Monday, 25 July 2011

The Gates of Gotham a gem of a book

With all the focus at the moment been on Flashpoint and the upcoming changes to the DC Universe, The Gates of Gotham is one book that may slip under the radar of all but the most dedicated of Batman readers. For me that would be a shame as this is a gem of a story from writers Scott Snyder who is on fire at the moment, his American Vampire book is brilliant and Kyle Higgins who's work I am not too familiar with but a name I will be looking out for in the future. Add into the mix some fantastic art by Trevor McCarthy, and you have a mini series that is deserving of the highest of praise.

The story is basically a simple one,or as simple as a Batman story spanning over 100 years can get. Someone is blowing up the bridges in Gotham also known as the gates to Gotham, and is now progressing on to some of the older building within the city.
The connection is that they were all built with the money of the leading families of Gotham back in the late1800's, and its no big surprise when you learn that the family’s are the Wayne's, Elliot's and the Cobbelpot's .
Throw into the mix the engineer and architect of the structures, two brothers Nicholas and Bradley Gates (The Gates of Gotham) good swerve there, you have a story that stretches back to the birth of Gotham city itself.
All the leading players have a role in the book, with the interaction between Damian and Cassandra Cain (Black Bat) been particularly well written. Damian is been more than his usual obnoxious self striving to prove he is better than Cassandra at every turn, even to the point of nearly getting him self blown up just to prove it.

Dick Grayson as Batman just gets better and I will sorely miss his style of Batman when the new launch hits in September. What I find fascinating about Dick as Batman is that despite all the good he is doing, he still has that little voice that tells him Bruce would have done better. This is highlighted even more when Damian quips ''at this rate Gotham should be out of really big buildings by next week'' and when the Penguin says ‘’the rumours are true then’’when asked ''what rumours'' by Batman ''your slipping'' replies the Penguin, leaving Dick to ponder could I do better, would Bruce have done better.

Tim Drake / Wayne is also on board adding not only his computer and detective skills, but he also gets out in the field working along side Damian, which always leads to good dialogue between the two of them.

Hush and Penguin are used just enough to keep the story moving along, but its the mystery surrounding the new villain of the story that has me hooked most of all. His or her outfit is very steam punk in style but doesn't look out of place in the Batman universe. Who he or she is, is open for debate and even as issue 3 ends you still don't know who they are.
Which I find adds to the story, when Batman finds out who it is so will we.
The story does tend to jump back and forth from the past to present day throughout the story, but at no time did I find it confusing or off putting for me it added to the tone and feel of the book

If you are not reading this book then do yourself a favour and buy it, at the time of writting this its up to issue 3. If you are reading it then tell anyone who will listen to buy it, because this is as good as Batman story gets.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece, you're right, this is a terrific series. I'm looking forward to seeing how Scott Snyder writes Bruce as Batman.