Thursday, January 24, 2013

Without Batman's Help

The Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham Police Department deals with the same stuff any MCU deals with—except that where most cops only have to handle run-of-the-mill thugs, thieves, and murders, the Gotham PD have to deal with the Joker, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman. And, of course, they want to do it alone, without Batman's help.

I'm a sucker for police dramas and procedurals. I'm a sucker for superheroes. How could I not pick up Gotham Central? I'm glad I did, too. The writing's fantastic. (I'm not an artist so can't/won't comment on the art, except to say it does what it needs to.) The book ended too quickly, in the sense of "but, but, why can't there be more" rather than, "that didn't get tied up well." It was definitely tied up well.

The first trade paperback of the series, a.k.a. the only one I've read so far because I'm trying not to buy every book in the universe at the moment, comprises two distinct stories, each focusing on a different detective and introducing us to the dynamics of the MCU. The stories pull you on as you get sucked into the characters and their problems, and provide a few good "Omigosh no! That can't happen!" moments*. The writing is so tight the book feels like it should be longer, considering how much is in there. The dialogue is the kind of punchy you'd expect from a good TV show, but sounds human. I've read comics, and even novels, where everyone sounds similar, as if there's only one way to write a line of dialogue. That's not the case here. I knew who the characters were from their first pages, if not their first line, and even when I couldn't see them, I knew who was speaking. To say any more about the book here would mean spoiling the plot of the stories, and where's the fun in that?

I thoroughly enjoyed the first trade of Gotham Central and am looking forward to picking up the next, whenever that happens. I want to stay with these characters as they drive around Gotham trying to stop supervillains with guns and procedure and the law. I want to know what happens to them. I want it to be good things. And I want you, if you're at all interested, to pick up the series too. You won't be disappointed.

* One of the signs of a Good Read for me is the ability of a story to do that.

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