Happy 80th Birthday, Batman!

As fans across the globe prepare to celebrate Batman’s 80th birthday tomorrow, Saturday 30th March, the comic book series that first launched the crime fighting adventures of the world’s most popular Super Hero reaches a milestone this week with the release of DC’s Detective Comics #1000. But watch out for a high cover price from some retailers…

Detective Comics #1000 – offered with decade by decade variant covers by artists that include Steve Rude, Bruce Timm, Jim Steranko, Jock and Frank Miller – is available now at comics retailers and digitally for $9.99 (about £7.67 at the current exchange rate, seen for £7.95 in most UK comic shops, although some are charging more, £8.99 in one store, so shop around).

With pre-orders surpassing 600,000 copies to date, the 96-page oversize collector’s edition issue features all-star writers and artists paying tribute to an iconic pop culture character, honouring Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #1000  #27 on March 30, 1939.

The monumental 1000th issue of Detective Comics , the title from which the DC brand itself was born, celebrates Batman through a series of seven-to-nine-page standalone short stories. A special highlight of the issue is an original story revealing a never-before-seen iteration of the Arkham Knight, 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).

Detective Comics #1000 is a remarkable milestone in Batman’s publishing history and he’s had a seismic cultural impact on fans for eight decades,” said DC publisher Dan DiDio. “As one of DC’s most groundbreaking Super Heroes, Batman has inspired every writer and artist who contributed to this book, and we can’t wait for fans to connect with these new stories that celebrate the entire Bat-universe.”

This must-have collector’s item also features an all-star array of top writers and artists in Batman’s recent history, including Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, Joëlle Jones, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, Warren Ellis, Becky Cloonan and more.

The release of Detective Comics #1000 follows the spectacular oversize hardcover Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman the Deluxe Edition, also available now. From guest editor Paul Levitz, the hardcover volume is packed with classic reprints of the Caped Crusader’s most memorable adventures.

Featuring an all-new cover by Jim Lee, several unpublished treasures and a foreword from Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the celebratory book includes essays looking at Batman from extraordinary perspectives, including Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Glen David Gold, Denny O’Neil, former San Diego police chief Shelley Zimmerman and pulp historian Anthony Tollin.

This weekend, fans across the globe can celebrate Batman’s 80th birthday with a huge number of festivities. IN the United States, for those attending WonderCon in Anaheim, California, there is a can’t-miss opportunity to join a collection of stars who have contributed to Batman’s legacy at a special “Happy Birthday Batman!” panel event at 3.30 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Featuring DC Publisher, Chief Creative Officer and Batman: Hush artist Jim Lee, as well as David Mazouz (Gotham), Lee Meriwether (Batman), Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Arkham Asylum), Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham OriginsBatman: Ninja), Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Grace Randolph (Beyond the Trailer), the ultimate celebration of Batman will honour the hero’s legacy along with a slice of Bat-cake.

The DC UNIVERSE VOD channel will open its digital doors to Batman fans for a day of free live action and animated films, TV series and comics beginning at midnight EDT Saturday, 30th March until 11.59 p.m. EDT. From the Caped Crusader’s origin in Frank Miller’s landmark Batman: Year One to Tim Burton’s 1989 movie blockbuster to the epic Batman: The Animated Series, users will able to binge hundreds of the greatest superhero stories of all time, featuring the most iconic character in pop culture history.

Plus, the first month of DC UNIVERSE will cost only $0.80 cents for new members who sign up between March 29, 2019, 12:01 EDT and April 4, 2019 11:59 p.m. EDT. The special offer is available in the US at www.dcuniverse.com. After the first month at $0.80 the monthly subscription price will renew at the standard rate of $7.99 a month.

Bat-fans across the globe are welcome to join the stars of GothamSupergirlPennyworth and more to post special birthday shout-outs this Saturday to Batman with the hashtag #LongLiveTheBat.

• For the latest news and updates on Batman’s yearlong 80th anniversary celebration, visit www.batman80.com

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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