Review by: keith7198

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community think?

Avg Rating: 4.4
Users who pulled this comic:
Art and cover by TREVOR MCCARTHY
Variant cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

Batman: Gates of Gotham #2 picks up where the excellent first issue left off, delivering an immersive and near perfectly structured comic. And while I’m still struggling to fully embrace the art style, the story is so engrossing that it’s impossible to not be excited about what’s ahead.

Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins continue to layout an incredible tale that not only gives us an informative Gotham City history lesson but brings that history into a present day Batman mystery. We get flashbacks showing us key scenes and key people from Gotham’s early development and a current day storyline that is rooted in Gotham’s long and complex history. Both past and present are woven together flawlessly. For years the Batman books have been driven by the great assortment of characters while Gotham City served as an ominous backdrop. Here, thanks to the incredibly rich history being written by Snyder and Higgins, Gotham feels like a main character even though we find out things are a bit more complicated.

While the writing is amazing, the art has yet to fully win me over. At times the book looks incredible, with an almost antique look to the panels. But occasionally Trevor McCarthy’s style can be a little overwhelming particularly with his characters. Some of his portrayals of Gordon look off and I still don’t know what he’s doing with The Penguin. But aside from some occasional hiccups, the tone and look of this issue fits with the story quite well.

The Gates of Gotham series has potential to be a truly memorable one. You can really feel that the creators have a precise direction in mind and it’s being laid out in expert fashion. I still wish the art wasn’t quite so rough around the edges but even it’s fitting tone and look make it hard to rail against. This is a well written and well crafted issue that does what every issue should want: it left me hungry for more.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 3 - Good


  1. Where you may be struggling, I have embraced McCarthy’s style in this, because I think that’s the point, that the art is stylistic, and I think those that are looking for something in particular in art are limiting themselves as far as the diversity comic book art can provide.  I do agree that this style is somewhat of an acquired taste, but that’s what makes art so special to an individual, that we respond to the metaphysicality of art it in different ways based on something that is essential within us.  We may not understand what that is at first, but to me, for you to be “overwhelmed” a little initially is a good sign.

  2. While I certainly appreciate your position I do disagree on a couple of points. While I certainly embrace comic artists as artists, they are also collaborative storytellers. Comics are unique in that they aren’t a stand alone piece of art open to various interpretations or solely the inner expression of the artist put on paper, canvas, etc. They work hand in hand with a writer to relay a story by word and picture. This is where stylized art sometimes runs astray. I feel as if some artists are more into promoting their “style” than relaying a great story. I’m not saying McCarthy does this hyper-stylized art can be a distraction to me. That’s why I just about won’t buy a book with Bachalo doing the art.

    As for being overwhelmed, I don’t think it was a good sign. I just went back and looked at my two examples, Gordon and Penguin. Both are minor gripes but I don’t think I’m missing an expressive point or intended interpretation from McCarthy. I just don’t see an attraction to is version of these characters, particularly his Penguin which looks like a mutated Danny DeVito from Burton’s “Batman Returns”.

  3. Sorry, at the end of the 2nd paragraph I meant to say:

     I’m not saying McCarthy does this BUT hyper-stylized art can be a distraction to me.

    Anyway, great comments. Like I said, I appreciate your perspective and it certainly isn’t without merit.

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