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Batgirl #1 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 3/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1 [Review]

The Veil, Vicki Vale, Stephanie Brown, Leslie Thompkins, Harvey Bullock

Written by: Fabian Nicieza
Art by: Dustin Nguyen, Guillem March, ChrisCross, Jamie McKelvie, Alex Konat, Mark McKenna
Letters: Swands
Colors: Guy Major, Guillem March
Assistant Editor: Janelle Siegel
Editor: Mike Marts
Cover: Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: DC Comics

This one-shot takes a quick look to check in with several major characters operating in Gotham City, and how they are impacted by the apparent death of Batman. The opening/closing is from the point of view of The Veil, who I’m pretty sure is the character introduced in a recent Detective/Batman two-parter. The scene shifts from her to the other characters. Vicki Vale is back in town, working for the Gotham Gazette again, rather than a tv studio; she finds herself needing to re-proove her abilities at the paper, and seeks to contact Bruce Wayne who also seems to be gone, though there have been a number of sightings of the man around the world. At the same time, Stephanie Brown–Spoiler/Robin IV–looks at the city from her (apparent) new role as she observes Robin (Tim Drake) in action. Leslie Thompkins returns to the city, and seeks to get a feel for herself of what the city is like now, minus its caped crusader. Harvey Bullock has his hands full with a new partner as he himself continues working back from his recent “fall from grace.”

We have a number of artists on this issue, each providing the visuals for the different characters’ chapters. Nothing really stood out to me…which is both good and bad here: bad because hey, nothing blew me away. But it’s good as nothing stood out that I’ve any real complaint with. That each artist contributed to a specific chapter speaks to me of intention rather than “fill-in” work. Having different artists also helps to separate the characters involved, injecting just a bit of a difference or personality to them that could be lost with a single artist.

The story is solid if a bit choppy, since there’s no singular through narrative; we’re checking in on a numerous characters in different contexts and situations, unified simply by being in Gotham and not knowing if there is still a Batman. Nicieza, though I’ve not read much of his Batman work, seems to have a feel for the characters much as I associate with Chuck Dixon’s work on the same, which certainly is for the positive in my eyes.

This issue I believe is to serve as a prologue of sorts to the Battle for the Cowl mini and its tie-ins. This does a pretty good job of showing situations characters are in at present, giving them some facetime that may not be found in the main Battle for the Cowl series.

I’m not sure that this is essential to that story except to add context, but it is probably worth getting if you’re planning on following the entirety of the story.

Story: 8/10
Art: 7.5/10
Whole: 8/10

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