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Battle for the Cowl: Commissioner Gordon #1 [Review]


A Cold Day in Hell

Written by: Royal McGraw
Art by: Tom Mandrake
Colors by: Guy Major
Letters by: Sal Cipriano
Asst. Edited by: Harvey Richards
Edited by: Michael Siglain
Cover: Ladronn
Publisher: DC Comics

I came on way late with GOtham Central back in the day, though after reading the first hardcover realized it should have been tops on my list years earlier. Given the nature of that title, I had high hopes for this issue…hopes that weren’t entirely realized, but not really dashed, either.

We begin with Gordon prisoner of one of Batman’s foes, before flashing back a bit to show us how it is that he came to be in this position. It’s not long before Gordonrealizes that his confrontation with this foe comes down to just them–Batman’s “dead,” after all–and we see James Gordon the cop here, not just a figure calling in Batman with a spotlight on top of a building.

The story’s fairly straightforward here; nothing spectacular. But we do get a look at Gordon and how the GCPD is faring without Batman in town. This doesn’t strike me as a definitive Gordon story–but it’s nothing that seems to really counter anything that’s come before. In fact, it seems to affirm many of the elements of the Batman “universe” I enjoy.

The art’s pretty good, and fits the story. I particularly liked that it managed to in a few particular panels take my mind exactly where I think it was supposed to, invoking other comics and even the Batman animated series from the 1990s (a series that absolutely cannot be ignored in the staging of this issue).

All in all, this was a solid issue, but not really integral to anything. It’s a nice look at supporting elements, but it doesn’t seem likely to inform events of the core mini. Well worth it if you’re a fan of the character or want to see the wider scope of the Batman/Gotham “universe” but not something you’d need if you’re just along for the core Battle for the Cowl series.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 7.5/10
Whole: 7.5/10

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