Did you really think I would have picked anything other than Gates of Gotham this week? Snyder and Higgins have been working to shape this series from the very first issue, and almost every page feels like it’ll hold some relevance in the end. The secret of ‘The Architect’ is out, the Bat-family knows who he is and his devious plans, now all that’s left to do is bash his face in and turn him over to Gordon. The ghost of Gotham’s past has reared its ugly head, and despite the corrupt history, Batman is trying control something that he knows is way larger than himself. The creative team has done wonders to bring fans a memorable Batman story leading into the new reboot, and now that Gotham City’s dark history is in the open, the future of Batman is looking brighter than ever. Read on for the skinny…
”It’s Batman vs. The Architect! The downfall of a major Gotham family! The betrayal of Damian Wayne! It’s all here in this final issue, plus the untold fate of Gotham City’s first Super Villain! Be here as GATES OF GOTHAM sets the stage for a bold new direction in the Bat books!”
Both Snyder and Higgins are everyday names to comic fans, and with their respective new series set for release as part of the ‘New 52’, Gates of Gotham has worked to give these guys even more hype (like they needed it). Many readers probably have their eyes set on Snyder’s Swamp Thing (best since Moore?) and Batman titles, or Higgins’ Deathstroke and Nightwing (though I still have no idea why he’s not Batman…). Based on this series I have high hopes for their new books, but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s finish this extraordinary Bat story.
The story so far is quite complex as it spans across decades of Gotham’s seedy past, bringing in a whole slew of characters, both new and old. I can’t remember ever reading a Batman story where I actually grasped the cityscape and history of Gotham. Snyder and Higgins have really done their research for the series, and they know exactly the direction they want things to move. The only thing this series suffers from is not being long enough. Now that it’s all coming to an end, I expect Snyder’s new ongoing Batman and Higgins’ Nightwing to tie in many themes seen in this mini-series.
After Snyder’s widely praised conclusion the Detective Comics, we know that he has a love and understanding for Batman. You get the feeling that these two guys aren’t just writing for the sake of writing, but really doing it from a fans perspective. While it may be a grandiose statement to say that this is one of the best Batman stories in years, it really is. Obviously I have a strong bias towards Snyder and Batman books, but maybe it’s just a preference for good comics in general.
If there is one thing this mini-series has done particularly well, it’s tie together all of the major families in Gotham, offering a glance at how the city got to be so immoral. The series plunges into the dark and murky waters of the city, and reveals that crime and corruption are literally set in its very foundations. Before Gates even started, Higgins and Snyder went on record saying that they want Gotham to feel like an entity, something with a personality of its own, and they have accomplished this goal with great success.
On top of the history lessons, another aspect of the series that separates it from other Bat books is the interactions between the members of the Bat team. With so many characters flying around, you’d think somebody would be left out (especially since neither of the writers have touched Red Robin before). Damian and Tim have some obvious contempt for one another, but there’s also a sense that Damian looks up to Tim as a former Robin. I imagine if this series were a few issues longer we’d get much more character development, but, again, hopefully this is foreshadowing some September events. But, seriously, where is Bruce? He did come back, right?
Gates of Gotham is a well-crafted tale that is way deeper your standard hero book. With such time and care put into Gates, it provides a promising glimpse into the future of DC Comics (I’m pretty much drooling right now). Partiality aside, it’s irrefutable that these two guys know how to write an original Batman story, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve got cooking for the fall.
’Gates of Gotham’ Issue #5 Drops August 24th From DC Comics! (MSRP $2.99)