Tuesday means that Thwip! goes “retro” and talks about collections/storylines that we think were awesome (and still are) – today we talk about the forty issue series, Gotham Central, with Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker writing alternate storylines.
Thanks to Batman’s long history, Gotham City is a rich, vibrant, hellhole of a city (which I say in the perfectly nicest of ways).
Of course Batman can’t solve all the crime (until he perfects his cloning process and there is a Batman on every street corner), so the cops of the GCPD do have some work to do (that hopefully isn’t too Joker-related).
That’s what Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka (with pencils from Michael Lark) set out to do, writing stories about Gordon’s crew.
And what a ride it is.
These stories show why Rucka and Brubaker and such well-regarded writers of the genre, fleshing out the GCPD and making it believable that Gotham also has mundane(ish) issues to deal with. This is the series that establishes Renee Montoya (not her first appearance though, just helps to develop her character), Crispus Allen, a whole bunch of other familiar names, with even Jim Corrigan featuring heavily towards the end of the series.
Michael Lark is also a great fit for this series (he did the penciling for a significant number of issues, to the point that he is considered a creator of the series as well), establishing a good aesthetic of a midnight blue palette for the other contributing artists to follow as well.
This series is amazing on several points, great stories, excellent characters (and development of them as well), and solid art – there is no reason why anyone wanting to see what else a person can do in a superhero world would not pick up this series (even if you are a Marvel fan).