- Series: Gotham Central
- Hardcover: 957 pages
- Publisher: DC Comics (May 10, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401261922
- ISBN-13: 978-1401261924
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 2.4 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gotham Central Omnibus Hardcover – May 10, 2016
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"Realistic, gritty, and most importantly, a treat to read!"--Ain't It Cool News
"Compelling drama...a great example of the literary and artistic maturity of the graphic novel format."--School Library Journal
"Outstanding...a deft mash-up of the super-hero saga and police procedural."--Booklist
"This Greg Rucka/Ed Brubaker/Michael Lark monthly comic was short-lived but absolutely fantastic. Essentially Homicide: Life on the Street where the criminals are all costumed lunatics, Gotham Central focused on the nitty-gritty police work performed by its gigantic cast of detectives."--Entertainment Weekly
"Critically acclaimed Gotham Central was a distinctly grounded take on the Batman mythology filled with an ensemble cast who were particularly unlikely to show up in that month's issue of Justice League or Superman--imagine Hill Street Blues, but with the Joker showing up to cause mass terror every now and again."--Hollywood Reporter
"By making the Gotham City Police Department the central focus of the series, writers Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka created a comic book that read like a gritty crime fairy tale set in the most twisted city in the DC Universe."--Complex
About the Author
A one-time cartoonist, Ed Brubaker has been working as a writer since the early 1990s, and in that time his work has won several awards, including both the Harvey and Eisner Awards for Best Writer in 2007, and has been translated around the world. His comics credits include Batman, Catwoman, Gotham Central and Sleeper for DC Comics and Daredevil, Captain America and Criminal for Marvel. He lives and works in Seattle, Washington, with his wife, Melanie, and many pets.
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Top Customer Reviews
The biggest thing I really enjoyed was that Brubakers and Rucka really make you care about the characters. Throughout the series, you get to see into the lives of some of the detectives and some of their real life issues that regular people deal with. Which makes the content more relatable, even if they are taking down super-villains.
I have recommended this book to all my friends and now I'm recommending it to you as well!
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. Keep in mind that whenever a supervillain is involved, there's a whole Batman story going on that we don't see. In Batman's own stories, we follow him as he cracks the case; here we follow the cops as they do the same work, only to be frequently beaten to the punch and denied any real catharsis. Indeed, the fallout of the Joker story is explicitly about how the Joker (and, by extension, most supervillains) treat the cops as simply an audience (or pawns) in a chess game with the Dark Knight. It's on the smaller cases that they can generally get a bit more dramatic closure. Another aspect of the mythos, the constant survival of the horrible monsters that Batman routinely apprehends, is likewise milked for drama. Batman's presence has other effects, as shown by a one-off story narrated by the Bat-signal operator, who has begun to daydream about him.
One of the most interesting things about this series focussing on the Gotham PD is the relative absence from the cast of its two most widely-known members: Commissioner Gordon is at the moment retired from his job, and Detective Harvey Bullock retired in disgrace before the series began. Bullock makes a return appearance here, as one of his unsolved cases resurfaces. This is a poignant reunion wiht Montoya, who still has issues with what he did to get fired, but also a subversion of expectations regarding this sort of story. Bullock is a shambling drunk who still nurses an interest in the case, and is convinced the Penguin was behind it, but it turns out he's wrong. He proves virtually irrelevant to solving it; it's Driver and co. who make the catch. The resolution to said case is unexpectedly haunting.
One of the most important aspects of the series' success is the art of Michael Lark. Typical American comics art depends a lot on colourful costumes (and skin tones) to differentiate between characters, but the mundane atmosphere of this title leaves little room for that. And despite this, Lark mostly manages to give everyone a distinct look, whether through facial structure, hair and skin colour, or some tic (such as a pipe); though readers will probably still find themselves squinting or doublechecking at some of the standard white guys. It's absolutely integral to the success of the series, as much as Brubaker and Rucka's writing (if anything, I find Lark's renditions of Batman and the rogues to be less impressive).
Ultimately, I think it's a fantastic read and that this is the best trade in the series. Highly recommended.