This week marks the premiere of Gotham, the new Fox television show focusing on Jim Gordon's first year as a cop in Batman's hometown, and the origins of young Bruce Wayne and the people who will one day become the greatest enemies of his war on crime. That the show exists at all is a testament to how strong Jim Gordon and the rest of the Gotham city Police Department are as heroes in their own rights.
So if Gotham has you in the mood to read about Gordon, Harvey Bullock and the rest of the GCPD -- or if you just want to dive into some solid Batman comics where the spotlight isn't entirely on the Dark Knight -- then I've got some suggestions for great comics about Gotham's top cops!
To say that Greg Rucka had a profound impact on DC Comics in the 21st Century is underselling things quite a bit. After arriving on the scene in the late '90s, he became one of the few writers to have written all three of DC's biggest characters, with critically acclaimed runs on Action Comics and Wonder Woman. It was on Batman, however, where he made his biggest impact, as one of the writers for the year-long No Man's Land crossover, the relaunched "New Gotham" era of Detective Comics, and cowriter of the enduringly influential Gotham Central.
In part one of our in-depth interview, Rucka discussed his arrival in Gotham with the popular "No Man's Land" megaseries. In part two, the writer detailed his involvement in the "New Gotham" revamp of 2000, including the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive saga, the introduction of Sasha Bordeaux, and the difficult transition from longtime Batman group editor Dennis O'Neil to Bob Schreck. Today we finish our three-part interview series with a look at Gotham Central, the book that focused on the non-superhero police detectives of Gotham City. Rucka speaks at length about how looking at Batman from the outside changes how the character works, the nature of collaboration with series co-writer Ed Brubaker and artist Michael Lark, and how the book produced one of the greatest Joker stories of all time.
We can all agree that Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips form one of the most successful comics collaborations of all time, right? Over the last fifteen years the pair have routinely produced some of the best comics of the present age -- Sleeper, Incognito, about a thousand pages of Criminal, and the just-completed Fatale. They're the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby of smart, stylish, noir-tinged genre comics. Whenever their names appear together on a cover, it's practically a guarantee of excellence.
Now, after years of telling stories influenced by classic film noir, Brubaker and Phillips head directly to the source with The Fade Out, a dark and enthralling mystery about the dark truths behind the myth of old Hollywood.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you, the discerning ComicsAlliance reader, like to get good comics without paying a lot of money for them. That's a pretty safe bet, right? I mean, who doesn't like getting comics on the cheap, especially when they're critically acclaimed titles -- specifically, titles that have been critically acclaimed by us, America's Most Beloved Comics Reviewers?
That's why we're keeping an eye on the sales over at Comixology to help you find the best comics that you can grab on the cheap, and spend your weekend with some great stories. This week: Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Fatale and IDW's line of Judge Dredd titles!
Q: Hey Chris, what's the worst story from the best writer? -- @starr226
A: I've gotten this question a few times over the past few weeks, and it's one that's really interesting to me for a few reasons, the most important of which being that nobody in the history of comics has a perfect record. Once you put out more than, say, four comics, everyone from Jack Kirby on down has stunk up the room at least once in their career, and it can be really fun looking at something to try to figure out exactly why something doesn't work, when everything else from that particular creator works so well.
For me, though, as easy as it would be to hit a soft target like Alan Moore and Scott Clark's Spawn/WildC.A.T.S: Devil Day, the biggest and most surprising drop will always be Larry Hama and Scott McDaniel's surprisingly terrible run on Batman.
Okay, so there's good news and bad news. The good news is that ComiXology is having a massive sale on Batman comics, and has knocked a bunch of them down to 99¢ each, which means that you can grab some great stories on the cheap. The bad news? Since this whole thing is in honor of Batman's 75th anniversary, they've put 750 comics on sale, plus a handful of graphic novel collections. All things considered, that's a pretty good problem to have, but still, that can be pretty overwhelming.
Fortunately, we're here to help. As the World's Foremost Batmanologist, I've sifted through the sale to bring you safe bets for what you should be grabbing during the sale. Assuming you've got the obvious ones -- like The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One and the recent runs by Morrison, Snyder, and Capullo -- here's what to grab next!
Writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips have collaborated on a number of different spins of the noir variety over the years: hard-luck stories (Criminal), supervillain parables (Incognito), even mixing in Lovecraftian on occasion (Fatale). Now, the creative team is taking on another aspect of noir: old Hollywood's seedy underbelly.
The first project announced since the two inked their five-year carte blanche deal with Image Comics, The Fade Out will kick off August 20 with a 40-page first issue which will include exclusive back-matter articles not to be collected in later editions. Readers can also buy an oversized "movie magazine replica" edition of The Fade Out #1, with eight extra pages of art.
When you think of the film genres that have inspired comics writer Ed Brubaker's work, 1940s noir/crime and 1970s conspiracy movies are the ones that immediately spring to mind. Perhaps 1960s spy flicks. But 1980s slasher/exploitation movies aren't really part of the equation.
But Brubaker is apparently branching out into the genre. ScreenRelish is reporting that he'll be penning the script for a remake of the 1988 slasher film Maniac Cop, one of the true gems of the trash cinema that filled the horror shelves at VHS rental stores.
You might have heard that there's a new Captain Americamovie coming out on April 4. If Marvel's marketing department has gotten its way, this news may very well be tattooed on the inside of your eyelids in phosphorescent ink. Let's say, however, you've never read any Captain America comics before, but now that he's been legitimized as a multi-million dollar film franchise, you're suddenly very interested in that dude with little wings on his head carrying around one of Uncle Sam's rims.
Since being created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon all the way back in 1941, the hero also known as the Sentinel of Liberty has passed through the hands of some eminently talented writers, artists and editors. Some of these creative teams depicted Cap's adventures for a few months -- some of them for a few years -- before passing the torch to the next creators to keep the flame (or trademark) alive. In comic books, these tenures are called "runs," "series" or "eras," and they're the readers' way of distinguishing one era of a character's saga from the next. Chances are you're not sure where to dive into a a publishing legacy that's spanned more than 70 years, so here is a list, in chronological order, of the Sentinel of Liberty's 10 most interesting and influential comic book runs.
One of the most significant -- and to many readers, one of the most exciting -- developments in comics in the last few years has been the growth of Image Comics, with many of the most popular writers and artists in the industry currently producing much, if not all, of their creator owned work through the publisher. As such, Image Expo has become a highly anticipated event, as publisher Eric Stephenson uses the annual show to announce several upcoming books from both established and new talent.
Today's Image Expo continued that tradition, as more than a dozen new titles were announced, from Ed Brubaker, Grant Morrison, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Burnham, Matt Fraction, Rick Remender and more.
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