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February 9, 2005 – Gotham Central #28

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Story by Greg Rucka
Art by Stefano Gaudiano
Colors by Lee Loughridge
Letters by Clem Robins

Published by DC Comics | $2.50

I’ve had a lot of cop stuff going on in my life lately. I feverishly watched season two of The Wire over the last week. After sever months, I finally finished Blue Blood, the memoir of a Harvard-educated NYPD beat cop turned detective. Even when I see cop stuff on TV now, I get a deeper understanding of what a lot of this stuff means. There’s a whole hierarchy of cop stuff most of us don’t understand. But I’ll tell you who does understand it: Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka do.

There’s a quick line in the issue this month where someone asks, “Oh you’re Montoya’s daughter. You’re the cop.” Montoya answers with, “I’m a detective.”

If you know something about police, you know that a cop is what you are when you’re a PO, or police officer. When you’re around long enough, and you prove your value, or at least play the politics correctly, you get made detective; you get the Shield (another great cop show). When Montoya says she’s a detective, that means something. It means she knows her place in the world, and she’s earned her keep to get there. It’s sort of like how a Marine will refer to himself as a Marine, and they’re offended if you were to call them soldiers, because that’s the Army, and there is no Marine in the Army, just like there are no soldiers in the Marines. And no, I’m not living any of this lifestyle, nor would I, but I do find it fascinating, and I’m all the more impressed when writers get it as right as they do in Gotham Central.

Some units, or POs, or Police Officers, get called into a street fight and follow some teens into a building and in the bottom of the building they find that strange chemicals have been spilled everywhere and one of the kids is screaming in terror having come in contact with the bad stuff. Eventually, trying the rescue the remaining kid, the PO catches on fire, or something just like fire. Apparently, they’ve stumbled into the basement lair, or storage facility of one of The Flash’s rogues. All sorts of dominoes start to fall just as the issue ends with us in mystery.

If I’m not mistaken, Ed Brubaker will be leaving and Michael Lark already has. And all I have to say about that is that it’s too damn bad. However, I will say that the art was so similar to Lark’s, I didn’t even notice his absence, other than not knowing exactly who I was looking at at the very start of this issue. Hopefully Rucka can keep up the magic on his own for a while, but if nothing else, we’ve got over two years of great comics that will always be there for us. And the more you know about cops, they better they get.

Josh Flanagan
Yeah, I dig a lesbian detective Latina character!

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