Images © DC Comics, Inc.

There have been a few stories like this over the years, involving the history and development of Gotham City, though I can’t put my finger on any of them. Possibly some were Elseworlds stories, and not in continuity. Of course, it’s now harder than ever to say what might or might not be included in current DC continuity, as the waters are muddied by the recent revamps.

Writer Scott Snyder has put together a solid story here, intercutting between historical sequences of Gotham under construction and a current threat facing a group of Bats: Dick Grayson as Batman, Red Robin, Robin, and a female Bat, all part of Batman, Incorporated, apparently. Someone is blowing up Gotham landmarks, including bridges. In the past, we learn much about how these were built, and by whom. There are “first families” involved, including the Waynes, and also the Cobblepots, ancestors of The Penguin. Various mysteries unfold gradually amid lots of suspense and action.

The art is mainly by Trevor McCarthy, and is highly stylized and designed. I liked the design elements, though I wasn’t crazy about his handling of some of the human characters. The one that bothered me the most was the very odd depiction of The Penguin, as seen briefly above. For the most part I was carried along by the story well enough that the book worked okay for me. The other thing I didn’t quite buy was the reason given for the behavior of the main villain. Can’t say too much about that, but it was rather unscientific at least, if not completely bogus.

Despite those caveats, this was a pretty good read, and more interesting to me than the usual slugfests we see in Batman books these days. Recommended.

One thought on “And Then I Read: BATMAN, GATES OF GOTHAM

  1. Wriphe

    It looks like DC is making an effort to reconcile the designs from the BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY video game with the comics. That’s consistent with what they did in the early 90s, when the company made a highly-publicized effort to insert Anton Furst’s set designs from Tim Burton’s movies into the Gotham City in the comics. DC moved Gotham away from the aggressive “gothic” designs after NO MANS LAND, but now it seems the design pendulum has swung back to Furst-inspired architecture. Out with the old, in with the older.

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