Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gotham Underground

I just finished, with last week's release of the final issue, the 9-part mini series called Gotham Underground. Written by Frank Tieri and illustrated by J. Calafiore with Jack Purcell, this tale is about the gang wars in Gotham city and how the Penguin needs to rise up when Tobias Whale moves from Metropolis to Gotham to establish a foot-hold.

First off, I must applaud the covers. Nine covers, nine parts of a single image that, when put together, makes a huge poster shot by Calafiore. How cool! I really like the way that worked out. And the image as a whole is a great look at the heroes and villains of Gotham City. These covers really got me curious about the book in general.

Next, the art inside. Again, Calafiore and Purcell have a clean style that I enjoy a lot. The characters are all easily identifiable and consistently drawn through out the story. And believe me, there are a lot of characters involved. From classic Bat-foes like the Joker, Penguin and Riddler to newcomers like Johnny Stiches, the villains are well represented. Oh, and the heroes are here too - Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Oracle and the rest of the Gotham gang.

That brings me to the story. Wow! I had never heard of this writer but I enjoyed his tale a lot. And that says something since I haven't read any regular Batman titles in a couple decades. Now I've always like Batman for his villains and this book delivered that. In fact, it is as much of the villains' story as it is the heroes. And I really enjoy a good story where the villains are portrayed well.

Lastly, it tied in nicely to the events going on in Salvation Run as well. Kind of another side of the coin.

All in all, two big thumbs up for me for Gotham Underground.


KC Ryan said...

Nowwhy - WHY - would Tobias Whale move from Metropolis to GOTHAM?

I mean.... WHY?

Aside from the sheer number of supercriminals that seem to hang out there, there's the friggin' Batman to consider! And Robin. And Batgirl. And Batwoman. And Batfrog, for all I know.

Why not go after some innocuous city like Albany or something?

Do these crooks take a stupid pill or what?


Martin said...

Since I don't read the Superman titles regularly any more (haven't since Joe Kelly ruined them for me), I can only go by what is alluded to in Gotham Underground. There appears to have been a shake-up in Metropolis between the 100 (Whale's group) and Intergang (run by Bruno Mannheim). Whale decides that Gotham might be easier to take over, now that it is in a bit of disarray after the Black Mask fell from power as Gotham's big gang leader. Plus, if I had to chose between super-powered heroes and regular heroes, I'd take my hi-tech 100 agents and try my hand at Gotham.

Though, I see your point. Albany is a good target. Either that or Sheboygan. ;)

KC Ryan said...

I do realize, of course, that the story value takes precedence over common sense, but then, these are supervillains.

Supervillains are like the gunfighters of old. Didn't matter if there were a hundred banks to hit in Missoula, someone's gonna try to outgun Wyatt Earp.

In the Americana stories, I've made a point of poking fun at the sheer numbers of crooks who come to town just to see if they can beat her... despite there only being six superheroes in the entire world, they just have to come.


Martin said...

And that's why we love the villains! No matter the odds, they try and defy them. ;)