GOTHAM CITY: YEAR ONE #5 Review

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SYNOPSIS: Beaten, bruised, and betrayed, Slam Bradley should have never gotten involved with the Waynes. With a tragic turn of events and a city on the edge of burning, can this hard-boiled private detective close an impossible case?

Break out the whisky for this one, folks. You’re gonna need the whole bottle. Think you know the truth? Tom King is here to show you don’t know anything about what’s been going on in Gotham.

Queenie spills the truth to Slam about her secret relationship with Richard Wayne and boy, it’s a doozie. But who is really getting played here? Can you trust anyone, man or woman? Slam’s gonna have to take her to his mom for a tarot reading to find out for sure…

The flashbacks as Queenie lays out her side of things are beautifully monochromatic, recalling the look of Darwyn Cooke’s noir masterpiece adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker series. Bellaire’s colors are a key component of how beautiful Hester’s art looks.

Check out the pages where we bear witness to Johnny Boy’s demise! Those are a masterclass of layouts and compositions. The way Hester takes your eye through the page for maximum impact sucks the reader into the world, leaving you rain-drenched in the Gotham gutter.

This issue reeks of tragedy and desperation, where the turn of the page gives you new insights and raises new questions. So many revelations hit, but King has spread them out, saving the big ones for the finale next issue. This series has been a tour-de-force and I anxiously await the conclusion.

I want to say more, but Gotham City: Year One is a series you really just need to experience for yourself. The writing is suspenseful, the visuals are sublime, and the whole series promises to be a memorable landmark in the legend that is Gotham. Hands down, one of the best comics of the 2020s! Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: A+

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Javier Trujillo
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.