Sunil's Reviews > Gotham Central, Book One: In the Line of Duty

Gotham Central, Book One by Ed Brubaker
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it was amazing
bookshelves: own, 2012

It's Batman meets The Wire! As fun as superheroes are, it can sometimes be even more fascinating to read about the normal people living in that world. Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka, two of the best crime/spy fiction writers in comics, bring their considerable talents to Gotham Central Police Department, bringing it to life impressively quickly. Seriously, I was sucked in from the very first issue. They have a way of maximizing what they can get out of each page, effortlessly melding small character moments with utilitarian plot mechanics. As a result, Gotham Central feels populated with living, breathing detectives, and although I don't have all of them straight yet, I really like the ones who get major focus in this first volume.

Gotham Central ends up being a character-focused police procedural where both the character elements and the procedural elements are compelling. The first story, "In the Line of Duty," follows Detective Marcus Driver determined to foil Mr. Freeze's dastardly plan without Batman's help, as Freeze killed his partner. "Motive" finds him with a new partner, Romy Chandler, as they try to solve the puzzling murder of a young girl (and meanwhile, Firebug is causing mayhem because this is Gotham, after all). The strongest story is "Half a Life," which follows Renee Montoya as her life gets turned upside down by someone who intends to destroy it. Despite the presence of costumed heroes and villains, the storytelling remains grounded, also thanks to Michael Lark's art.

As for Batman? We so often see Batman going to the GCPD for help, but Gotham Central shows us what it's like on the other side. Where regular people are just trying to do their damn jobs, and sometimes this freak in a bat suit drops in. Sometimes he saves the damn day, as if they couldn't have done it themselves. They don't look up to him. They resent him. It's a very interesting perspective.

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Reading Progress

January 7, 2012 – Shelved
January 7, 2012 – Shelved as: own
April 30, 2012 – Started Reading
May 5, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012
May 5, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Ali (new)

Ali M. Oh man, I remember reading the "Half a Life" arc from Gotham Central when it first came out. So good! (Then I moved away from that comic shop and had to re-start a subscription elsewhere. For some stupid reason, GC never made it back on the list.)

Sunil I re-read "Jurisprudence" to refresh my memory. Haven't gotten to "Half a Life" yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

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