There is no better time than 2011 to be a fan of DC Comics’ ever popular Caped Crusader. The protector of Gotham City has no shortage of exciting titles hitting store shelves week in and week out, and even the character’s supporting cast (“RED ROBIN”, “GOTHAM CITY SIRENS”) are thriving. With such a strong foundation and combination of moving parts, on top of a Blockbuster video game sequel on the way, “BATMAN” can simply do no wrong it seems. Adding to the already overly impressive library of titles this week will be the creative team of Scott Snyder (“AMERICAN VAMPIRE”) (who will be picking up the pen for his second story set within the world of the Caped Crusader) and Kyle Higgins (“CAPTAIN AMERICA”, “DETECTIVE COMICS”) with “GATES OF GOTHAM”. The series, which has been in development for quite some time now, will find itself bearing the heavy task of not only sewing up some old plot-holes, but also with setting up storylines for the months to come. But for Scott Snyder and illustrator Trevor McCarthy it all seems just a little too easy. Read on for the skinny…
“When a mystery as old as Gotham City itself surfaces, Batman assembles a team of his greatest detectives – including Red Robin, Owlman, I-Ching and others – to investigate this startling new enigma. As clues are discovered and the mystery deepens, Batman’s team soon finds itself on a journey that explores different eras in Gotham’s history and touches upon notable Gotham families including the Waynes, Kanes, and Elliotts. This miniseries spins out of recent events in the Batman titles and sets the stage for several exciting storylines in 2011. Additionally, this limited series touches upon mysterious story elements introduced in Grant Morrison’s RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE. Featuring many exciting Batman Family guest stars!”
For many years fans and critics alike have viewed the smog filled sky, rat infested streets, and bustling roads of Gotham City as almost a living, breathing thing. Indeed, some could argue that the city itself is a supporting character in and of itself. In staying with that mindset, Snyder and Higgins will be not only exploring the new man beneath the cowl (Former Robin/Nightwing, Dick Grayson) and his own struggles with taking up the mantle, but also the dark and twisted history of the city itself.
Believe it or not, in all the years that Batman and his commrades have protected it, the history of Gotham City has stayed firmly shrouded within the shadows which house its most sinister villians. However, that will all be changing in the six part mini-series as the creative team will be posing a threat to the cities heroes that are almost as old as Gotham itself. What this means of course, is that new Batman, Dick Grayson, will have his work cutout for him. Helping in the fight to solve the mysteries of the city will be fellow crime-fighters Tim Drake (Red Robin), Owlman, and I-Ching. The task will prove to be much more than a crash course in history for the group though, and as the sins of Gotham begin to bleed through the dingy cracks of its stone walls, so will those of its most powerful families.
Perhaps though the most dangerous and intrigueing hidden agenda beneath the surface of this new series is that of Bruce Wayne’s biological son (and the 4th Robin), Damian. The at times morally ambiguous child has been a glaring question mark since his introduction, and now the table seems to be set for a very dangerous domino effect like occurence within the Bat-Family.
And so this Wednesday as those dominos begin to fall, as an old hero attempts to adjust to a very new role, as a cities’ past sins begin to boil over into its present, and the lives of its most valiant citizens begin to deteriorate once more, we can do only one thing…enjoy.
“BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM” Issue #1 Drops Wednesday, May 18th From DC Comics! (MSRP – $2.99)