Slam Bradley in Detective Comics #1000 – a Grand Tradition of Anniversaries, Get-Togethers and Insensitive Language

Detective Comics #1000, like Action Comics #1000, is meant to be out of continuity. Apart from the bits that aren't. And this may be confirmed, or not at a later date.

But this is one that probably will.

The reveal of yet another Gotham secret society, Guild of Detection, with Detective Comics #1 lead, Slam Bradley, returning to DC Comics continuity. As well as other DC folk noted for being detectives.

And you just know that Scott Snyder will bring this back at a drop of the Question's hat. That's if Bendis doesn't nab it off him first. Could we see them take part in the Year Of The Villain?

Slam Bradley is also notable for a number of blatantly racist stories back in the day, so much so that DC Comics had to cancel Detective Comics Before Batman.

The character reappeared after decades in Detective Comics #500 joining other veteran DC detectives, such as Jason Bard, Pow-Wow Smith, Roy Raymond, the Human Target, and Mysto, Magician Detective in solving the murder of a fellow retiring detective.

The character returned again in Detective Comics #572 (the 50th-anniversary issue), teaming up with detectives Batman, Robin, Elongated Man, and Sherlock Holmes.

Yes, that Sherlock Holmes.

Could that have been a proto-Guild?

He appeared in the Superman titles in the 1990s, working for the Metropolis Police Department. However, this incarnation of the character was short-lived. When an older Slam Bradley later appeared in Detective Comics, it was explained that the Metropolis character was Slam Bradley Jr.

The character was planned to appear in Tim Truman's 1998 Guns of the Dragon miniseries, which was set in the 1920s and teamed older versions of Bat Lash and Enemy Ace for an adventure on Dinosaur Island. However another editor had plans for the character, so the character was rewritten as Slam Bradley's heretofore unknown brother Biff Bradley, who sacrificed his life to stop the villainous Vandal Savage.

In 2001, Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke revived the character in Detective Comics as a former police officer in his late 50s who has always worked in Gotham City. Bradley then appeared regularly in the Catwoman series, with his son, Sam Bradley Jr, in the police, and Sam Jr. and Catwoman in a relationship, with Selina giving birth to Helena Kyle, later given up for adoption.

All that was wiped away with the New 52. The character was revived at DC in New Super Man a couple of years ago in a false reality sequence in pretty much the same fashion as he originally appeared, though in a way intended to be rather critical of the character.

And as to his current racial attitudes?

Can't get a break, that Slam.

(W) Peter J. Tomasi, Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Dini, Warren Ellis, Geoff Johns, Tom King, Dennis O'Neil, Christopher Priest, Kevin Smith, Scott Snyder, Others (A) Doug Mahnke, Neal Adams, Greg Capullo, Tony S. Daniel, Steve Epting, Kelley Jones, Andy Kubert, Alex Maleev, Dustin Nguyen (CA) Scott Williams (A/CA) Jim Lee
After 80 years, it's here-the 1,000th issue of DETECTIVE COMICS, the title that literally defines DC! This 96-page issue is stacked with an unbelievable lineup of talent that will take you on a journey through Batman's past, present and future…plus a sensational epilogue that features the first-ever DC Universe appearance of the deadly Arkham Knight! But who is under the mask? And why do they want Batman dead? The incredible future of Batman adventures begins here! Will have decade appropriate trade dress. In Shops: Mar 27, 2019 SRP: $9.99




About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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