REVIEW: Gotham Central #2

Cops just don’t have it easy in the city of the Bat. Not only do they have to deal with the violence and corruption of the world’s most notoriously crime-infested city, catering to some of the most insane and homicidal criminals, but they also have to deal with a vigilante who’s hellbent on playing by his own rules.

And to make things worse, the Joker is terrorizing the city at Christmastime–randomly executing people with a rifle, and no one from the Mayor on down is safe! Plus, more stories involving the girl whose job it is to turn on the Bat-signal, a series of gruesome murders that grab the attention of The Huntress, and an old case of unfinished business for disgraced detective Harvey Bullock.

The second volume of the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning GOTHAM CENTRAL series (collecting #11-22), brought to you by acclaimed writers Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka, and artist Michael Lark, with additional art by Greg Scott, Brian Hurtt and Stefano Gaudiano. This volume also features an introduction by Duane Swierczynski.

Review for book one in the Gotham Central series can be found at The Capeless Crusader.

I’ll say what I said in my first review, Gotham Central is not a Batman comic. It’s a noir/crime comic where Batman occasionally graces the pages. If you took out Batman and swapped the supervillains for normal villains you’d still have a solid piece here. That said, with Batman and his badies, you’ve got something special.

In this installment you’ve got the ultimate bad guy, the Joker, up to his nasty tricks. He’s got a sniper rifle and he’s not afraid to torture all of Gotham with it. He has a very elaborate set up with webcams to throw the police off to his true location and I swear it could have been a really good episode of Law and Order because of how well thought out it was. I was throughly impressed with how the Joker was used to terrify the city. The other baddies we see are the Penguin and the Mad Hatter. I didn’t actually know how the Mad Hatter operated until this so it was cool to see that.

Apart from the normal Bats stuff, I was again really impressed to see the police detectives doing their jobs and living their lives. They worried about new bosses and promotions all while balancing families and hunting down the deranged. Really good read. But fair warning, if you’re going into this hoping for Batman comic, you’re not going to get it. Go into this wanting something different.



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