GOTHAM CITY: YEAR ONE #4 Review

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SYNOPSIS: The new crime-noir classic rolls on! Slam Bradley’s search for the Wayne heiress takes a tragic, deadly turn and the simmering pot that is Gotham City is about to boil over! As the world falls apart around him, Slam must decide between justice and revenge-a choice that will echo down the generations and redefine both Gotham and Batman!

This comic is hard-hitting.

Or at least the characters inside it are.

After the shocking discovery last issue of the fate of Baby Helen, Slam is not in a good place. Cuffed in an interrogation room and getting beat by the Commissioner himself, it’s just another example of how corrupt and broken this Gotham is underneath its seemingly clean exterior.

King’s detective narration continues to be pitch-perfect in getting the reader into the proper mindset for this story. If you weren’t a fan of Slam Bradley before this series, I guarantee you will be by the end.

Detective tropes abound-ruthless beatings, being summoned by henchmen to see someone with far more power than our hero, romantic entanglements born out of pain and desperation, and betrayal. And yet Slam stands resolute, fighting for the truth, fighting for justice,…fighting for vengeance.

There are a few more ties to Batman in this issue. No, not just the numerous creators who get immortalized as Gotham city streets, but connections to his origins, notably Crime Alley. And maybe King starts to hint at the reason why a 96-year-old Slam is relating this story to the Dark Knight…could there be a personal connection between the two?

Hester is doing some career-defining work here. As if resurrecting Oliver Queen wasn’t enough of a feather in his cap all those years ago, he is definitely leaving his mark on the Gotham of the past. His choice of camera angles draws you in, gives the characters power when it needs to, and sets the perfect pace for reading. I just find myself immersed in every page. See if you can see the shadow of a bat in a certain alley!

One aspect of the mystery may be over, but the plot is still barrelling along full-speed ahead, guaranteeing you’ll want to come back next month for another shot of what King and Hester are pouring. Detective Comics is taking a more gothic route these days, so for those yearning for a hard-boiled, noir-soaked yarn, this is definitely the book for you! Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: A+

 

 

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Javier E. Trujillo was a Batman fan long before the 1989 blockbuster opened on his 12th birthday. After following BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM -- the "Dad-Gum Original" -- since its inception, he started to write for BoF in 2019, covering Batman's 80th anniversary. He's a lover of all eras and aspects of The Dark Knight, but artist Jim Aparo will always be how he pictures him. When on the internet, odds are it's because he's talking about Batman or James Bond (or MAYBE Wally West). He resides in the "Live Music Capital of the World" (and also the genesis of Adam West's Bat-Boat), Austin, TX. You can follow him on Twitter @JaviTru or on Instagram @TheBondIsNotEnough.