Gotham Central Vol. 1: In The Line Of Duty

May 25, 2004 | Trades


Gotham Central Vol. 1: In The Line Of Duty
Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark
DC Comics
$15.25/$9.95 (Paperback)
*** 1/2 (out of five)

Being a cop in any city is a tough job. Being one of Gotham’s finest is brutal.
In a place so filled with crime as to inspire a vigilante like Batman, the police face some unusual challenges. Take, for example, the morning two GCPD detectives stopped on their way home to check on a lead they thought was nothing and wound up face-to-face with Mr. Freeze.
The exchange leaves one cop dead and another wracked with guilt. Why did this “super-villain” spare him? How can they stop him before he kills again? And how can he get this done before The Bat gets the collar?
With Gotham Central, writers Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker, aided by the moody art of Michael Lark, smartly merge two genres: the cop drama and the super-hero book.
While the idea of a police force dealing with a world of meta-humans has been done before, this is the first book that is coming at it from the everyday cop’s perspective. These are the same detectives trying to solve the same types of crimes as in the real world — they just live in one of the most messed up places imaginable.
Well-constructed mysteries and strong characterization are what make this book work. It’s easy to identify with these detectives; they’re regular people. Even though they occupy the same world as the Joker, the Penguin, Catwoman and the like, they’re just doing their jobs, trying to keep the streets safe and hoping to catch the bad guys. There is great pacing and the premises are believable. It plays like any good cop show should: like you’re doing a ride-along.
In The Line Of Duty only collects the first five issues of the ongoing series, but it is enough to make you want to take that next ride.

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