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Gotham Central, Vol. 2: Jokers and Madmen Hardcover – September 15, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Gotham Central (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401225217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401225216
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,493,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sean Curley on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This second volume in a hardcover series collecting the totality of "Gotham Central", DC's landmark series focussing on the frontline detectives of the Gotham Police Department's Major Crimes Unit, continues in the tradition established by the first. Namely, excellence. Slightly longer than the previous one, this volume collects issues 11 to 22 of the series. Separate, Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka are two of the best writers in comics; their rare collaborations (and they are co-writing for most of this one) are always exemplary. Some spoilers follow.

The first volume, after the introductories stories familiarizing the audience with the concept and the initial main cast, was capped with "Half a Life", Greg Rucka's Eisner-winning Renee Montoya story, which is often thought of as "Gotham Central"'s finest piece. With her initial spotlight story over, Montoya figures very little into the events of this volume. The primary focus here is on Brubaker's shift, especially Marcus Driver and Romy Chandler. We're also introduced to a number of new characters, such as a detective with family ties to the Mafia. The work-life of the division is always exceptionally rendered, with rivalries of various types (Sarge's frustrated career ambitions), and allusions to and glimpses of personal lives.

Plotwise, the series alternates between regular crimes and crimes involving members of Batman's rogues gallery. Two-Face and Mr. Freeze were the most prominent in the first volume. Freeze's story is briefly revisited here. The title of this volume supplies the name of one of the major villains present here; also around are the Mad Hatter and the Penguin. Batman is a vague presence whose existence sometimes functions as an anticlimax to the drama: and this is intentional, I think.
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Format: Hardcover
Starting in 2003, the multiple-Eisner award winning "Gotham Central" series followed two separate shifts of police officers working in the present-day Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham City Police Department. In the GCPD's struggle against crime and terror, Batman looms as both competitor and savior. This second DC hardcover collects issues #11-22 of the series. Most stories were a collaboration between writers Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka.
Issue #11 is the "Daydreams and Believers" one-shot written by Brubaker with art by Brian Hurtt. The narrative is in the form of a letter from Stacy, the GCPD temp receptionist who is the only person permitted to turn on the Bat signal. #12-15 comprise the "Soft Targets" arc with artwork from Michael Lark and Stefan Gaudiano. After assassinating the mayor, the Joker terrorizes Gotham City in the days before Christmas. #16-18 is "Life Is Full Of Disappointments" with art from Greg Scott in which the GCPD investigates two mysterious deaths at an accounting firm. The final four issues are Brubaker's "Unresolved" featuring the Mad Hatter, a retired Harvey Bullock and a very cold case of a high school locker room bombing.
While this series features some established characters from the DC Universe, the only required foreknowledge is a general awareness of Batman. Like most books from these writers, this excellent series is recommended for those who don't normally read comics as well as established fans of crime comics, police procedurals and/or DC's Bat-Verse.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Conner VINE VOICE on May 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This collection is about as good as the one before. The concept is still the same - Brubaker and Rucka write a police procedural about some hardworking detectives who are trying to solve crimes without Batman showing them up. This volume has some high points with a one-shot look at the girl who lights the signal and a story arc with the Joker terrorizing Gotham as a random sniper. I did not engage much with the story about the dead chemical company employees or the cold case story with the Mad Hatter, but DC fans may like those arcs just fine. This isn't the greatest collection of literature being published today, but it is certainly quite good and well worth a read for people who like crime dramas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Elliott on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gotham Central is one of the best comics. Ever. Brubaker and Rucka write one of the best, and most interesting, police procedurals ever. Setting in the Batman universe makes it more textured. Michael Lark, who gets a short shift on the cover, along with a few others, illustrates the hell out of both the mundane and the amazing.
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