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Gotham Central


The NZA
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Gotham Central is Ed Brubaker (Captain America, Daredevil) and Greg Rucka (Wolverine, Queen & Country)'s DC version of The Shield, or a good look at the MCU (major crimes unit) wing of Gotham's police dept. It's been a sleepeer hit for years now, and since the old thread on this got lost, having finally caught up on the series, I had to put it out there.

 

What's really great is that Bats isnt central here; he does act as a deus ex, but that's about it. The plot revolves around a handful of detectives that know its up to them to handle major cases before the sun sets, and then its almost out of their hands. But the interesting thing is the politics - how does a police dept handle working with a vigilante they cant publicly claim exists? What happens now that Comissioner Gordon's no longer calling the shots, and the old school system that worked with Bruce is no longer in place? What starts off as a solid crime drama eventually builds to all kinds of events, including a big moment when Batman crosses the line, and a few officers are left dead because of his mistakes....

 

Thing is, without even the big Batman moments, this book'd still work great on its own. Charaterization's good, and the plots, even at their slowest, are still some of the best reads ive seen coming out of DC - again, i think it says something when i can go right from a major supervillian arc to an everyday crime mystery one, and still enjoy the book.

 

Sadly, the book's approatching its final arc (i believe it ends right after issue # 40 something, next year). While sales for this undergrond hit were never exceptional, DC kept it going, if even for the reviews it got, but series creator Brubaker says the story's nearly complete - while ive only seen half in trade, i cant recommend enough getting caught up before the pentultimate arc ties everything up. Again, if you enjoy Marvel stuff like Alias, you'll dig this title.

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1401204384.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

 

Gotham Central is Ed Brubaker (Captain America, Daredevil) and Greg Rucka (Wolverine, Queen & Country)'s DC version of The Shield, or a good look at the MCU (major crimes unit) wing of Gotham's police dept. It's been a sleepeer hit for years now, and since the old thread on this got lost, having finally caught up on the series, I had to put it out there.

 

What's really great is that Bats isnt central here; he does act as a deus ex, but that's about it. The plot revolves around a handful of detectives that know its up to them to handle major cases before the sun sets, and then its almost out of their hands. But the interesting thing is the politics - how does a police dept handle working with a vigilante they cant publicly claim exists? What happens now that Comissioner Gordon's no longer calling the shots, and the old school system that worked with Bruce is no longer in place? What starts off as a solid crime drama eventually builds to all kinds of events, including a big moment when Batman crosses the line, and a few officers are left dead because of his mistakes....

 

Thing is, without even the big Batman moments, this book'd still work great on its own. Charaterization's good, and the plots, even at their slowest, are still some of the best reads ive seen coming out of DC - again, i think it says something when i can go right from a major supervillian arc to an everyday crime mystery one, and still enjoy the book.

 

Sadly, the book's approatching its final arc (i believe it ends right after issue # 40 something, next year). While sales for this undergrond hit were never exceptional, DC kept it going, if even for the reviews it got, but series creator Brubaker says the story's nearly complete - while ive only seen half in trade, i cant recommend enough getting caught up before the pentultimate arc ties everything up. Again, if you enjoy Marvel stuff like Alias, you'll dig this title.

 

 

Best DC comic currently on the market bar none. The characters feel real, they don't get shortchanged, and the stories are phenominal. If there was ever one comic that would make a great TV series, this one is it. I think I may have missed an issue here or there, but I would highly recommend picking up the trade Half a Life as it is just great.

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  • 1 month later...

And its in its final arc right now....next month's issue is the finale, and any crime or Brubaker fans, i hope youre readin this...its not going out with the explosive Batman-type shit you mightve expected, just some great Shield-like drama. Cant wait to see how it ends.

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NBA Superstar Shaquille O'Neal is Kazaam, a larger-than-life genie with a magic touch for nostop fun laughter!  After 5,00 long years of captivity, Kazaam is set free to grant three wishes to a new master.  From then on, he's catapulted to one wild adventure after another... from becoming the latest rap sensation ot untangling an outrageous mob scheme! As the giant genie with an attitude, Shaq scores big laughs in this hilarious comedy hit that's sure to be a slam-dunk winner with everyone!

Edited by Iambaytor
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Nmally a good point, id just say this one's not like the others, which are all very bat-centric. He really plays a background role for this book, and its stronger for it.

Some locales themselves are plot-centric, like Sin City, some, like NY in Marvel, are just where like 90% of the capes live, because the writers originally did. At least theyre venturing out, now.

But as for Gotham itself, i cant imagine anyone living there: villians aside, its been destroyed by earthquakes, viruses, aliens etc. Then again, i live in Miami. So....yeah, this book is good, and not what you might be expecting.

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I think I missed a couple of issues before this last one #39 I picked it up at Hurricane today. Holy shit! If you all haven't read this book you need to, this is the best DC stuff I have read in years. Man, I know I missed the last couple of issues, (Last one I read was the finale of the dead Robins arc.) but this one just hit me like a punch to the gut.

 

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

 

I just wonder what is going to happen to these characters after the series ends. Montoya deserves a vehicle damnit.

 

Edit: WTF went wrong with the spoiler tags?

Edited by bishopcruz
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  • 4 months later...

WEll, the thrid trade finally came out and I just picked it up. AMAZING |stuff, I had read these things before thanks to IC, but man its just amazing reading them again. This one has two great stories, and they are two of my favorite arcs from Gotham Central.

 

Rucka says that they are going to eventually release everything in the trades, but GOD they are taking a long time to do so. No wonder Marvel is kicking DCs ass currently. At least they capitalize on the trades in a timely manner.

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Rucka on the end of Gotham Central:

 

GREG RUCKA ON THE END OF GOTHAM CENTRAL

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

With the release of the solicitations for DC’s February books, it was revealed that one of the publisher’s acclaimed series would be taking its final bow. Gotham Central will end with issue #40.

 

The Eisner Award winning and nominated series began in late 2002 as something of an experiment – an ongoing series that would focus on the detectives of the Gotham City Police Department. Created by long-time Batman writers Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker, along with artist Michael Lark, Gotham Central was immediately (and favorably) compared to Homicide: Life on the Streets, NYPD Blue, and Hill Street Blues among other police dramas for its portrayal of not only the lives of the detectives, but of the toll the job took on them, personally and professionally.

 

Not surprisingly, in a market dominated by superheroes, Gotham Central, a series set in Batman’s home town, where Batman himself only made a handful of appearances, an audience was hard to find. Though watching sales figures for Gotham Central was something like watching a tightrope walker dancing 1,000 feet above the ground, the series keep moving, earning awards and acclaim throughout its run, and proving the publisher right in keeping the book alive. At one time, there was even talk of a Gotham Central television series on the WB, something that would fit in with the Smallville feel of adapting DC characters to the small screen, albeit in different ways that don’t focus on the capes and cowls.

 

While the series kept moving, change was inevitable. The first change came in the form of Michael Lark leaving the series and signing an exclusive with Marvel Comics. Though replacement artists who kept much of Lark’s gritty feel were found in the forms of Kano and Stephano Gaudino, Lark’s departure was only the first. Shortly thereafter, co-creator and co-writer Brubaker also signed an exclusive with Marvel, leaving Rucka as the only founding creator remaining on the title.

 

As with all good things, Rucka told Newsarama that he felt it was time for Gotham Central to end.

 

“I told DC that I wanted to end it,” Rucka said. “It’s delicate and I don’t want to cast anyone in a bad light or have anything I say be misinterpreted as something its not – I think Stephano and Kano have been doing terrific work, but this series started back with issue #1 as something by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark and myself. For a very long time, we had talked about how this was ‘our thing.’ It was the three of us working together, and we wanted it to remain as such.

 

“Michael and Ed got offers they couldn’t refuse form Marvel, and took exclusives. I bear them absolutely no ill will for having done that – you’ve got to do what’s best for your career at any given moment. I respect them both as people with talent and as friends. But, once they left, I couldn’t help but feel that part of my heart went out as well. That’s not to say that I wasn’t interested in the book or characters anymore – and I’ll be the first to say that we’ve done good work on the book since Ed and Michael left, the quality of the worjk is as high as it was before. I just wasn’t comfortable going on alone as the only person from that original group – especially after all the multiple discussions Ed and Michael and I had about it being our thing. I’m not laying blame at all – this was an issue for me – it’s what I felt was appropriate and right.

 

“I think Gotham Central is a very rare book. I don’t think there’s been anything like it prior to this, and I don’t think that you’re going to see anything like it again any time soon. There are lots of books about cops, there are lots of books about superheroes, and there’s even one very well known book about cops and superheroes. But that’s not Gotham Central. Central was, I think, unique.”

 

Rucka admitted that DC had offered him the opportunity to step down as the writer on the series, and have it continue with a new creative team, but there was too much invested in the title as it stood, the writer felt.

 

“Dan DiDio said to me very early on that he was not going to cancel this book, and cancellation was something that Ed, Michael and I didn’t have to worry about,” Rucka related. “He said that he felt it was an important book for comics, as well as an important book for DC. Our numbers never really soared, and frankly, if DC had wanted to, they could’ve cancelled it due to numbers many times during its run. They didn’t, and we’ll always be grateful to DC for that.

 

“It’s weird, because there is a piece of me that would like to keep going, but there’s a larger piece of me that just didn’t feel it was right to keep it moving when it was the child of three fathers, so to speak, and I was the only one left raising it. We’d started it together, and had said we were all in it together, and when we’re not all there, it’s still Gotham Central, and it’s still a very good book, but it’s just not the same. I think for everyone involved, it was time to put it down, and time to let it go out with some dignity instead of trying to string it along, because don’t know how long I could’ve kept things going without them and still have it be what it was designed to be. Likewise, passing it on to another writer just wouldn’t feel right, for the same reasons.

 

“And again, I’ve got to stress – this isn’t about Kano, it isn’t about Stephano, and this isn’t about DC. At the end of the day, it was my decision. If people are going to be cranked about it, they need to be cranked at me about it. DC was telling me that I could keep things going, and I was the guy telling them that we were going to end it.”

 

As it turns out, Rucka said, the larger story presented a very appropriate place to end the series. “Michael left with #25 and Ed left shortly thereafter, though we did ‘Dead Robin’ together. As we were working on that story, I kind of came to the conclusion that it was going to be time to end it soon. We knew this story that we’re on know was going to be coming up, so I wanted to finish things up with the final story that Ed and I had planned together. All it took to bring the series to a close at the end of the story was a slight tweak on the ending.”

 

Coincidentally, we spoke with Rucka within minutes of his writing the final page for the final issue, and as he said, it was an emotional experience.

 

“It’s a sorrowful thing. I’m sad to see them go,” Rucka said. “Again, it’s not a rare thing that a book ends, but again, Gotham Central was a unique thing. This kind of book hadn’t been seen before, and I think that was part of the reason why we had such trouble getting and keeping an audience. People didn’t know what to make of it – it had Gotham in the title, but Batman was barely in it. I think that confused certain readers. The audience that we did find though was fiercely loyal to the series, and very passionate about it. I can’t thank them enough – I really can’t. They were there, month in, month out, telling their friends about it, pushing copies on people who didn’t read it. At every show I do, there’s always someone who comes up and says that of everything I write, Gotham Central is by far their favorite. They also say please never let it end…”

 

While the series may be ending, Rucka said that the characters will remain in the DCU…though he remained relatively tight lipped about the hows and wheres. “I can’t give specifics, if nothing else, the structure of the GCPD and the detectives and staff will continue, and you’ll see them in the Bat books. And others will be seen in other places as well.”

 

Likewise, though there are only two trade paperback collections of the series available, Rucka said that the full run of the series will eventually be collected into trades.

 

As for how he plans to wrap things up for the detectives, though issue #37 was a fairly direct tie-in to Infinite Crisis (telling the scene in Gotham City seen in Infinite Crisis #1 from the detective’s point of view) , issues #38 through #40 leave Crisis behind for a tighter focus.

 

“In that sense, we’ll be going out the same way we came in, telling a smaller story about the people,” Rucka said. “In the final storyline, we’re wrapping up the Corrigan story, which is appropriate, because, at the end of the day, the whole series is about one thing – what’s it like to be a good cop in Gotham City, and what price you will pay. That’s been the one question we ask over and over again.”

 

After all, Rucka explained, in Gotham City, being a bad cop is easy. It’s being a good one that’s hard.

 

“For all the grief that Batman gets, there’s a reason he’s as hard as he is,” Rucka said. “The conceit of the DCU is that Gotham is an awful city. Well, if it’s not an awful city, you don’t need Batman. It’s overflowing with corruption, apathy, and hatred. There are many, many bad people who thrive in that kind of place, while the good people try to survive. There are some people whose evil is banal, like Corrigan, and others whose evil is overt, like the Joker. If you don’t fight with everything you have, Gotham will turn you.

 

“Gotham takes a toll. No one gets out of Gotham without paying a price. The better the person, the higher the price. If you’re there to try and make like better for other people, you’re going to pay, and you’re going to suffer. Look at it all the way back with Frank Miller’s Year One – Jim Gordon was a good man, a good cop. And then he came to Gotham. He cheated on his wife. That’s Gotham. Moving to Gotham destroyed his marriage.

 

“Batman? Batman pays a price every day and every night.

 

“That’s the tragedy of Gotham, and that’s what we showed in Gotham Central.”

 

Also, Montoya is going to be on of the main characters in the weekly series 52, and it looks sweet.

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