As Gotham City is under attack, we continue to discover more on the history of the city. It's up to the Bat Family to prevent more death and destruction as they come closer to their new mysterious foe.
Each issue manages to surprise me as more on the history of Gotham is revealed. We've seen Batman fighting crime on the rooftops and streets of Gotham for years but I never gave much thought to the early days of the city. Every city has a beginning. It's something that would be noted in historical documents but those details don't usually factor into modern times. The whole premise of Gates of Gotham is entirely focused on Gotham's origin. Seeing the construction of the different landmarks really allows it to sink in what the destruction of something like Wayne Tower really means.
Because we don't have Bruce Wayne in this series (at least, not yet), it allows Dick Grayson (as Batman) to really take the center stage. His inner monologue is brilliantly written by Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins (along with Ryan Parrott). Dick has always been a great character but it's been his time as Batman where we've really seen his growth. It's also allowed us a different take on Batman. Batman (Bruce Wayne) almost never makes a mistake. Dick can admit when he's wrong. This allows him to be a stronger person, being able to recognize his strengths and weaknesses as well as those of the people around him.
That's the other area where this book shines. I love Batman as much as the next person but what works for me is seeing the others, Dick, Tim, Cassie and Damian, step up to take on the chaos that has been unleashed on the city. They all have to work together and with Damian part of their 'team,' that's not always an easy thing. It's clear why each of them has been chosen to be part of this 'family' and seeing them piece together the clues each has acquired raises the enjoyment of the story as they get closer to uncovering the identity of their new foe.
As much as I enjoyed the first two issues of this series, something felt a little off in this one. We are halfway through the overall story so it makes sense that we'd need a little break before whatever Hell is unleashed in the next couple issues.
Reading this issue, I can't help but wonder how all of this will carry over to September's relaunch titles. We know Dick is going back to being Nightwing and with Higgins writing, we should be assured that he'll maintain some of the growth he's developed in this series and in Snyder's Detective Comics. There's also more of the ominous...vibes surrounding Cassandra Cain along with no mention of her in the September or October solicits that should be a concern to her fans. It's unfortunate she's been absent from the pages of all comics as her interaction with the others here shows what an asset her character can be.
Trevor McCarthy's art brilliantly showcases the two different time periods but Tim Drake's face and his hairstyle bothers me for some reason.
After two action packed issues, the story's pacing feels as if it slows down a little here. We are still getting more details on the history of Gotham City and are getting closer to getting all the answers. Dick Grayson and the other members of the Bat Family shine as each is given their own voice and place in working together without Bruce Wayne around to guide them. Reading through this story makes you wonder if all the interactions and character developments we're seeing among the characters will carry over into the new relaunch titles in September. Snyder, Higgins and Parrot do a great job capturing each character's voice and McCarthy's art is stunning except I have some minor issues with the way Tim Drake appears. Things are heating up and this issue may be giving us a slight breather as the final two issues kick things even further.