The art is really good, and perfect for the tone of the series It s dark, with a very earthy color palate and an almost retro feel The one issue that I have with it is that there s not quite enough definition in character faces to make it easy to pick out who s who There are a lot of white guys with short hair, and I d like to be able to figure out who s who at a glance This is early in the series, though, and I m hoping they end up with definition later.
This is a really promising start to a series I ve heard really great things about I m eager to read.
There s very little reason this should work.
Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka want you to sit down, pick this up and become captivated by the stories of the Gotham City Police Department A force that has become all but neutered by the exploits of The Dark Knight Honestly, who wants the cops to come save you when Batman is on the prowl It had to be tough to try and write this without the reader asking the question, Why not just flip the switch and let the bat signal flood the sky The answer this is their job, not his The GCPD struggle with the fact that they re always overshadowed by The Caped Crusader and that they have a lot of resentment deep in their system In fact, that s basically the subject of the first arc, In The Line of Duty.
Detective Lewis needs to capture Mr Freeze following the brutal murder of his partner, Charlie Fields Feeling guilt over Charlie s death, Lewis wants just this one victory without the help of Batman and refuses to let the beacon shine.
In The Line of Duty is important in establishing just why you should care about these people It gets the reader right down to their level, sympathizing with their feelings of inadequacy in relation to Batman After that connection is established, Rucka and Brubaker get the wheels going with some top notch stuff.
The two arcs that follow are gripping stories, especially Half A Life They do a good job setting the tone of where this series intends to go throwing red herrings all over the place, keeping the reader guessing until the big reveal.
This is the perfect example of why people should never write off comics as a storytelling medium Even if you re not a fan of the superhero genre, this is a series that can fit snug on the bookshelf of any crime fiction aficionado.
Being a cop isn t easy, but the men and women of the Gotham City Police Department have it tougher than most This is a town where the most routine call can leave an officer facing a crazy cold blooded scientist with his own freeze ray, or they may be targeted by a murderous former district attorney desperately in need of some plastic surgery You know things are out of control when the cop s best weapon is a psychologically scarred vigilante who dresses like a bat.
It seemed like an interesting idea to do a book from the point of view of the GCPD s Major Crimes Unit, but I thought that this might be an idea only worthy of a story, not an entire series I was wrong about that in a big way.
In the hands of Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka it s already obvious that there s a wealth of untold Gotham stories about a group of cops just trying to do their jobs in the face of batshit Get it craziness For example, the first story centers on the horrible death of a detective at the hands of Mr Freeze Usually in a bat comic, we d get the brutal murder and maybe a little bit of the department s anger and fear as a subplot while Batman goes after him By focusing on the crime s impact to the cops, it turns what could be a typical comic book beginning into a tragedy that makes you see the GCPD as than just cannon fodder that routinely gets caught in the crossfire between Batman and his enemies I also liked the way that the cops have a love hate thing with Batman because they recognize that they need him to deal with these threats, but there s an undertone of anger that he may be causing half of their problems by inspiring super villains as well as resentment at the way that he s taken it on himself to do their job.
In addition to the Mr Freeze plot, there s a mystery to solve as the detectives look into the murder of a teenage girl and deal with a costumed firebug The final story that revolves around a closeted lesbian cop being outed as part of a scheme to destroy her life is an exceptionally heartbreaking piece of writing that I will be using in the future to refute anyone who wants to sneer at me for reading funny books Terrific concept and great story telling make this a must read for fans who will see a side of Gotham City that we never have before in the Batman titles.
Law and Order Gotham City This is my favorite of Rucka s works Of course, he co wrote this with Ed Brubaker This is basically Fox s Gotham without Jim Gordon It s all about the lives of the GCPD officers we so fondly think of as useless peons in the war on Gotham crime Seriously, this department is a fucking joke to a lot of us That scene in the Dark Knight Rises when they all run at a group of machine gun wielding criminals comes to mind They appear utterly useless in the face of the Batfamily who are actually doing something to stop crime There is an interesting dynamic that s usually explored in snippets of Batfam stories Some of the GCPD appreciates Bat for helping out where they can t but by and large, they don t like him They resent the fact that if they can t solve a case before the sun goes down, Batman will solve it for them In this book, one of their own is targeted and his partner refuses for the longest to ask Batsy for help It s pretty interesting to see his from their point of view instead of Batsy s In Batman books, the department s resistance makes them look stubborn and silly Here, you kind of understand why they feel this way The characters blended together for me quite a bit but I want to know about them Seriously, this is full of Law and Order caricatures I would kill to have a show about these characters The only ones I recognized were Renee and Maggie There was just enough depth to the ones we were meant to care about More kudos for female characters with some bite to them The mysteries themselves were pretty good I saw the killer from a mile away I didn t quite guess the big twist but still, it was kinda easy to predict I have the second volume from the library as well and I can t wait to read it I wish they adapted this for a TV show.
This book starts strong and surprisingly fits my dark humour with some laugh out loud moments It s the way Brubaker makes the conversations realistic to every day life I love how this hits the ground running with 2 cops accidentally discover Mr Freeze when following a bad tip from a source Mr Freeze doesn t fuck around Some great realism and wonderful artwork.
See, DC comics can be good sometimes.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIESThere are many graphic novels about superheroes and their world and how important it is for them to save the regular mortals but rarely do we get a perspective of the mortals unless they re family or lovers In this series we focus almost exclusively upon the detectives morning and night shifts of Gotham who sometimes resent The Bat for solving their cases It s a fresh and interesting approach with Batman showing up less than 5% of all the tales.
BOOK ONEStory focuses are upon two detectives discovering Mister Freeze in hiding and then the whole force trying to stop him from doing something sinister There s another tale of a missing teenage girl while a villainous Firefly returns to Gotham and the last and longest tale is about the return of Two Face who proceeds to capture and torment Detective Montoya There s a lesbian detective who fears being disowned if her parents find out, another detective is guilt ridden that his partner died on his watch and a host of other personal stories Truly is this about the characters The Sarge is a great sub character who goes off on some interesting arguments here and there.
ARTWORKI found the artwork hit or miss Yes, it s dark and gritty looking but sometimes it feels like only 80% of the normal details are there in the artwork Batman doesn t look terribly impressive though maybe that s intentional to add to the mundane setting That alone didn t make me give it a B grade so much as my former reason STORY PLOTTING B plus ARTWORK PRESENTATION B CHARACTERS DIALOGUE B plus to A minus WHEN read early June 2012 OVERALL GRADE B plus.
This book provides a street level view of life in Gotham City from the point of view of police detectives Batman very rarely appears, and when he does, he comes across as mysterious and a bit menacing The detectives have a lot of personality, and it s interesting to see how they deal with super villains without powers not very well at times The writing is sharp, and the art style really suits the type of stories being told I m looking forward to reading volumes of this.
5 starsWouldn t it be great to be a cop in Gotham City I mean the Bat would pretty much take down anything serious leaving you time with your coffee and doughnuts, right Well, as this comic series from Ed Brubaker shows not so much It appears that Bats is a whacko magnet and given that he s only human despite what editorial fiat from the DC offices may pretend in the storylines they approve that means that there are a ton of crazy psychopaths with either superpowers or the military hardware of an advanced alien civilization who have a point to prove or score to settle who mark Gotham as stop 1 on their magical mystery tour and even if the caped crusader nabs half of them before they commit too many lethal crimes it still leaves than any three police forces can handle running rampant in the city This comic had a pretty cool vibe, sort of Law and Order meets the DC Universe as we follow the trials and travails of some of the cops on the beat in the city of the Bat All of the members of the unit we are following were hand picked by Jim Gordon, former police commissioner and good buddy of the man in black Not all of these officers share his love for the vigilante, though, especially when the kind of crime he seems to attract means that friends and co workers are getting terminated after they fall into situations the police academy did not prepare them for This first story arc covers the fallout from the death of a detective who thought he was on a routine check on info from a snitch, only to fall into the hands of Mr Freeze Add on to that a kidnapping case going nowhere and an arsonist displaying the costume and arsenal of Batman s old foe the Firebug and things are getting difficult for the cops at Gotham Central.
I enjoyed this comic and thought it was probably one of the effective ones I ve read when it comes to displaying the ways in which having a costumed superhero in something approaching our world might not be such an awesome thing By centring not so much on Joe Schmoe in the street who may be able to avoid much interaction with any of the craziness of the metahuman world and thus retain his sense of hero worship, but on the cops who can t help but deal with events and people they are in no way trained or equipped to handle it gave an interesting perspective to things In some ways it could be considered similar to Brian Michael Bendis Powers, but I have to admit that Gotham Central seems to approach the issues from a much realistic perspective All in all a good read and, at least from my perspective, something that covered new ground which is not what I generally expect from DC comics.
When enough of your friends give a book high praise, sooner or later you have to stop being a stubborn asshole and give it a try In this case, Gotham Central is the book and the stubborn asshole is me.
The core concept behind Gotham Central is a fairly simple one If Batman was patrolling your city, how would the cops deal with it They d probably resent and respect you simultaneously, as is repeatedly shown in the pages of Gotham Central.
There isn t a whole lot I can mention about the plot without spoiling too much of it It s basically a series of crime stories set in Gotham City, centering on the GCPD.
Brubaker and Rucka knocked the ball out of the park and into the river in this one The writing is superb and at times I forgot I was reading something set in Gotham City I cannot recommend this enough to fans of comic books and crime fiction.
Meet Gotham S FinestLiving In The Shadows Of The Dark Knight Makes The Detectives Of Gotham S Police Force Determined To Prove That Have What It Takes To Enforce The Law In A City Rife With Criminals With Or Without Batman S HelpMeet Commissioner Akins And His Major Crimes Unit Commander Maggie Sawter Fresh From Metropolis Keeping The Streets Safe Are Detectives Renee Montoya, Crispis Allen And Others Newly Introduced To Readers The Race Is On To Stop Mister Freeze While Solving A Crime Before The Caped Crusader IntervenesCollects Issues