Creators Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo dish up a mystery spanning Bruce Wayne’s entire career in Batman’s Longest Case, the opening story in the massive Detective Comics #1000.
The story essentially exists in two parts. First, we have a montage of Batman piecing together clues stemming from his very first case as Batman. This suddenly pivots to the present when he finally reaches the end of the breadcrumb trail.
Given the compact space allowed for the story (just eight pages), this feels like a strange choice. The first half is all summary, not all of which seems to add up completely, but it accomplishes the primary goal of evoking tension. However, that intrigue deflates somewhat when the twist in the story appears.
This may have been better suited to a book allowing more space to flesh-out the story, rather than Detective Comics #1000. That’s especially true if the organization introduced in the second half becomes a recurring element of Batman lore.
Capullo’s artwork does a good job of maintaining interest and ratcheting-up the tension throughout the story. He employs tightly-cropped illustrations, broken-up and punctuated by Batman’s monologue. However, he pulls back into a more conventional layout after revealing the culprits behind the mystery.
Batman’s Longest Case is enjoyable overall, and a fun introduction to this monumental, milestone issue. Ultimately, though, it feels like a sketch of a broader story, rather than a short, self-contained vignette.