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"Batman: Streets of Gotham" #1 Review

In Comic Reviews on June 22, 2009 at 7:37 pm
Batman: Streets of Gotham #1

Batman: Streets of Gotham #1

“Ignition!”

Writer: Paul Dini

Pencils: Dustin Nguyen

Inks: Derek Fridolfs

Colors: John Kalisz

DC enters the next phase of their “Batman Reborn” event with the new title, Streets of Gotham.  This time around, the story focuses instead on Gotham as a whole, with the new Batman being viewed as he is through the eyes of its citizens. 

There’s a good bit of shuffling about going on, as Batman makes the rounds letting the city know they’re still being watched, but ultimately there’s a very nice plot point featuring Firefly that ends the book on a cliffhanger as Gotham burns.  Its a very nicely written tale, and Nguyen’s pencils beautifully suit the tale.

Firefly is really the highlight of this issue, as about 1/3 of it is spent with his internal monologue.  Its really cool to see inside the mind of such a villain, and having him narrate the story is a story technique you don’t see normally enough, especially when you consider how strong the characterization of Batman’s rogues gallery is.  The rest of the issue is spent showing Gordon adjusting to the new Gotham and its new Batman, and showing Damien seeking to bond with his dead father by visiting the incarcerated Thomas Elliot, better known as Hush, who is still surgically altered to resemble Bruce Wayne.

Manhunter Second Feature

Kate Spencer returns as Manhunter in Streets of Gotham's second feature

If that’s not enough for you to be sticking around, Streets of Gotham is now home to the new Manhunter second feature.  In “Strange Bedfellows”, penned by Marc Andreyko and penciled by Georges Jeanty, we catch up with Kate Spencer, who is the newly appointed District Attorney of Gotham City.  Kate’s aspect of the book is pretty great, as we see her dealing with being seperated from her son and contending with life in Gotham, where her usually lethal methods as Manhunter are far less threatening.  There is one nitpick I do want to point out, and that’s Barbara Gordon’s appearance, where she tells Kate that she’s been thinking more about the Manhunter’s methods and wonders if maybe they’re right.  The example she uses is, obviously, that if someone had killed The Joker years ago, thousands would be alive and she might not be in a wheelchair.  Its a horrible notion and grossly out of character from Ms. Gordon, something that seriously detracted my attention from the story.  Hopefully that’s the last we see of her considering such extreme methords.

All in all, though, I’d give Streets of Gotham a solid C+.  Its an enjoyable first issue, but there’s a lot going on in a very short space, and thus not a lot to really review, but I still recommend picking up this issue.

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