Writers: Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka
Art: Michael Lark
Colors: Noelle Giddings
Letters: Willie Schubert
Release Date: February 2003
In the Line of Duty:
I am currently in a Batman slump. The current Fear State storyline is drawn out at best. But it’s Batman! How do you not read Batman? Luckily there are 80+ years worth of Batman stories for me to dive into at any given moment. Enter: Gotham Central. Gotham Central by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka has been on my comic “to read list” for a year or so. Taking place in Gotham, Gotham Central is one of the few Batman comics that focuses not on the Caped Crusader himself, but the Gotham PD. The men and women who are consistently cleaning up after Batman and his rogues. Jumping into issue #1, I expected it to be something like the tv show Gotham that aired on Fox for several years. What I go out of it, was much more.
*Spoilers to follow*
The Iceman Cometh:
Issue number #1 opens with Detectives Marcus Driver and Charlie Fields following up on a lead from another case. However, things take a dark turn when upon the answering of the door, Detective Fields is brutally frozen by Mr. Freeze. This is the first of a series of attacks that displays the terrifying nature of Freeze’s ice abilities. Understandably, Detective Driver does not want Commissioner Mike Akins to bring in Batman as he wants to solve the case himself. This ultimately is the launching pad to what is promising to be a plot-driven storyline.
As Batman fans, we often focus on the psyche of Bruce Wayne and other members of the family. Sure, watching your family murdered before your very eyes are traumatizing. However, we can all agree that watching your partner be frozen to death is up there as well. I mean come on; another police officer was frozen from the inside out. That is enough to scar any reasonably sane person for life. These are the types of acts that create monsters such as the Joker. After reading this issue, it puts Batman and the rest of his Rogue Gallery in a special spotlight. This issue also adds a certain…fear factor to the overall Bat-Mythos.
Gotham Central #1 by Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka reads like Law and Order: Gotham’s SVU more than anything. I can see the inspiration for the tv show throughout the pages. There is a more human aspect to issue #1 than your typical Batman comic. It is refreshing to dive into the way Batman and his “help” affects not only the regular citizens of Gotham but the Police Department as well. I also deeply enjoyed the use of Freeze’s powers. Thus far, I would recommend reading Gotham Central #1. As I said earlier, it is a refreshing break from the normal hustle and bustle of your average Batman story.