Batman: Gotham Noir by Ed Brubaker
Art: Sean Phillips
After about a third of the way through this book, I actually started enjoying it. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I was going to in the first third. In the first third, I was a little bored. I didn’t care about drunk Jim Gordon who was kicked off the force and divorced Sarah. While I’ve always enjoyed the mob stories from Gotham City, this wasn’t pulling me in. And, of course, Jim was pinned for Rachel’s death. Way too easy.
And perhaps it was the Bat. My favorite thing about Batman: Gotham Noir is the way Phillips draws Batman. The Batman as a flat shadow except his eyes with those pointy ears was so freaking perfect. Phillips can draw my Batman every day.
I also love the headstrong, as always, Selena Kyle, who isn’t afraid of anything: Jim, Zucco, the Mayor DeHaven, or Batman. I appreciate that. Especially in a book where all the other women were killed (Rachel) or damsels in distress to cry over the dead and sainted by death Jim (Sarah and a young Babs).
I thought it was a really nice twist to have Gordon create the Joker instead of Batman. I liked that he snitched on his snitch, and from the ashes, came the Joker. Though I do have to say that as the Joker shot at Babs and Jim knocked her over, I had a brief worry that Babs was going to take the bullet. Worrying about that almost made it tolerable how much Jim became noble for his sacrifice.
I kind of want a follow up to this with either a re-imagined Catwoman or Babs putting on the Batgirl costume.
Reasons by Ed Brubaker
Art: Scott McDaniel
I feel like authors of Batman always have to comment on three things: 1) the Wayne’s deaths in Murder Alley*; 2) if Batman or Bruce Wayne is the mask; and 3) Batman and Catwoman’s relationship.
The only part I really enjoyed of this was the flirting between Catwoman and Batman. Also that clowns got punched.
*Why do you go through an alleyway named Murder Alley? Especially in the dark?