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Gotham Central, Vol. 1: In the Line of Duty (Gotham Central trade paperbacks #1)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  4,099 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
Meet Gotham's Finest.

Living 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 help.

Meet Commissioner Akins and his Major Crimes Unit commander Maggie Sawter (fresh from Metropolis). Keeping the streets safe are detectives Re
Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by DC Comics (first published March 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 13, 2017 Chelsea rated it really liked it
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 Bat
Jul 03, 2012 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, crime, superheroes
3 – 3.5 stars

Wouldn’t it be great to be a cop in Gotham City? I mean the Bat would pretty much take down anything serious leaving you more 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 milit
Nov 29, 2011 Sesana rated it really liked it
How do Gotham's Finest really feel about Batman? The initial assumption is that they'd feel grateful, of course. In Gotham Central's Major Crimes Unit, the detectives often feel a bit miffed that some guy in a Halloween costume can do their job better than they can. There's a certain amount of resentment, that they can't do their job without him.

There are five issues here, representing two seperate but interrelated stories. Two cops are investigating a kidnapping when they stumble across Mr. Fr

There 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.


Story focu
Seth T.
Jul 25, 2011 Seth T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I grew up loving superheroes. As a first grader, I faithfully watched Spider-Man catch thieves—just like flies. In fourth grade, I picked up my first Marvel comic on a road trip. In fifth grade, my mother took me to my first comic shop. And for the next seven years, I was wholly devoted to the superhero and the hero’s genre. I belonged to superheroes and they belonged to me.

Gotham Central by Rucka, Brubaker, and Lark

It was the kind of relationship that is built on a foundation of passive aggression and enablement. The heroes would strin
Nov 06, 2009 Jace rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I'm not sure I can add anything in my review that hasn't already been said about this book. GOTHAM CENTRAL takes the action of a standard Batman book down to street level and follows the cops and detectives who protect the city during the day. This book establishes a novel convention that G.C.P.D. is always working against the clock--if they don't solve a crime before nightfall, Batman will show up and collar the crook on his own. I had always assumed that the authorities appreciated his help, b ...more
Sam Quixote
Mar 24, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it liked it
Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka draw focus from Batman to the men and women of the Gotham City Police Department in “Gotham Central”. In a city watched over by a Dark Knight filled with colourful villains running amok, how do ordinary police fare against such an outlandish backdrop?

As a huge Batman fan, I think it’s an interesting idea to see the goings on in Batman stories from the perspective of the characters who’re always in the background, looking on as a guy dressed as a bat does their job for
Marc Weidenbaum
Been planning to read this series straight through, starting with the couple of volumes I already had read. I am, just to cut to the chase, sad this series didn't catch on. To me, it is one of the best Batman series, if not the best Batman series, since Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. It is Gotham as seen from the point of view of cops, and not just cops, but very much the sort of cops we recognize from TV serials. And that's a compliment. This is as engaging as the best cop dramas -- fr ...more
Dec 25, 2011 Nnedi rated it it was amazing
thought i'd be so bored by this because i don't typically like this genre of story (not into mysteries or anything remotely hard-boiled) but...this book was brilliant. it was really cool seeing gotham city from this angle. i liked seeing batman on the outside. he's there, then he's gone and outside the plot. and seeing how the police department deals with constantly being upstaged. and seeing that they are not just incompetent. and seeing that police and detectives can be diverse in gender and r ...more
Dec 31, 2016 Tfitoby rated it really liked it
Brubaker and Rucka, but primarily Brubaker, writing a series of Homicide: Life on the Streets set in Gotham City, of course it's great. Dark and human, focussing on the obsessive nature of homicide detectives and the inner turmoil the job creates, it's well travelled ground, but always a pleasure when done well and I look forward to travelling this ground with Brubaker's creations for the rest of this series.
Jun 12, 2007 Jam rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like noir or procedurals and comics
Shelves: back-ups, comicsmanga
One of the best comic book series out there. Set in Gotham, but about the Gotham Central Police Department. All the best bits of noir and procedurals, great characters, great use of familiar faces. The Joker, Batman, Mr Freeze or Ivy might make appearances, but it's always about the GCPD.

One of those books you try to force everyone to read.
Sara Jean
Nov 14, 2014 Sara Jean rated it did not like it
Boring Central, Vo. 1: In The Line of Dramamine
This was a complete yawn fest. I got halfway through and felt like I wanted to quit comics forever.
Quick, someone find me some Matt Fraction...
May 07, 2013 Wendy rated it really liked it
Gary Oldman ordered Ben McKenzie to do his homework when he was cast as Jim Gordon in the upcoming Gotham tv series, so it’s only fair that I do my homework too. While Gotham is considered to be losely based on this graphic novel series, the show will take place at the beginning of Gordon’s career, with Bruce Wayne and many other villains as children—meaning, there will be no Batman. Gotham Central takes place after Jim’s retirement and focuses on the various cops in the precinct and how they ha ...more
Dec 08, 2008 Greg rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, dc
An interesting premise, the Batman story told from the point of view of homicide detectives in Gotham. Batman is seen more as a menace who is responsible for having all of the suited wackos running around, than as the savior of the city. The story itself of the cops seems like it's really inspired by the show Homicide, which isn't the worst since it was one of the better cop shows. I never really got into this though, although it was entertaining enough.
Matt Mazenauer
Jul 10, 2007 Matt Mazenauer rated it it was amazing
A brilliant idea for a premise - following the Gotham cops in the shadow of Batman. Really well done in a Law & Order sense, the Rogus Gallery and Batman really serve as interesting background, whle the real focus is on the cops.
Oct 06, 2014 Brandon rated it liked it
This book, at first, seemed to be an interesting addition to the Batman universe. Namely, the pursuit of justice seen not through the eyes of the Caped Crusader but through the work and toil of the Gotham PD. This is a book about the nuts and bolts of the Gotham City law machine and not the heroic actions of man in a bat costume. It, to me anyway, seemed to promise a workaday ethic applied to the same cases that the Batman would solve using his superior analytical skills and cunning. For the mos ...more
Cathleen Ash
You’ve heard of Batman, right? Drops from out of nowhere and saves the day? Beats up on skels and leaves them hanging unconscious from a street sign? Big damn hero, that guy.
Detective Marcus Driver works in the Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham City Police Department, and he’d less-than-respectfully disagree. See, who do you think has to clean up after the Dark Knight does his dramatic swooping and beating up? Who do you think has to pay attention when they’re cutting down the criminal from the s
Jul 21, 2012 Dave rated it really liked it
The first volume of Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker's GOTHAM CENTRAL remains one of my favorites in the excellent series. Favoring the realism associated with TV crime dramas over the Gothic surrealism often associated with Batman stories, it nevertheless puts its officers into some strange and terrifying situations.

Imagine a police precinct where a random check on a suspect might inadvertently put you face-to-face with a vengeful Mr. Freeze. Where morale is in the toilet because Batman is perceived
Mar 02, 2012 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
There's gotta be nothing worse than being a cop in the shadow of the Dark Knight. Well, ok. A victim of one of the psychos that populates Gotham. That would suck worse. Sure, the caped crusader has your back...but you're an adult that's supposed to be doing an important job & some dude in a suit is showing you up night after's gotta get a little embarrassing. Disheartening, even. This is a good solid story about some of those cops who are doing their best, even when things get a ...more
Feb 19, 2009 Travis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-books
Reads like a really good TV cop show.
Except David Carusso never fights super villains.

First story involves the Gotham cops racing the clock to stop Mr. Freeze before he strikes and before dark so they can catch him before Batman does.

Lots of nice characterization as a cast of about a dozen is introduced and we are dumped right in the middle of the manhunt.

Nice look at how normal people would deal with super villains and how they see Batman.
Great series.

Neil McCrea
Two of the better crime fiction writers working today writing a police procedural set in the DC Universe's Gotham city, what could be better than that?

How does a CSI unit deal with the aftermath of a Mister Freeze crime scene? what are the protocols for contacting a vigilante who has the tacit approval of the department? How does the department handle a super-villain that used to be one of their own (two-face)?

I could read a lot of this. More please.
Amal El-Mohtar
Mar 23, 2013 Amal El-Mohtar rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I wish I'd reviewed this the moment I read it, because it was really really good, but now I'm reviewing it after having reviewed vol. 2 which has devastated me completely, so this is just to say: what a fantastic idea for a series. Procedurals in Gotham, with Batman as an utterly peripheral presence. It's brilliant.
Kurt Rocourt
Oct 19, 2012 Kurt Rocourt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dc-tpb
Very good comic. That's what I'll tell anyone who asks about this book. The story and dialogue all flow nicely. You don't need to have any knowledge of the characters in the story. It's still very enjoyable. I look forward to reading the next volume.
Oct 10, 2012 Kateri rated it liked it
Really well done, but only three stars because I don't love police procedural stories. I do love Greg Rucka, though, so I thought it was worth a read. Anybody want my copy?
Kelly W.
Mar 14, 2017 Kelly W. rated it it was amazing
As much as I’m fond of Batman, it was refreshing to read a comic set in Gotham that wasn’t focused on him. While Gotham Central does give us stories involving big bads like Ms. Freeze and Two-Face, most of the focus was on the often overlooked GCPD and “ordinary” crimes. I generally like Brubaker’s writing, and if you’re a fan of police procedurals but still want the feel of a comics universe, I highly recommend this series.

Things I Liked

1. Pace: Brubaker handles pace well in this volume by sho
Feb 22, 2017 Molly rated it liked it
As part of my classroom reading program, I read a lot of graphic novels, children's and young adult books so that I can have good recommendations for my students. This is one I picked up at a library sale, and I was really impressed with the way the story is told from the perspective of the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department) with very little focus on the superhero - Batman. I did have trouble at times keeping the characters straight because some of them look similar and it's not always clear w ...more
Arjun Rajkumar
Jun 26, 2017 Arjun Rajkumar rated it really liked it
Excellent stuff! A 5 volume part on GCPD and how they work ! A view from the other side and it is interesting. Good stories, gritty art work atypical of Gotham and batman shows up to a bit as well. But primarily the story is about the humans behind the cops and that make this a different take !
Brendan Kraus
Feb 12, 2017 Brendan Kraus rated it it was amazing
Gotham Central is the best batman book you have never read.
In fact, it is the best batman book ever made and he's barely in it.

Gotham Central follows the lives of the people with the single worst job in the DC universe, the GCPD. Imagine the Wire but set in Gotham city. This is what Gotham Central is. It's gritty, realistic and shows us the bats city in a way we've never seen before.

Created by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark.
The series came for Brubaker and Ruckas first bat crossover
Oct 13, 2011 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
I am not a comic book aficionado. I know my Batman from the movies and a bit from the cartoon version that I’d sometimes catch when my little brother watched it. Still, I think Batman is a badass and I’m becoming an ever increasing fan of graphic novels so I wanted to read a bit more of his comics. I heard about the Gotham Central series from NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour (the best podcast on this and any other planet, btw), where one of the contributors is a comic book geek and raved about this ...more
Feb 28, 2017 Leah rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, graphic-novels
A wonderful premise perfectly executed: Brubaker shows off his Homicide chops in a pitch-perfect cop-show procedural with a superhero tint (hint: they hate them. It's awesome).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 2: Half a Life
  • Batman: Nine Lives
  • 52, Vol. 1
  • Batman: Private Casebook
  • Batgirl: Year One
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit
  • Torso
  • Birds of Prey, Vol. 3: Of Like Minds
  • Superman: Secret Identity
Ed Brubaker (born November 17, 1966) is an Eisner Award-winning American cartoonist and writer. He was born at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.

Brubaker is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central and Uncanny X-Men. In more recent years, he has focused solely on creator-owned titles
More about Ed Brubaker...

Other Books in the Series

Gotham Central trade paperbacks (5 books)
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 2: Half a Life
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 3: Unresolved Targets
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 4: The Quick and the Dead
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 5: Dead Robin

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