Review: Batman: New Gotham, Vol. 1

Batman: New Gotham, Vol. 1

Storytellers: Greg Rucka, Shawn Martinbrough, and Steve Mitchell

Publisher: DC Comics

Year of Publication: 2017

Page Count: 160

What I Learned About Writing/Storytelling: Greg Rucka has a remarkable capacity for creating very human stories that focus bring out the uniqueness of individual characters. Whether its Bruce taking a walk in his garden or some gangster falling prey to his own superstition, Rucka smartly builds his characters and makes them come alive.

Of course, the author also knows plenty about plot, with the general flow of this book’s story weaving in and out like so many threads of silk. Rucka’s work with Ed Brubaker on Gotham Central demonstrates this strength as well, while continuing to bring a strong grasp on character to the table.

What I Learned About Art/Storytelling: As with all of the best comics, the art fits the mood of the story spectacularly. New Gotham features a few different artists, each of whom works in tandem with Rucka to create an appropriate storytelling experience. “Evolution” utilizes monochromes with bright flashes of color to set a grim, slow mood punctuated by moments of fantastic violence. Similarly, “Happy Birthday Two You” is lighter in tone, utilizing soft colors and easy, relaxed texturing to communicate the melancholy mood of Renee Montoya, the story’s subject.

Recommendation: A

Notes/Review/Synopsis: Unlike the uniformly-drawn 52 or the weirdly experimental The Return of Bruce WayneNew Gotham stands a good story on its own in terms of both writing and art. Rucka’s take on Batman is by far my favorite, ranking up there with that of Chuck Dixon. The 1990s and early 2000s were certainly a golden age of Batman comics, and I am incredibly glad that so much of it is finally getting recollected into trade paperbacks.

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