Review by: keith7198

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Avg Rating: 4.1
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Art and cover by TREVOR McCARTHY

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

It’s hard to keep finding new ways to describe how good “Gates of Gotham” is. Issue #3 is another well constructed and highly entertaining book that dives further into the history of Gotham city. But even more interesting is the look we’re getting into the lives of the “first families” of Gotham in particularly the Waynes. So often the Waynes have been portrayed in strictly positive light but here we see that their first interests in expanding Gotham may be based more on personal gain. I’m loving this history lesson and I’m intrigued with the way Gotham’s past is melding with the present.

The team of Kyle Higgins, Scott Snyder, and Ryan Parrott have created and interesting and fresh story for Batman fans, something that isn’t as easy as it sounds. Their near perfect mix of flashbacks and present day pages have an almost poetic flow to them. In this issue, the flashbacks really steal the show as the current story doesn’t really progress that much. But even with the lack of any significant progression, the current pages give us some great interaction between Dick, Tim, and Damian. We also get a greater sense of Dick’s struggle with the weight of the burden that comes with being Batman. This is particularly driven home by a brief but cutting statement by the Penguin. Whether it be the politics and power jockeying in the past or the search for answers in the present, this story click’s on every level. It’s a smart and layered tale that has truly drawn me in.

It’s been tough for me to fully embrace Trevor McCarthy’s art. That being said, this issue felt like a step forward. My biggest issues with his work have been with his present day pages. Sometimes his characters look off and he tends to overdo his action panels. That may be why the look of this book impressed me more. There’s no real action to speak of and with the exception of a few character inconsistencies and the continued weird depiction of the Penguin, the current pages are solid. The flashback pages are what’s really visually striking. I love the way the panels are framed and Guy Major’s almost antique colors work perfectly with McCarthy’s pencils. It’s beautifully appropriate and has a wonderful period feel.

Simply put this is one fantastic mini-series. It’s a well structured story that keeps getting better and better. It’s a book that I look forward to and I can’t wait to see everything play out.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. Was kinda disappointing to have seen Dick get drawn in by a manipulative statement by the Penguin, who probably said what he did cus he saw the weakness in Dick’s face.

    Thought McCarthy’s work in this particular issue has been his weakest effort, but I for one have fully embraced his art.  To me, his depiction of the Penguin is his own unique and stylistic version of the character.

    Wasn’t sure what was going on with one of the Gate brother’s dealings with The First Family men there, but wouldn’t want to think the Wayne descendants were involved in any maleficence during their time before Bruce…would have expected Bruce’s family-line were morally irreproachable throughout their history.  Not that you necessarily inherit goodwill and heroism, but wouldn’t know how that would change how I thought about Batman as a hero if that wasn’t the case.

  2. I think we’ve seen Dick really feeling the weight of being Batman, not just in this title but in other Batman books. I think it’s taking him places he doesn’t particularly like. I think Penguin’s comment was meant as a slam but it also may have some validity.

    I agree that the Penguin depiction is McCarthy’s own unique variation. But for me, he looked so overly stylized that he comes accross as silly and completely out of place with the rest of the characters.

    I don’t think the actions of Bruce’s family in Gates of Gotham would effect how I look at Bruce. A family tree can branch off in different directions. And it’s still not clear whether the early Wayne’s are strictly in it for personal gain. But their desire to have the city bridged to their land raises some interesting questions.

    should be fun to see it all play out.

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