Gotham Central: The Quick and the Dead

Gotham Central: The Quick and the Dead 

By Greg Rucka, Michael Lark & Stephen Gaudiano (DC Comics)
ISBN 1-84576-381-5

Gotham City is a bad place to be a cop – even a crooked one. If you’re a straight arrow it’s even worse because then both sides of the street want you dead. When Detectives Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya turn their attention to corrupt Crime Scene Investigator Jim Corrigan it sets them both on a path steeped in tragedy and loss. “Corrigan” (originally published in issues #23-24 of the monthly comic) is by the regular team of Greg Rucka, Michael Lark and Stephen Gaudiano.

The same team bring us “Lights Out” (issue #25) as, in the aftermath of the War Games (see Batman: War Drums; War Games: Outbreak, Tides, Endgame and War Crimes) event, new police commissioner Akins severs all official ties to the Batman and has the Bat-Signal removed from Police Headquarters roof.

“Keystone Cops” (issues #289-31) is another superb blend of the procedural and the outlandish as beat cop Andy Kelly is mutated by a super-criminal’s booby-trap whilst rescuing some kids from a fire. Montoya and Allen must cross jurisdictional boundaries and moral landmarks to obtain the assistance of deranged Flash villain Doctor Alchemy if there’s any hope of curing their comrade. With the most chilling exploration of a super-villain’s motivation in many a year and a generous tip of the hat to ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ this is a moody masterpiece with a unsuspected kick in the tail. Rucka writes and Gaudiano graduates from inks to pencils with the embellishing falling to the capable Kano and Gary Amaro in this fourth volume of the award winning series.

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