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Gotham Central, Vol. 2: Half a Life

(Gotham Central (Collected Editions) #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,871 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Renee Montoya Has A Secret.

She's a Grade A detective but her reputation is put on the line when she's implicated in a murder and her deepest secret is revealed. Suddenly, her colleagues in the GCPD look at her askance, begin treating her with hostility, and when she needs their support the most, she finds mostly cold shoulders.

The man who reaches out to her, though, is one
Paperback, 168 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by DC Comics (first published August 1st 2004)
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Showing 1-30
4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,871 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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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.


Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great volume for Gotham Central. This focuses on Renee Montoya and I am so thankful for that.

This explores perhaps the most well developed gay character I've read in a comic book aside from Kate Kane. I can name a few gay characters off the top of my head but they're usually just side characters. We never really see them and their partners or see their coming out stories. Rucka does a great job here as he did with Kate Kane in giving these characters depth and not shying away from deali
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Being the second Gotham Central collection, with Rucka but no Brubaker. Rucka's not a bad second choice or anything, he does noir pretty good afterall. This book contains the Half a Life story arc in which Two-Face sets out to ruin a detective's life so that she will be his wife - yep that ALWAYS works - plus an extended prologue from Batman Chronicles and Detective Comics, two very cheesy stories with grotesque and inappropriately colourful artwork (especially the horror that is Batman Chronicl ...more
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, lgbt, superhumans
Gotham Central's concept was to set a gritty police procedural in Gotham City, combining traditional police work with Batman's regular cast of villains. This particular story arc focuses on Renee Montoya. I'm not going to try to avoid spoilers in my review, because if you've heard anything about Gotham Central at all, you know exactly what happens here. Renee is outed and framed for murder by Two Face, who had fallen in love with her (or, more appropriately, became deeply obsessed with her) duri ...more
Amal El-Mohtar
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Oh gods this book. It had me crying by the end. Greg Rucka, how are you so excellent.

So, you want a book that passes the Bechdel Test, that has people of colour in it talking to each other about things that aren't white people, that has queer women of colour dealing with life and family and coming out and calling queer white women on their privilege in that regard -- AND ALSO want a Batman story? HERE YOU GO. BOOM.

I didn't even know this was possible. Augh, it's just so excellent and so heartb
Stewart Tame
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Okay. First, the good news: this story rocks! The centerpiece of this volume is the multiple award-winning story, “Half A Life”. Detective Renee Montoya is outed as a lesbian and framed for murder by a dangerous man from her past who also happens to be one of Batman’s greatest foes. The story is preceded by two shorter stories that set up some of her history with this person. The ending is absolutely killer and still gives me a case of the feels, even when I know it's coming. The story is totall ...more
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Greg Rucka can be credited with taking the obscure Batman supporting character, Renee Montoya, and making her his own. That's why two of his non-Gotham Central stories actual precede the main, Montoya-centric story, "Half a Life." They're pretty good stories, but I wish they hadn't been included in this collection. For one thing, they completely tip the surprise ending of the story. For another, while they feature capable artists, those artists' styles just don't gel with that of series regular, ...more
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This was a fantastic look at Renee Montoya and her relationship with Harvey 'Two-Face' Dent. Also a very powerful storyline arc in DC comics history. This book resonated so true and beyond actual comic book world into a more real truth that made it all the more strong a read. Highly recommended to everyone who likes good stories with social commentary, and most people in the Batman world.
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved the first stories in Gotham Central and this story got even better. It focuses on Renee Montoya and was a very well built story. The art in these stories has grown on me and I will definitely continue this series.
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Volume 2, half a life. Who do you think the bad guy is in this one? C'mon, you can work it out. It's as easy as flipping a coin.
Julio Bonilla
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Only read first half- Looking at the situation from a different perspective is great; showing how Two-Face can be Renee's best friend, but later come out as her worst enemy.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loeg-archives
Wow. Where other writers get on their soapbox and show the subtlety of a small nuke when writing a story like this, Greg Rucka simply tells a compelling story about people and the choices that they make. Showing the depth of the character, regardless of sexual orientation, will do more good than standing on a platform and spouting platitudes.

Rucka, for me, really nailed this arc with his depiction of Renee's family. It was disappointing and also wonderful to see the reactions of Montoya's co-wor
Attila Cthulhuson
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is volume 2, but works as a stand-alone.

The first part is Renee Montoya spending a day with Two Face where every coin flip he get sends him to the side of good. They bond -- as much as such a pair can -- and this plays into the second story. The second story is why I picked up this volume since it deals with Montoya's coming out (view spoiler)

It must suck to work largely with people who don't agree with your natural state, and to have paren
Paul Mirek
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I try to just enjoy these things, I really do. But the interesting thing about setting a cop thriller in Gotham City is that our understanding of what the police represent in the real world is constantly at odds with the fictional universe, a world where an unhinged billionaire dresses up in a bat costume every night to punch bad guys (and sometimes hang out with an alien from another planet and a "Lean In"-feminist-style Amazon warrior princess). I still wouldn't say that the Gotham Major Crime ...more
Ronan Barradas
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantástico! Pra quem gosta de um bom conto policial e da atmosfera de Gotham sempre à sombra do Batman, essa edição DC Especial #8 é um prato cheio. A edição foca na detetive da Unidade de Crimes Hediondos Renee Montoya e a acompanha numa saga que ameaça a vida profissional e pessoal dela.

O roteiro de Greg Rucka não deixa nada a desejar, nos faz acompanhar o trabalho de Renee como policial sendo ameaçada por criminosos e na mira de uma corregedoria que já prendeu figurões do Departamento Policia
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dc-comics
Renee Montoya has always been on the periphery of my comic-reading, so I had not ever read a work with her as the main character. Greg Rucka's "Two Down" and "Happy Birthday Two You..." start out this volume and introduce Montoya's history with Two-Face establishing a relationship that reaches a thrilling conclusion in "Half a Life." I'll avoid story details by simply saying this volume is a must read. Michael Larks's artwork is excellent and still one of my favorite styles, in particular his de ...more
Daniel Etherington
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-books
Stupendous as always. (I'm on a re-read.) Gotham Central has got to be one of the best titles ever produced in the US comics tradition.

Even the jarryingly different art style in the first too stories doesn't completely ruin it. Lark's work is all dark shadows, realistic dimensions, credible world detail, well realised individual characters. The first story included here, Two Down, part of the No Man's Land event, has art by Jason Pearson and Cam Smith, which is cartoony and totally unsuitable to
Matt Sautman
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love that this is both a Renee Montoya centered and that Rucka chooses to center the narrative around Two-Face. The juxtaposition creates an interesting meditation on determination versus free will. I do feel though that while Montoya's sexual identity plays as a crucial component in the storyline, the majority of the characters' reaction to her sexuality is somewhat stereotypical. I think it would be far more compelling to explore the reasons as to why people react to Montoya's sexuality the ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Though almost 20 years old, the revelation of Detective Renee Montoya's queerness was handled well within the frame of the "Law & Order: Batman" of "Gotham Central," showing us the way that her queerness interacts with her colleagues, but also such DCU mainstays as Two-Face.

Particularly punishing was the conclusion, in which Detective Montoya's Dominican immigrant parents reject her and expel her from their family, which rings painfully true.
Arjun Rajkumar
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent continuation for the series. Focuses on Renee Montoya! Love how the partners stand up for each other.. it turns out to be an interesting murder case but the culprit isn't revealed till the last.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
The one where Montoya is outed. But also the one that perfectly shares the relationship between Renee and Two-Face over time. Perfectly written and ends with a gut punch...
Nov 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Reseña Batma: Gotham Central parte 2/2


Posibles spoiler (ya que obviamente es una segunda parte), pero aún así hablaré en términos generales y no detallaré los momentos de mayor impacto.

Los medios de comunicación de Gotham City han recibido correos electrónicos del Joker, con un mensaje sencillo, pero muy cruel, el cual servirá para alentar la histeria colectiva en la ciudad.

Nadie está a salvo y sólo a dos días
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Greg Rucka strikes again, this time with a taut police procedural centering around Gotham City detective Rene Montoya. This series focuses less on the superhero shenanigans than the police and Montoya's twisted connection to Harvey Dent is all the better for it. Glad to finally be catching up on this in the quest to read all things Rucka.
Jun 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Greg Rucka and Michael Lark provide a fantastic noir look into the GCPD in their Half a Life collection from Gotham Central. Created for the animated series, Renee Montoya made a welcome addition to the comics world; her No Man's Land encounter with Two-Face and Dent's remembrance of her birthday are the opening pieces of the volume. As Montoya and partner Crispus Allen look to undue a felon's case dismissal, photographic proof of her sexual orientation hits the squad room bulletin board. Tensio ...more
Luis Reséndiz
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canasta-básica
sabía que half a life era un arco muy premiado y significativo; de hecho, es quizá el arco más famoso de todo gotham central. y con razón: su trazo no es ni de lejos --como el resto de la serie, vaya, pero quizá aquí es incluso más intenso-- el de un cómic de superhéroes tradicional. con sus tensiones internas, juegos de mentiras y capa sobre capa de desarrollo de personajes, gotham central se acerca mucho a --y juro que no es hipérbole-- the wire. hay mucho de eso aquí; mucho de la lealtad, de ...more
Aug 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
This volume starts with two one-shots – one each from Detective Comics and The Batman Chronicles -- focusing on Detective Renee Montoya and her first two run-ins with the Janus-faced Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Although the art duties on the first leave a lot to be desired – too “cartoony” for the gritty crime realism, if you ask me – I did enjoy, although in an unsettling way, the start of a Harvey’s disturbing affection (or is that obsession?) for Montoya.

In this volume’s main story-arc, the four-i
Amber Ditullio
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Superhero Comics, Those who like to read stories of the common man in the world of Supers
Shelves: graphic-novel
This book is one of the better ones of the series, not just for the stories contained within (all having to do with Two-Face's obsession with Detective Renee Montoya) but for the forward from the author. I loved the chance that Renee gave Two-Face in the beginning of the story, and had tears for her when Two-Face tried to ruin her life, succeeding in doing almost that.

I love the characters and the artwork in this book. I was expecting it to be a good series, since it covers one of my favorite to
Liza Gilbert
Writer: Greg Rucka - This is a first-rate comic story from Mr. Rucka. I was not expecting to pick up a police comic and read a story about the trials of a female cop who has been outed publicly as a lesbian and has to deal with the backlash. It was smart and original.

Artists: Michael Lark, Jason Pearson, Cam Smith, William Rosado, & Steve Mitchell - As with the first Gotham Central, the art has a retro feel reminiscent of the early days of comics.

Colorists: Matt Hollingsworth, Digital Chamel
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Renee Montoya takes the spotlight in this collection of Gotham Central. Greg Rucka does a great job with her story, one of the best I've seen. I'm not surprised that it won an Eisner Award for Best Short Story. It took DC a long time to get some gay characters into their books, but when they did, it was very well done. Renee is outed maliciously. She has to deal with homophobia at the police department and from her family. She also finds out who her friends truely are. The story is realistic. It ...more
Apr 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm not a big two face fan and I cringe away from stories that are only interested in keeping up the Batman mythology but, I have an insatiable appetite for Noir. This comic, penned by Rucka, drops and big doses of Noir and human struggle with Batman and his mythos set on the horizon. I was ready to underrate this comic and received quite the surprise when the complexity of the characters became apparent after issue one. I must say the most intriguing part of the series is having Batman be in th ...more
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Greg Rucka, is an American comic book writer and novelist, known for his work on such comics as Action Comics, Batwoman: Detective Comics, and the miniseries Superman: World of New Krypton for DC Comics, and for novels such as his Queen & Country series.

Other books in the series

Gotham Central (Collected Editions) (5 books)
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 1: In the Line of Duty
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 3: Unresolved Targets
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 4: The Quick and the Dead
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 5: Dead Robin