in on the countdown so far.

    + LikeComments (3)
  • 8.0
    The 20-issue Ceiling Dec 14, 2018

    Very strange happenings in this one, but it is so welcome after James Robinson. This actually gave me Arkham game vibes. It felt like a story that would have happened on one of the missions, not complaining though those games had excellent writing.

    Also this could be a huge stretch but the font of "The Mark" looked a lot how I remember The Mask's logo and Doug Mahnke was very prolific on The Mask. Coincidence? Probably...

  • 7.5
    Spacey Medicine Jun 3, 2019

    This is definitely better than James Robinson, I didn’t always feel like it was really Batman’s voice, but mostly I enjoyed!

  • 10
    GTMedia Reviews May 18, 2019

    It's been a long time since I thoroughly enjoyed reading a Batman comic. The last one that really stood out to me was Batman Damned: Book Two and that was in 2018. 

    The last Detective Comics arc was dog shit. The Batman who laughs has been meh and Tom King's Batman run has been uneven, to say the least. The run is consistent King doesn't have the most exciting take on the character. 

    Peter Tomasi seems to be a natural fit for the Dark Knight. Unlike other depictions of the character. Bruce feels grounded and most like a normal person despite the extreme circumstances. 

    Most takes on Batman either focus on deconstructing him or Amping his character and abilities to the point of parody. Tomasi's Batman fee more

  • 9.5
    Shodan Dec 16, 2018

    As someone who dropped Detective a while back after the League of Shadows arc and Tom King's Batman after Lee Weeks' on a Mr Freeze arc I am so happy to have picked this up! The setup is just so perfect and Mahnke's art is gorgeous. If you're looking for a Batman book, this is it.

  • 8.5
    Perry_comics Jan 5, 2019

    Comic Book Review Scale (0-10)

    0 -1 Story must keep me engaged:
    From the first page to the last page I was kept engaged and wanted more, one part gave me chills.

    1-2 Must be able to Understand the Story
    A very fluid story you can just pick up without reading previous issues and understand what's going on.

    2-3 Visuals/Artwork must make sense and be consistent
    artwork was consistent and made sense

    3-4 Visuals/Art work must be able to tell the story
    The art in the panels told the story and the words mostly filled in the blanks

    4-5 Visuals/Artwork must be pleasing
    The artwork was very pleasing and d more

  • 8.0
    egon244 Dec 13, 2018

    "I promise"

    Two great Batman stories in one week and Gordon wasn't punched in the face in either of them? Is this early Christmas or something?

    Tomasi and Mahnke always make a great team or Dynamic Due if you want a Bat-pun. The first one almost always delivers a good and compelling story and the second one perfectly compliments it with his artwork.
    This time it's the murder of Wayne's doppelgangers which rattles Bats a bit, making him almost spill his secret and the apparent return of the Joker. Still no word about the Three Jokers plot thread from way back when. But to be honest, does anybody still remembers that, including DC?

    This is how you start a new story. Interesting and weird mystery, crazy more

  • 6.5
    SloboSOY Jan 4, 2019

    I left Detective comics some time after Tynion IV left, I tried Robinson without success but wanted to leave a chance to Tomasi.
    This issues isn't bad but seems to put some element I already seen in another Bats story.
    Ok not entirely identical but the murder of two people who look alike the wayne remember me the time Ra's stole their coffin for exemple. The way bruce is targeted that place Ra's or hush in my first suspects. Joker too now that one of them know bruce identity.

    Cover - Nice and related 1/2
    Writing - Not bad but not really original 1.5/3
    Arts - Gleason did good. I tend to not be fond of the face of the woman he draw, but I can pass that easily with all he give. 3/3
    Feeling - Not sure with th more

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